Sir Anthony Barber talks about Educational change – needs and aspirations

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Getting beyond change resistance, new skills development and inject new pan-educational personnel.

Sir Anthony Barber talks about Educational change – needs and aspirations

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Kids’ Diets and Learning

Kids’ Diets and Learning

By , About.com Guide

NGS forenote

As a good food advocate I believe getting healthy food and water into yr kids is a huge advantage for health, and learning.

POD good food outlets in London have some great health snacks for all ages and tasty salad wraps which are irresistible… getting kids hooked on great flavours dash quality grub is what it’s all about… read on..

Sleeping studentSkipping breakfast may mean falling asleep in class.
 
Research indicates that children who regularly eat breakfast have better standardized test scores, better behavior, and were less hyperactive than children who skipped breakfast. When comparing low glycemic index (GI) breakfasts to high GI breakfasts eaten by 9- to 12-year-old children, research also shows that children who eat high GI breakfasts (sugary breakfasts) tend to eat more at lunch.What makes a good breakfast for children? An egg, a slice of whole grain toast with nut butter, a piece of fruit and a glass of low-fat milk is one example of a good breakfast. Tofu, lean meat and whole grain cereals are also good choices at breakfast. The protein and fiber from the whole grains will keep your child satisfied until lunch time.Try to avoid giving your child sugary breakfast cereals, white-flour pancakes and syrup — all of which will leave your child hungry and tired half way through the morning. If your child tends to get hungry in the middle of the morning no matter what, send an apple, whole grain crackers, nuts and cheese snacks rather than sugary cookies or white-flour crackers.

Most schools try to provide nutritious lunches for children, but it’s expensive and kids don’t always want to eat the healthier foods. Many schools offer fast food, greasy pizzas, French fries and other poor-quality foods alongside the usual lunch selections.

One high school in Appleton, Wisconsin replaced their regular poor-quality school lunches with healthy fresh foods at lunch with water as the main beverage. The changes resulted in improved behavior from the students and zero truancies.

Teach your kids the importance of eating nutritious foods at lunchtime. Hopefully with your help they will choose healthier salads and vegetables instead of French fries, and water instead of soda. Another option is to send lunch with your kids. Hearty soups, salads, fruits, and sandwiches with whole grains can all be packed in insulated containers to stay hot or cold.

Even with a balanced breakfast and healthy lunch, a light after-school snack is nice to refuel a kid’s body before play or study time. A handful of nuts and an apple is perfect, or maybe a snack tray of vegetables and dips. Even a healthy version of a PB & J will satisfy picky kids. Keep chips, sugary sodas, pastries and candy out of the house. As the Oxford study shows, sugary and high glycemic index foods just make kids hungrier.

Children who eat healthy foods may continue to make better food and nutrition choices when they grow up, while overweight children tend to continue their eating habits and become overweight adults.

Teach your children about healthy foods. Here are some tips to help:

  • Read over the different food pyramids and ask your kids to pick out some favorite foods from each food group.
  • Have them help you plan a meal that includes a healthy serving of protein, a vegetable or two, and a healthy fruit for dessert.
  • For young kids, make a chart to keep track of all the fruits and vegetables they eat (we need at least five servings of fruits and veggies every day).
  • Snack time can be more fun if you try different recipes and snack ideas together with your kids.

Teaching your children to how to have a healthy diet will have a bigger impact if you set the example. Eat right, get some exercise, and make a healthy lifestyle a family affair.

Why Translation Matters

Why Translation Matters argues for the cultural importance of translation and for a more encompassing and nuanced appreciation of the translator’s role.

As the acclaimed translator Edith Grossman writes in her introduction, “My intention is to stimulate a new consideration of an area of literature that is too often ignored, misunderstood, or misrepresented.”

Professional translation involves a number of crucial analytical skills brought together to harness not only accuracy but nuance and sensual meaning – a great translator evokes the parallel emotion/s hand in hand with meaning.  Put simply a good translation goes often unnoticeable while a bad one litters the senses.

 

For Grossman, translation has a transcendent importance: “Translation not only plays its important traditional role as the means that allows us access to literature originally written in one of the countless languages we cannot read, but it also represents a concrete literary presence with the crucial capacity to ease and make more meaningful our relationships to those with whom we may not have had a connection before. Translation always helps us to know, to see from a different angle, to attribute new value to what once may have been unfamiliar. As nations and as individuals, we have a critical need for that kind of understanding and insight. The alternative is unthinkable.” 

