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American Tongues - Linguistic Attitudes in the U.S.
Southerners talk too slowly. New Yorkers are rude. New Englanders don't say much at all. Anybody who lives in the U.S. knows the cliches about how people in the various parts of the country handle the English language. American Tongues…
Speaking in Tongues
Speaking in Tongues begins with an ordinary first day of public school kindergarten in the USA--except that the teacher speaks only Chinese. We are in a language immersion class, where, from day one, students will receive 90% of their instruction…
Fear and Learning at Hoover Elementary - The Denial of Education and Health Care to Undocumented Immigrants
Directed by a schoolteacher, this film became a lightning bolt in the immigration debate as the Rockefeller Foundation labeled it "One of the most important films on American race relations." Hoover Elementary is located in Pico-Union, known as the 'Ellis…
Pidgin: The Voice of Hawai'i
What if you are made to feel ashamed when you speak your "mother tongue" or ridiculed because of your accent? "Pidgin: the Voice of Hawai'i" addresses these questions through its lively examination of Pidgin - the language spoken by over…
Deaf Jam
Deaf Jam is the story of deaf teen Aneta Brodski's bold journey into the spoken word slam scene. In a wondrous twist, Aneta, an Israeli immigrant living in the Queens section of New York City, eventually meets Tahani, a hearing…
Valley of the Heroes - Tibet's Shifting Cultural Landscape
"When no one listens, no one tells, and when no one tells, no one learns; and thus when the elders die, so do the traditions and language." -- Tibetan Proverb In many Tibetan communities, the loss of Tibetan language has…
Let There Be Words - What is Language?
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
What precisely is language and how did humans acquire it? In an effort to answer these essential questions, this program journeys back to prehistoric times in search of languages origin. But this is not a passive discussion, as Noam Chomsky;…
Language Healers - Native Americans Revitalizing Native Languages
Heenetiineyoo3eihiiho' (Language Healers) is a documentary that tells the story of Native Americans who are striving to revitalize their languages. From Alaska to Oklahoma and Wisconsin to Montana, we witness stories about the importance of saving Native American languages and…
Civilization to Colonization - Written Language
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
Writing is a relative latecomer to the history of language. This program tracks its emergence in Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica and its down through the millennia via conquest--usually violent, sometimes benign--and colonization. The creation of creoles and pidgins resulting from…
Yeah You Rite! - Language in New Orleans
The culture of New Orleans represents the mixing of many rich traditions: French, Spanish, African, Irish, Italian. At the heart of this unique culture lie its speechways, the subject of Yeah You Rite!, a close-up video profile of a single…
Yucatec Maya Deaf Sign
In 1976, Hubert Smith set out with a group of researchers to visually document Yucatec Maya society within the village of Chican. This project resulted in the 4-part series, The Living Maya. During filming, however, it was impossible to ignore…
Mother Tongues - Global Languages
Part of the Series: Speaking In Tongues
This program travels the globe as it surveys a large portion of the worlds languages--25 percent of which are spoken by a mere 0.1 percent of the Earths population. Moving from Africa to Oceania and up to Asia and then…
Introduction to the Spanish Language
Episode 1 of Learning Spanish: How to Understand and Speak a New Language
Begin by looking at both the "whats" of Spanish (elements such as grammar and vocabulary), and the "hows"--how to study, practice, and learn the language most effectively. Start with identifying cognates (Spanish words that are similar to their English equivalents),…
A Life without Words
What would life be like without language? For too many deaf people raised in rural outposts, access to a sign-language community is denied and they are condemned to a life without words. Such injustice deserves our attention and is explored…
Poto and Cabengo
Grace and Virginia are young San Diego twins who speak unlike anyone else. With little exposure to the outside world, the two girls have created a private form of communication that's an amalgam of the distinctive English dialects they hear…
Tongues of Heaven - Saving Native Languages
This film explores the challenges facing young indigenous people as they struggle to learn the languages of their forebears before they go extinct. Set in Taiwan and Hawai'i, territories where languages of the Austronesian family are spoken, this experimental documentary…
Definite Articles and Nouns
Episode 2 of Learning Spanish: How to Understand and Speak a New Language
Learn the gender of Spanish nouns by practicing each new noun with its masculine or feminine definite article. Grasp how the suffixes of nouns can help identify their gender. Study how to make nouns plural, practice pronouncing Spanish consonants, and…
What Is Writing?
Episode 1 of Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity Course
It has been said that writing exists only in a civilization and a civilization cannot exist without writing, but is that accurate? Consider the validity of this statement and examine several of the critical functions that writing has served during…
Basic English Series 1
This ground-breaking Cutting Edge Basic English Series designed by psychologist Eve Ash and ESL expert Dr Fran Byrnes, can be used in a wide range of language learning situations, in classrooms and for self-study. The series can be used for…
4 videos
Where Did Our Alphabet Come From?
Episode 3 of Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity Course
Most alphabets in use today are derived from one script developed over 4,000 years ago. What accounts for the vast popularity of the Roman or Latin alphabet? This episode takes you back to ancient Egypt as you investigate the origin…