Category Archives: Etymology

The Value of Knowledge Today is on the Decline


    Yesterday, I was inspired by a great post by Chris Wilson on How to Survive the Teacher Apocalypse.  I thought about it all afternoon especially as it touched upon thoughts I had had on the cost of knowledge.  The interesting turn for me came when I started reflecting more on the Value of Knowledge because realistically the costs of knowledge have and will continue to drop rapidly (despite the efforts of gatekeepers) due to digitalization and other market factors, but something is rising in counter weight…   BEFORE I go further, a quick historical interlude…   2000 years ago, access (…)

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What can you see in these clouds? And what do you see in your students?


  Take 20 seconds and just look… What do you see in these clouds ?     How often do we do the same in the classroom? Both, to really look, but also to “read into” what we see? Do you see your students for who they are today… or are you perceiving them more through the memory of who they were the last class, or on the last exam? Do you have favorites?  Which ones and why? When tossing out a question in class, I’ve noticed that I can fall into a pattern of leaning on certain students when no (…)

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What does it mean to be “polite”? #etymology


  What does this sign mean to you? Do you often add it to your tweets, sms, or quick messages to friends, family, acquaintances?  Why?  If you took it off would it change the message?     On a lazy, sunny, snowy afternoon in Paris I joined 55 others from around the world to listen to Chia Suan Chong share her thoughts and research on Politeness and Pragmatics in ELF. Chia did a marvelous job of interacting, polling, asking us questions and listening to feedback. It was a fine example of how webinars can be great for professional development and I (…)

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The challenge of attention in the classroom


    I’ve been back in the classroom for two weeks now, and boy oh boy, is it good to be back. That being said, being in a new environment with different age groups brings new challenges. Foremost among my current challenges is keeping the learners focused.  Historically, I’ve leaned on personalization, engaging content and rotating between different types of tasks (listening/reading/speaking/individual/pair/group) to keep the classroom energy flowing, but recently I’ve felt the students drifting much more than I’ve ever experienced. Might be a case of me being “rusty”, a different student population, or not taking my own advice on (…)

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Is “happy holidays”, really happy HOLYdays ? or is it… #etymology


  Pronounce these words and feel how close they are to each other…   Around this time of year when I hear people say “happy holidays” I always think HOLYday which is of course the word’s origin, but its roots are actually richer than just “holy”…   Modern English’s HOLY was Middle English HOLI, earlier HALI and in Old English HALIG.  However there were other meanings such as in Old Norse heill, “a good omen” and…. Halibut… or Hali + but  (butte meaning flatflish)     =    the fish eaten on holy days. ALSO, hāl in Old English meant “whole, (…)

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