Source: Language Log
According to the Antimoon website:
typical English classes are not an effective way to learn English. They produce very slow progress, especially after you reach the intermediate level. Most learners, after years of attending classes, cannot speak English without making a lot of mistakes in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.
Instead, the Antimoon Method requires “massive amounts of input”, such as reading 60 pages and listening to 6 hours of English every week. It advises you not to focus on grammar rules. You should try to eliminate mistakes early on.
The site identifies seven myths:
- The best way to learn a foreign language is to go to a foreign country
- The best way to learn a foreign language is to speak it
- It is OK to make mistakes
- As a beginner, you’re bound to make a lot of mistakes
- You are a foreigner, therefore you will always have a foreign accent
- If you didn’t learn a foreign language as a child, you will never be fully proficient in its grammar
- Studying pronunciation is not important
You can read more about the Antimoon Method here.
The New Statesman is, in its own words, “the leading progressive political and cultural magazine in the United Kingdom.” It has been published since 1913.
Unless you subscribe, there is only limited access to the website, but you can read the magazine via EBSCOhost.
Other British political magazines include:
- The Economist, which can also be read online via UEA
- London Review of Books (off-campus click on Log In, then Log in via your institution or library, then click here for federated access)
- The Spectator, whose articles can be searched for on Nexis
- Prospect – also on Nexis.
The OED says -naut forms words with the sense of voyager or traveller. Here are some more examples:
- aeronaut – a balloonist; a spider which floats through the air
- aquanaut – an underwater explorer
- Argonaut – one of the legendary heroes who sailed with Jason in the Argo
- cosmonaut – a Soviet or Russian astronaut
- psychonaut – someone who experiments with psychedelic drugs
- Reaganaut – an advocate of the policies of US President Reagan
The word juggernaut (a heavy lorry) has quite a different etymology.
From an article in the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest:
- Listen to the language
- Don’t try too hard with the grammar
- Choose the right time of day to learn
- Take long breaks
- Drink a little alcohol
The article includes links to the supporting research, some of which might be rigorous.
There is also a podcast, How to Learn a New Language, which reports that you may be able to boost vocabulary learning during sleep.
The Oxford English Dictionary picks a word each day. They tend to be “hard” or unusual words.
Recent picks include:
- bricoleur – a person who performs a variety of manual jobs; someone who fixes things in an ingenious manner
- grandiloquent – characterized by a high-flown, extravagant, or bombastic style or manner, esp. in language
- Nowheresville – a largely unknown or uninteresting place, esp. a small, rural town
- lactivist – a passionate advocate of (exclusive) breastfeeding as the preferred means to feed a baby
- taikonaut – a Chinese astronaut
For example, one episode is How to be Funnier:
Can psychology help us to be funnier? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears how a key ingredient of humour is “incongruity” and the surprise of unexpected meanings. Individual words too can be amusing, but actually most of the time we laugh not because we’ve seen or heard a joke, but as a natural part of friendly interaction.
Besides the podcasts themselves, each episode is accompanied by links to background reading.
So far there are seventeen episodes:
- Dating and Attraction
- Breaking Bad Habits
- How to Win an Argument
- The Psychology of Gift Giving
- How To Learn a New Language
- How To Be Sarcastic
- Use Psychology To Compete Like an Olympian.
- Can We Trust Psychological Studies?
- How To Get The Best From Your Team
- How To Stop Procrastinating
- How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
- How To Be Funnier
- How to Study and Learn More Effectively
- Psychological Tricks To Make Your Cooking Taste Better
- Is Mindfulness A Panacea Or Overhyped And Potentially Problematic?
- What’s It Like To Have No Mind’s Eye?
- How To Make Running Less Painful And More Fun
Microhistory, according to Wikipedia, “is a genre of history writing which focuses on small units of research, such as an event, community, individual, or a settlement.”
- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
- Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
- The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester (also titled The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words)
- The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson
- Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel
- The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
- Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
- In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
- At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
- Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky