Browsing All Posts filed under »Languages«

What I’d find difficult about English

October 5, 2013 by

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English is a peculiar language, being an amalgam of Old Norse, Germanic languages, and French from the Middle Ages and further back. While teaching English I’ve encountered many difficulties explaining certain grammar and pronunciation concepts. Often it’s simple to explain a rule or an exception to a rule, but when a student asks for a […]

The Origin of the Georgian Alphabet

October 1, 2013 by

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The origin of Georgia’s unique alphabet is controversial. Whereas the Greek and Latin alphabets are the results of slow and gradual transformations of older scripts (rather than deliberate creations), the Georgian alphabet shows up in history out of nowhere. This makes it plausible that it was invented, either by one person or several. So the […]

Miscommunication Mishaps

May 1, 2013 by

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Coming to a country where both the language and the alphabet are unknown to you is a mission many may find daunting.  Regardless, all of us TLG volunteers took the metaphorical plunge, packed our bags and came to Georgia, after explaining to everyone back home that it’s the country, not the state in the USA. […]

The Names of Georgia, Part 2

When I started taking Spanish in the seventh grade, the first thing the teacher did was assign all the students Spanish names etymologically equivalent to their real ones. Since my name is Nick, I was given the name Nico. It was a painless way for all of us to feel a little Spanish, and so […]

Keyboard Transcription and English Reading

April 19, 2013 by

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I have lately encountered an unexpected source of interference when teaching my students English: their keyboards! Let me explain. Computers sold in Georgia most commonly have a regular English keyboard – QWERTY, with Latin characters. Russian keyboards might be a far second, and keyboards with actual Georgian characters printed on the keys are highly scarce. […]

The Pizza Aquarium

March 20, 2013 by

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In The Long And Short Of ‘It’ I talked about some issues surrounding the “short i” and mentioned that I hadn’t come up with a way to get students to produce a short i, or /ɪ/. After some trial and error, I have managed to come upon a strategy that seems to have worked, at […]

The Names of Georgia

Every TLG volunteer has had the horrible experience of hearing someone say, upon being told about teaching English in Georiga, “What, you mean like Atlanta or something?” Subsequently we’ve probably all had the thought, “Seriously, why do Georgia the country and Georgia the American state have the same name?” Well, to answer that question, we […]