Good translation allows your people to know.

 

Information age

Grossman’s belief in the crucial significance of the translator’s work, as well as her rare ability to explain the intellectual sphere of the translator, inspires and provokes the us to engage with translation in an entirely new way.

Today more than ever information requires the handling of dedicated professionals.

Machine v Man

An important distinction to make is that machine translation fails on a number of levels.

It fails to read, transcribe and digest material and meaning in proper form and syntax.

Real translation preserves many things across cultures and connects you with your target audience.  It often preserves too decades of dedicated work and hard won reputation.  At its best it spreads a priceless message fully across a mass global audience at a cost that is entirely bearable.

Our experience and expertise is entirely due to industry and individuals valuing the words they speak, write and imbue.

Reading

Edith Grossman is the acclaimed translator of Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes, Mayra Montero, and many other distinguished Spanish-language writers. Her translation of Don Quixote is widely considered a masterpiece. The recipient of numerous prizes for her work, she was awarded the Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation by PEN in 2006, an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009, and the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute Translation Prize in 2010. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York.

 

Born to Sing: How Music Enriches Children’s Language Development

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Image via Wikipedia

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Born to Sing: How Music Enriches Children’s Language Development

By Ann Gadzikowski, former Grants Coordinator, Chicago Children’s Museum

When I was a preschool teacher, I had a child named Lizzy in one of my classes. She rarely spoke. At three years old, Lizzy usually communicated with me by tugging on my sleeve and pointing her finger at what she wanted. Yet I wasnít at all worried about Lizzy. My confidence in her was so strong because I knew there would be at least one time every day when I would be sure to hear her voice during music time. Quiet Lizzy came alive whenever she heard music. She clapped, she danced, she even sang along to class favorites such as “The Wheels on the Bus” and “This Old Man.” Her favorite song was “Where is Thumbkin?”

Eventually, Lizzy did begin to speak and soon was able to talk and communicate like other kids her age. She taught me that music is a powerful tool for giving a voice to a quiet child.

All children benefit from experiences with music. Music enhances learning, especially language development. Children’s experiences with music build vocabulary, listening skills, and language acquisition.

Music, language and the brain: Recent brain research tells us that when children sing and move to music, their developing brains are entirely engaged and stimulated. Both the left and right sides of the brain are activated when we sing. And the process of singing stimulates both new learning and memory. For example, music has been shown to help children remember their addresses and phone numbers. Even older adults can often remember the songs from their childhood days.

The more senses that are engaged, the more learning will take place. When children sing and dance the “Hokey Pokey,” they are using their voices to produce language, rhythm, and pitch. They are using their ears to listen to the voices and sounds around them. They are using their eyes to follow the movements of others. And they are using their whole bodies to develop rhythm and coordination. When it comes to active learning, “that’s what it’s all about!”

The Rhythm of language: Like music, language has a rhythm. As we talk, our speech has a beat and a tempo. Like a line of music, a spoken sentence has a cadence as it rises and falls.

It’s not surprising, then, that language learning is enhanced when children experience the rhythm of music. In studies conducted by educator Phyllis Weikert, a child’s ability to clap or tap a steady beat was directly linked to language learning. For example, clapping or tapping the rhythm of an unfamiliar word often helps children learn new vocabulary. Can you imagine teaching a child to say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (from Mary Poppins) without singing it?

Song and dance: Today’s technology allows children to hear a wide variety of music from all over the world. But it’s important for parents to know that listening to recorded music does not offer children the same benefits as making music with real people. At Chicago Children’s Museum, the exhibit Now Youíre Talking! tells the exciting story of how children acquire language. This interactive exhibit demonstrates the important role that parents and caregivers play in a childís language development.

At home, sing with your child. It doesnít matter if you have perfect pitch or performance skills; only your enthusiasm is required. Simple, familiar songs with easy movements are best for the baby-to-preschool crowd. Top hits include “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

Sweeten the mix by adding your own words to familiar songs. You can personalize the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” by adding the name of a family member to each verse (“If youíre Jason and you know it clap your hands”).

And when it’s time to read a bedtime story, try a book you can sing. The illustrator Iza Trapini has published a series of picture books based on familiar childhood tunes, such as “I’m a Little Teapot” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Another good choice is Alan Katz’ book, Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs.

