Sunday June 5, 2016

Learning English is one of my current passions. Recently I’ve mentioned of the discovery of the “Idiom of the Day” newsletter, which excited me and enabled to create a new Anki deck. It also provides me new material - which makes me very happy :) - every day I receive another idiom (potentially new for me!) and by that my knowledge can expand (this is also the reason why I find the Anki concept so exciting).

Today I discovered another piece of the puzzle :) - A Way with Words podcast. Reaching 1998 this program is about “slang, grammar, old sayings, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, and speaking and writing well.” It covers also “the latest language breakthroughs, proverbs, idioms, folklore and catchphrases, new words, accents, vocabulary of regional and ethnic groups, speaking, speech, and pronunciation, grammar, syntax, and semantics”.

Etymology (words and phrases origin) - and semantics on the other hand - became quite important for me, not only with respect to foreign, by the native language too. I like etymology because I’ve become pretty curious about endless and flexible process of language development (I’m also fascinated by the language concept as such). Whereas the semantics is something I recognize I need in order to render my thoughts as precisely and clearly as possible (“We must shape our words till they are the thinnest integument for our thoughts.” - Virginia Woolf, Orlando).

Another thing which caught my attention is “language in the classroom, including English as a second language” - I wonder what does this exactly mean...

Interestingly, the mission of the program’s producer - Wayword, Inc. - is “to promote lifelong learning and better human understanding, and to change the way people think about language.”

“Lifelong learning” reminds me of my older concept of learning foreign language - when I thought that at some point You can reach the level with which You’ll be able to state that You’ve finished. However, over the time I’ve realized that this is rather an everlasting process - which made me happy because I like new things, gaining new knowledge or skills.

All those topics are very exciting, especially when I think of how many episodes are already available - or an obvious conclusion that this hour-long program is pretty detailed. I’ve just downloaded a couple of them to sample the taste of the show - I'm curios what my first impressions will be like :) ?

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