Fuck internalized racism.

It turns us into monsters.

Today in class the professor had us partner up with someone else and discuss an issue with each other. One person would write and the other would read it out loud to the class.

A very quiet Iraqi lady came up to me and asked to be my partner. I am normally a very talkative student so I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to lay low and let someone else take the stage. I asked her if she would like to be the presenter and she said, “I can’t. I have an accent and no one can understand what I am saying.” So I said, “I can understand you.” She said, “Thanks but my children make fun of me. They say ‘mom be quiet, no one can even understand what you’re saying’.”

This made me realize what a shitty human being I am because I used to say the exact same thing to my parents back when I tried to hard to please my racist classmates and before I realized how amazing it was that my parents were fluent in more languages than most of them would learn in their entire lifetime.

The fact is, people with thick non-anglo accents are perfectly aware of how the world sees them. That’s why my classmate, a brilliant woman, hasn’t said a single word out loud in class. That’s why my aunt, tired of being mocked for her accent, asks my sister to make all her important phone calls for her. That’s why sometimes even I use smaller words when I am talking because I can’t pronounce all the words I can write.

McGill University recently fired a professor because he had an accent. One of my other classmates, who is fluent in English, is fighting for his right to not be forced to write the TOEFL, which is usually waived for students with his educational background. And finally, last but not least, I know my accent is the biggest reason why I walked out of the American embassy in Saudi Arabia with a visa stamped on my passport moments after I arrived while all the other applicants were thoroughly questioned and, in some cases, rejected.

Dear POCs, fucking stop making fun of other people’s accents. They already have a hard enough time dealing with a system that marginalizes them. Fight for them, not with them. Always remember, you are not superior to other people just because you speak the language of your colonizers fluently.

Los Angeles students protesting neglect of poorer schools took to the streets, and brought their desks with them.

Some 375 empty desks blocked a downtown street, blocking traffic for several hours Tuesday outside the Los Angeles Unified School District offices.

Organizers say the number represents the count of students who drop out of district schools each week.

Protesters want a student voice on the school board, and more funding for English language learners, foster children and low income students.

District officials declined comment on the protest.


Practice with Pronouns is a site that lets you practise subject, object, possessive, and reflexive forms of English third person pronouns. It comes with a few of the most common options, but you can also fill in whatever pronouns you like. Useful for both English learners and people wanting to practise using nonbinary pronouns.  

As if it couldn’t get any more delightful, it often uses quotes from Welcome to Night Vale in the practice sentences, which is definitely far more entertaining than See Spot Run. The feedback sentences are also very cute. 

(Hm, I’m pretty sure the second blank in that screenshot should have said “xyr”, in retrospect.)

shoutout to the kids learning a new language from apps

shoutout to the kids who really have to work to learn a language

shoutout to the kids who are learning a language that isn’t very common

shoutout to the kids that learn languages from songs

shoutout to the kids who are trying to learn more than one language

shoutout to the kids that are doing the best they can to communicate with others and bring the world together

Females in competitive gaming.

How often do you actually see women in competitive gaming? The answer is…


After this past weekend, I realized that in every championship at Blizzcon, there were NO WOMEN competing. And guess what? I wasn’t the only female to have realized this over the weekend.

After much thought and a lot of support. I’ve decided to start up an eSports team named Sweet Synergy.

On our first night of ‘realization’ - over 100 women applied for team spots. The overwhelming support has been IMMENSE. Even a handful of males are pushing our team forward and supporting, asking to be a part of staff and our twitch streams. Of course, a lot of women of all sorts have inquired about the team - but after constructing an amazing staff group so far, we have redirected focus of the all female competitive team from ‘just wanting attention’ to ‘actually wanting to compete.’ In other words, we don’t condone ‘Rated R’ types of behavior in order to get attention.

We don’t want attention, we want representation.

I’m not going to ask my tumblr friends to reblog this, but if you do believe in our team and female representation in the competitive gaming league, then boosting this post will go a long way for us. We are here to voice that we are just as competitive and equal as any other opposite gender competitor.

Here are some links to follow if interested:

If any girl/woman/alien out there wants an opportunity to join our team, you may click this link that will direct you to our personal fb group page.

May we rock the stage next yr at Blizzcon!

Linguistic approaches to language learning: link roundup

I suppose it’s okay to admit after three years of linguistics blogging that I actually am one of those linguists who speaks quite a few languages, and I’ve studied even more at various levels. Here are some of my favourite posts about language learning:

Tips for learning another language

How second language acquisition works

Learning Indigenous languages

Languages and linguistics

Bonus fun link: Now You’re Just A Language That I Used To Know (parody of that Gotye song).

The Differentiator
A simple tool to differentiate lesson objectives.

File this under “tools that everyone already probably knows about, but I didn’t.” The Differentiator can help you come up with differentiated objectives for your students and make sure you’ve covered your bases from task, to goals, to product. It’s very easy to use and, while it might not solve every lesson planning conundrum, it could help shake some ideas loose. 

I see this being handy in creating Language Objectives for students (see: WIDA Standards)

I love talking to people who have english as a second-language because they use phrases that make perfect sense but that you would never hear a native speaker use and it makes me think of how infinitely variable our language is and how unlimited the scope for invention is

How is it that b and v are the same for Spanish speakers and different for English speakers? Who's right?

Both! Neither! Let me explain. 

The big thing we need to do here is distinguish between sounds and spelling. English speakers already know that their orthography is out to lunch, but Spanish has a reputation for having a logical, consistent, “phonetic”  spelling system. Most of the time, that’s true (English vowels use 5-6 symbols to stand for ~14 sounds, for example, whereas Spanish has 5 vowel symbols and 5 vowel sounds), but for b and v it’s actually the opposite. 

For the sake of clarity, I’m going to write “b” and “v” to refer to the letters in the conventional spellings of each language, and /b/ and /v/ to refer to the sounds as they’re represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). 

IPA uses /b/ to represent a bilabial stop - that’s a sound produced by fully closing (stopping up) the two lips (bilabial).  And it uses /v/ to represent a labiodental fricative - that’s a sound produced by letting a tiny amount of air escape between (fricative) the lip (labio-) and teeth (dental). (And yes, technically you could make an equally etymologically correct labiodental stop using the top lips and bottom teeth, but languages don’t tend to do this, presumably because it’s incredibly awkward.) 

Keep reading

If you’re planning on teaching in Korea, even if you are White, please do your part to avoid schools that advertise themselves like this. Don’t be complacent in their racism and don’t make yourself apart of their stupidity. Please spread the word, so that we can try to stop people from seeking employment at hagwons like this. 

This schools name is LCI. Don’t work for them. Spread the word.

*GYOPO refers to Korean nationals that have spent huge portions of their lives (or all of their lives) abroad.. Ex. Korean-Americans

I work in Japan as an assistant language teacher, and I’ve posted my better lesson materials here on tumblr from time to time (and elsewhere too). In response to requests, I’m now making them available for other ALTs to use, via this new gumroad store.

So far I’ve only added my ‘Guess Who’-alike game, but I’ll be adding more, bit by bit, whenever I have time to prepare the PDFs. (Yes, including the Die Hard thing.)

You can pay for them or not pay for them! It’s up to you.

Of course, you don’t have to be an English teacher to download any of this stuff! If you’re just curious, help yourself.

Please fire me. Our student population is about 50% Hispanic and our ESL teacher does not speak a word of Spanish, so she calls me daily for help translating letters to parents and communicating with students. I teach Calculus.