Wherever there’s music, there is sure to be plenty of language learning going on. Of course, there’s more to music than just language learning. Music can evoke powerful emotions in children, such as joy, delight, and excitement. Music enriches the lives of all children; and for some, like Lizzy, it can become one of the first paths for connecting to others.

Resources

Books for Parents
Good Music, Brighter Children: Simple and Practical Ideas to Help Transform Your Child’s Life through the Power of Music, by Sharlene Habermeyer
Word and Music Games for Toddlers and Twos, by Bonnie Macmillan
Nurturing Your Child with Music, by John M. Ortiz Books for ChildrenTwinkle, Twinkle Little Star, by Iza Trapini
I’m a Little Teapot, by Iza Trapini
Row, Row, Row Your Boat, by Iza Trapini
Hush Little Baby, by Sylvia Long
Wheels on the Bus, by Paul O. Zelinsky
Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, by Alan Katz
This Land is Your Land, by Woody Guthrie and illustrated by Kathy Jakobsen

Speaking 2 languages may delay getting Alzheimer’s

Speaking 2 languages may delay getting Alzheimer’s
By Lauran Neergaard
AP Medical Writer / February 18, 2011
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WASHINGTON—Mastering a second language can pump up your brain in ways that seem to delay getting Alzheimer’s disease later on, scientists said Friday.

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Never learned to habla or parlez? While the new research focuses mostly on the truly long-term bilingual, scientists say even people who tackle a new language later in life stand to gain.

The more proficient you become, the better, but “every little bit helps,” said Ellen Bialystok, a psychology professor at York University in Toronto.

Much of the study of bilingualism has centered on babies, as scientists wondered why simply speaking to infants in two languages allows them to learn both in the time it takes most babies to learn one. Their brains seem to become more flexible, better able to multitask. As they grow up, their brains show better “executive control,” a system key to higher functioning — as Bialystok puts it, “the most important part of your mind.”

But does that mental juggling while you’re young translate into protection against cognitive decline when you’re old?

Bialystok studied 450 Alzheimer’s patients, all of whom showed the same degree of impairment at the time of diagnosis. Half are bilingual — they’ve spoken two languages regularly for most of their lives. The rest are monolingual.

The bilingual patients had Alzheimer’s symptoms and were diagnosed between four and five years later than the patients who spoke only one language, she told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Being bilingual does nothing to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from striking. But once the disease does begin its silent attack, those years of robust executive control provide a buffer so that symptoms don’t become apparent as quickly, Bialystok said.

“They’ve been able to cope with the disease,” she said.

Her work supports an earlier study from other researchers that also found a protective effect.

What is it about being bilingual that enhances that all-important executive control system?

Both languages are essentially turned on all the time, but the brain learns to inhibit the one you don’t need, said psychology professor Teresa Bajo of the University of Granada in Spain. That’s pretty constant activity.

That’s not the only area. University of British Columbia psychologist Janet Werker studies infants exposed to two languages from birth to see why they don’t confuse the two, and says bilingual babies learn very early to pay attention better.

Werker tested babies in Spain who were growing up learning both Spanish and Catalan. She showed the babies videos of women speaking languages they’d never heard — English and French — but with the sound off. By measuring the tots’ attention span, Werker concluded that babies could distinguish between English and French simply by watching the speakers’ facial cues. It could have been the different lip shapes.

“It looks like French people are always kissing,” she joked, while the English “th” sound evokes a distinctive lip-in-teeth shape.

Whatever the cues, monolingual babies couldn’t tell the difference, Werker said Friday at the meeting.

But what if you weren’t lucky enough to be raised bilingual? Scientists and educators know that it becomes far harder to learn a new language after puberty.

Partly that’s because adults’ brains are so bombarded with other demands that we don’t give learning a new language the same attention that a young child does, Bialystok said.

At the University of Maryland, scientists are studying how to identify adults who would be good candidates to master a new language, and then what types of training are best. Having a pretty strong executive control system, like the lifelong bilinguals have, is among the good predictive factors, said Amy Weinberg, deputy director of the university’s Center for Advanced Study of Language.

But people don’t have to master a new language to benefit some, Bialystok said. Exercising your brain throughout life contributes to what’s called cognitive reserve, the overall ability to withstand the declines of aging and disease. That’s the basis of the use-it-or-lose-it advice from aging experts who also recommend such things as crossword puzzles to keep your brain nimble.

“If you start to learn at 40, 50, 60, you are certainly keeping your brain active,” she said.

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Online:

Science meeting: http://www.aaas.org/meetings/