Here are some recent podcasts related to language and learning that I’ve found interesting:
American RadioWorks , by the American Public Media, has many great podcast documentaries. Among those related to language and learning are:
- Financing the Real World – “American RadioWorks goes to Holy Family Cristo Rey, a school that makes preparation for the work-world part of the curriculum.”
- Education and Motivation – “American RadioWorks Executive Editor Stephen Smith talks with education reporter Emily Hanford on President Obama’s recent address to the country’s students.”
- Put to the Test – “No Child Left Behind has had a dramatic effect on American schools. Producers spent two years in one high school documenting how high-stakes testing has reshaped teaching and learning.”
- Rewiring the Brain; Early Deprivation and Child Development – “After the fall of communism in Romania, the world was shocked to discover a vast system of orphanages where unwanted children languished in cribs with little attention from caregivers. Sixteen years later… scientists are measuring how children recover from early neglect and discovering what early damage might be irreversible.”
The Psych Files podcasts – Michael Britt has done an inspiring with these terrific podcasts. Among those related to language/learning are:
- Episode 90: The Learning Styles Myth: An Interview with Daniel Willingham – “Guess what? There’s no such thing as learning style (the theory that each of us has a preferred way to learn new ideas. There are many supposed kinds of learning styles, such as a visual learning style, an auditory style, kinesthetic, etc.). Don’t believe it? Neither did I at first. I was sure for a long time that I personally had a visual learning style. Now I’m not so sure anymore. Listen to this interview with professor and author Daniel Willingham as he and I discuss the topic of learning styles.”
- Episode 53: Mindful Learning, NCLB, and the True Foundations of Success – “Tired of rote memorization? Tired of NCLB? Try mindful learning. In this episode I explore psychologist Ellen Langer’s concept of mindful learning. What does it mean to teach and learn in a mindful way?”
- Episode 29: Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic vs. the Motivation To Learn – “You’ve probably heard about the battle between intrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Well, here’s a new and powerful way to motivate students: the Motivation to Learn.”
The ASCD’s Whole Child Podcasts are topical, monthly, and archived on their site. Some interesting past topics include: Understanding the Education Stimulus Package, Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners,and Beyond the Test Bubble: Accountability, Expectations, and Planning.
UNC Charlotte’s Center for Teaching and Learning has some great podcasts under the title: Teaching and Learning Matters. Topics include: Creating Interesting Assignments, What is Cooperative Learning, and Respecting Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning.
The image on the left displays brain activity while reading a book; the image on the right displays activity while engaging in an Internet search. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles)
Do Your Brain a Favor – Surf the Web!
UCLA scientists have found that when compared to reading, searching the internet increases brain function in middle aged and older adults. The study, described here, demonstrates our continued ability to learn as we grow older, according to the UCLA scientists.
Here’s a podcast on ASHA’s (The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) website on the value of early intervention for late talking children. The podcast is a discussion between SLP Rhea Paul and child psychologist Leslie Rescorla. Kummer joins Rescorla in another discussion, this time on language delay in young children in this ASHA podcast. Link to other ASHA podcasts.
Autism Podcast has many interesting podcasts, such as this one, a discussion with Rick Rollins on the causes of autism, and the need to deal with increasing numbers of children identified as autistic.
The Word Nerds often provide interesting and entertaining work, such as this podcast on syntax.
Study suggests that learning from mistakes works only after age 12.
At some point between the ages of eight and twelve, learning shifts from being dependent upon positive reinforcement to relying more on learning from mistakes – so says this study. Researchers at Leiden University gave computer tasks to groups of children and adults while they lay in an MRI machine. The results surprised them. It was expected that the children would learn in the same way as adults, only with less efficiency. What the results indicated was actually happening was that there was a fundamental shift in how children were learning. This shift was observed by measuring differences in brain function between groups of eight and nine year olds and eleven and twelve year olds. Simply put, the younger kids seemed to learn more efficiently when given positive feedback (e.g. “Good job!”), while the older kids learned better when adjusting to their mistakes. Adults also learned better when adjusting to their mistakes, but were more efficient. For the full story, click here.
Learning activation in younger children (Credit: Image courtesy of Leiden University)
Speaking in Tongues is a series of short broadcasts in English from Barcelona on language learning. Among the shows are episodes covering:
Each segment, lasting about 10 minutes, uses Macromedia Flash Player.
Memory Training Can Increase Intelligence
This study, published in April of 2008, was led by Susan Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl, done at the University of Michigan, and has been cited in various publications including the New York Times, and Wired magazine. The study participants – college students – increased their scores of working memory through a training regimen that lasted from eight to 19 days. Working memory is a form of fluid intelligence that researchers have generally thought to be fairly fixed throughout life. This study demonstrated that at least fluid intelligence is likely more plastic than has previously been thought. (Fluid intelligence is often considered one type of intelligence, with crystallized intelligence being the other. Crystallized intelligence draws on existing skills, and information in long term memory that has been learned, while fluid intelligence is the measure of manipulating various new concepts. It involves problem solving, working memory, and to some extent, creativity.)
Martin Bushkuehl was interviewed here at the sharpbrains website.
Why are ‘Mama’ and ‘Dada’ a Baby’s First Words?
This news story via Yahoo, from LiveScience.com describes a study from the University of British Columbia. It lends scientific support to the notion that the ability to recognize repetitive sounds may be hard wired into us from a very early age.
Verbally aggressive mothers direct child behavior
This study done at Purdue showed that mothers who scored high on measures of verbal aggression tended to direct their young childrens’ behavior, while mothers scoring low on these measures followed their child’s lead during play activities. The study supports the importance of parents’ give and take in early communication development.
The link was found here. The original story can be found here.