Language, Day 1

Course(s) Used:

  • Interpersonal Communication

Goals and Objectives:

  • Students understand the effects language has on cognition and interaction.
  • Students understand how different languages result in cultural differences.

Rationale: Language is probably the most important human invention, with profound and far-reaching effects on the world and on ourselves. Language effects nearly every aspect of our lives, and a significant proportion of all communication is linguistic in nature.

Materials Needed

Materials:

  • None

Technology:

  • Classroom computer and projector

Outline of the Lesson

  1. Review of previous session’s content
  2. Overview of content for the day.
  3. Play clip one, “Words that Change the World” from Podcast.1
  4. Discussion of clip one
  5. Play TED talk from Lera Boroditsky.2
  6. Discussion of TED talk
  7. Play clip two, “New Words, New World” from Podcast.1
  8. Discussion of clip two
  9. Debrief the shown media
  10. Lesson closing

Limitations

Radio is less engaging than visual media for may students, and may present a problem for students who require certain accommodations. A transcript is available.

Variations and Accommodations

Follow guidance from local accommodation authorities. Transcripts are available for radio broadcast and closed captioning on video is accurate.


  1. Abumrad, J. & Krulwich, R. (Hosts). (2010, August 9). Words [Radio program]. In J. Abumrad & P. Walters (Producers), Radiolab, New York, NY: WNYC. Retrieved from https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/episodes/91725-words ^
  2. Boroditsky, L. (2017, November). Lena Boroditsky: How language shapes the way we think [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/lera_boroditsky_how_language_shapes_the_way_we_think ^
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