Thursday, April 14, 2011

1st Words: The Video

What if you were able to record every interaction a child had? What if you were then able to transcribe all those interactions, and then what if you were able to analyse them computationally? These are 'what if' questions no more. Deb Roy of M.I.T. (no less!!) has done precisely that, and more.

In this video from TED Talks, he explains how this happened and talks about some of the results - you can hear his son's speech develop from 'guga' to 'wa'der' for water.

But, it seems that was not enough, because his team then took the tools they developed for this project and applied them to other patterns of interaction, especially examples from mass media communications.
His TEDTalks profile page also provides some useful inks to papers and labs where this work is developed.
Can we finally put the 'poverty of stimulus' argument to bed now thanks to tools such as these, or are we going to have to hear more on language acquisition devices?

Acknowledgment: Thanks to eldon for bringing this topic & video to my attention, Find more on her blog.

Friday, April 1, 2011


A big slap on the back to Tom, Gill, Sudeep & myself for the 2nd issue of READ Magazine (ISSN 2221-3740). A lot of great articles from a wide range of contributors, some key advertisers and a whole host of ideas on how to get more people reading more.

This edition has articles from Paul Nation and Rob Hill, from Palestine, UK, USA & UAE. This edition introduces centre page photocopiable resources, and features plenty of Reading Champions.

Just to give you an idea of what the magazine is about, here is an article from Karen Ryan of the British Council in the UAE (click to enlarge).

If you have any articles you want to contribute, or if you think you can help distribute to the right people, take a look here (click to enlarge).