English in the Movies by David Crystal

I hear pop songs in English in every country I visit. Just back from a lecture tour around Italy, and I heard them in taxis, in hotels playing background music, and in cars passing in the street with the radio on loud – in every city. Often, the listeners are singing along, demonstrating a level of English ability that is sometimes well beyond their general level of competence. It’s a great language-learning tool – and I’ve had exactly the same experience in my own encounter with other languages. When I was learning Portuguese in Brazil, my samba-ese far exceeded by general skill. But the musical dimension had all sorts of benefits. It gave me confidence. I felt I was beginning to . . . → Read More: English in the Movies by David Crystal

A career in phonetics, applied linguistics and the public service: Talking with John Trim (part 1)

Post written by David Little and Lid King, based on an article in Language Teaching 

John Trim was born in 1924 and died in January 2013. His father was a docker and his mother the daughter of a printer; both were active in the local Workers’ Educational Association. John described the atmosphere of his home as ‘intellectual, internationalist and socialist’. He won a scholarship from his primary school to Leyton High School, where he learned French and German. For the first term – which John missed because he had pneumonia – his French teacher taught the language entirely in phonetic transcription in order to lay the foundations of accurate pronunciation. In his second year John had to choose between Latin and German. . . . → Read More: A career in phonetics, applied linguistics and the public service: Talking with John Trim (part 1)