Browsing All Posts filed under »Languages«

What I’d find difficult about English

October 5, 2013 by


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


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


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


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


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 […]

Seasons and Solfège

December 27, 2012 by


There are so many basic facts about the world that we take for granted – things that have surrounded us our entire lives, things that we never even considered might be called into question. Things that no one really talks about because everyone is expected to already know them and everyone more or less assumes […]

Breakfast, Lunch, and…?

December 15, 2012 by


I have had an almost identical conversation with four of the six co-teachers I’ve had this year.  It starts with a lesson involving meals, and my co-teacher will tell the children that breakfast is in the morning, lunch is a small meal consisting of tea or coffee and maybe a biscuit or fruit, dinner is […]

“Georgia? What, like, the state?” My Top Three Reasons for Volunteering in Georgia-the-Country-not-the-State

December 4, 2012 by


A year ago, when I told people I was moving to Georgia to teach English, I was met with one of three reactions: a blank stare, a “What, you mean the state…?”, or, every so often, a “Wow, good for you! My [friend/relative/close acquaintance/person I met once at a dinner party and haven’t seen since] […]

დიდი ხნის წინ, შორეულ გალაქტიკაში… [Ed.- A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away]

November 22, 2012 by


Georgian is a difficult language, no doubt about it.  After more than two years living here, I’m nowhere near fluent and even struggle to read and hold complex conversations.  I get shy about speaking and it stands in the way of my improving.  Part of the problem is that I have precious little free time […]

Developing Hobbies in the Village

October 25, 2012 by


When I applied to the TLG program, I was looking forward to not only increasing my experience within the classroom setting, but also looking forward to rediscovering my old hobbies. After weeks of reading books that had been collecting dust on my shelves in America, I decided to explore other options to occupy my time […]

The Very First Friday Links Round-up

September 21, 2012 by


Dear readers, we’re starting a new initiative this year at the TLG Blog. Each week, we’ll compile a list of links we’ve come across in our travels across the Internet. (Essentially, they’ll be everything we wish we would have written ourselves.) While we’d like to share all of our awesome discoveries, we’re going to stick […]

Poetry vs Creme Brulee?

May 22, 2012 by


My passion for the English language goes beyond teaching. I studied culinary arts in Switzerland, but always had an undeniable passion for language and literature. During my internship in Miami, FL, I decided to pursue my other dream and I tried my luck submitting a manuscript of my poetry. It got published! My book is […]

The Georgians’ Language

May 2, 2012 by


The Georgian language is old. It’s unrelated to other languages. It has an aorist tense, whatever that means. “Mankana” means both “car” and “machine”. These are things you can learn from books. But the first thing you really notice about the Georgian language, after the briar-and-burdock alphabet, is that it’s impossible to pronounce. Until you […]