Tag Archives: language and culture

Hey, Break a Leg!

During my brief but notable high school career as a drama queen – err – I mean drama student, my fellow actors would offer each other a wishful greeting of “break a leg” rather than “good luck.” Due to my overwhelming popularity as “tree #1” or “rock #4,” I didn’t put much thought into the […]

Is the Southern accent in danger?

Research conducted at North Carolina State University shows that the Southern accent is changing and may be disappearing. Robin Dodsworth, associate linguistics professor at NC State, has been collecting recordings of Raleigh, NC, natives to discover how their accent has changed over time. Using software that breaks down the way people say words and changes […]

New York’s linguistic diversity

New York City has always been an incredibly diverse place – people have been attracted to its charms and promise since the 19th Century. Ellis Island saw people from all over the world pass through it, and their descendents now make New York a cultural melting pot. This interesting article in the New York Times […]

Is ASL a foreign language?

There is debate in colleges across America about the status of American Sign Language, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. Whilst some view it is a foreign language, and thus available for college credit, others argue that an indigenous language cannot by definition be ‘foreign’. ASL has origins in Old French Sign Language, […]

Indian languages revived

Frequently in the press and language blogs we read about another language dying, or becoming extinct. But there are also some stories about languages being revived through the efforts of dedicated researchers. Two Indian languages of Long Island which have not been spoken for 200 years are being resuscitated by Stony Brook University and two […]


Hello, and welcome to the all-new, super-shiny Listen & Learn blog! My name is Michelle and I will be bringing you a heady mix of news, tips, reviews and general language miscellany. Having tried my hand at a few different languages over the years, from French and German at school to Maori (when I lived […]