Our delightful exercise with 10 of the 27 drawings that comprise the "wug test." Try them out with the kids in your life (or, yes, even by yourself). They'll demonstrate how children as young as three or four can internalize complex grammatical codes no one has necessarily ever tried to teach them. And let us know what surprised you!
Learning to talk, acquiring language, is one of the most remarkable and ordinary things human beings do. A playful conversation with a legend in the field of psycholinguistics, who says it’s as thrilling a frontier as outer space or the deep sea.
Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog
Watch the 20-minute video in which the MIT researcher explains how he wired his house with microphones and video cameras — and how we learn language and the landscapes in which we encounter each other.
Adele Diamond studies how social dramatic play can build "executive function" (EF) skills in children's brains. EF is a container term for capacities like inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility.
A fun video segment from NOVA testing a producer's linguistic capacities.
Ojibwe teacher Keller Paap reflects on his work and the necessity of his language to adapt in order for it to flourish.
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Language is a carrier of human identity. It is a vehicle by which we understand and express our very sense of self. Novelist and translator David Treuer is helping to compile the first practical grammar of the Ojibwe language. He describes an unfolding experience of how language forms what makes us human. Some memories and realities, he has found, can only be carried forward in time by Ojibwe.
What Adele Diamond is learning about the brain challenges basic assumptions in modern education. Her work is scientifically illustrating the educational power of things like play, sports, music, memorization and reflection. What nourishes the human spirit, the whole person, it turns out, also hones our minds.