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7 Lucky Charms from Around The World

St. Paddy’s Day is right around the corner, and you’re probably seeing green decorations, clothing, and food everywhere. The colors of Ireland’s flag are green, white, and orange, but green won out as the color we associate with St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland in general, probably due in part to the significance of the green shamrock, or three-leaf clover. Legend has it that St. Patrick used it to teach converts to Christianity about the Trinity, so it has long been the de facto symbol of all things Irish. It’s important to remember, however, that a shamrock is not the same…

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After the Plan: What Could Derail an Employee Development Plan?

The meeting(s) have all been attended. Drafts were passed back and forth. Finally, pen was set to paper. An employee’s development plan for the upcoming period has been set up. The hard part is over, right? That might be the hard part, but the game isn’t over. Now you and the employee need to make that plan a reality. What could go wrong? Plenty. Lack of follow through This is the most obvious cause of plans going awry. The manager formulated the development plan just because they had to. The employee contributed just because they had to. Neither one has…

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More Insights from the Rosetta Stone “Challenges and Opportunities for English Learners in the Common Core State Standards” Report

We previously discussed “Challenges and Opportunities for English Learners in the Common Core State Standards” and its broader takes on melding the CCSS with English language learner instruction. Let’s dig a little deeper into the actionable steps the report recommends. Teacher preparation Teacher preparation programs in many states already have stringent ELL guidelines. These states tend to be those that already have considerable experience in English language services, like California and Texas. The influx of ELL students that the country is currently seeing is not limited to those states. Teacher preparation programs need to reflect the country’s current and future…

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Celebrating the Irish Limerick

No one really knows exactly where or how limericks got their start, but it’s estimated that this form of poetry has been around since the eleventh century. In the 1800s, an explosion of limerick writing occurred in England and Ireland, in large part thanks to the nonsensical English writer Edward Lear, who published a book of limericks called A Book of Nonsense in 1846. While the most famous writer of limericks was English, we associate limericks with Ireland because the name for these poems came from a word game played in pubs in Limerick, Ireland. The game always included the…

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4 Myths about Learning a Language, Debunked

If you’re hesitant about learning a new language, it might be because you’ve bought into the idea that it’s too hard or simply unnecessary or impractical. Maybe it’s time to take a fresh look, so here are four misconceptions about language study that often hold back would-be language learners. Myth #1: You don’t need to learn a language because everybody already speaks English. It’s really hard to pin down exactly how many people on the planet speak English, but know this: It’s not even close to being the majority of humans, much less everyone. According to the Ethnologue, there are…

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5 Employee Appreciation Ideas That Don’t Break the Budget

Employee Appreciation Day is Friday, March 6. Plenty of workplaces around the world will be ordering catered lunches, instituting casual dress, or organizing happy hours to celebrate their employees. Those are nice ideas and are appreciated by workers, but if you want something outside the box while not being outside the budget, here are some ideas. New employee manual Institute a new task for your team on Appreciation Day: ask them their best advice to give a new hire. It shouldn’t take very long and you can even organize it in a shared document. Then print it out and actually…

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Insights from the Rosetta Stone “Challenges and Opportunities for English Learners in the Common Core State Standards” Report

Although most view the CCSS as a comprehensive set of standards for math and English, those in the English Language Learning community were left wondering how the new standards affect their students. Is the Common Core era a gold mine or a mine field for ELLs? The answer, of course, is neither (or both). Luckily Rosetta Stone has an insightful report available, “Challenges and Opportunities for English Learners in the Common Core State Standards,” to clear up some misconceptions about the CCSS and how your ELL students might benefit. Included is discussion about: What is the Framework for English Language…

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Unintended Benefits of Well-Executed Development Plans

We all know that employee development requires a specific plan that guides the goals of both the employee and the organization over the course of a certain period, often one year. In some organizations, everyone involved from employee to manager rolls their eyes at review time. If only they knew how beneficial well-crafted and executed development plans can be. Aside from, well, developing the skills of the workforce, development plans have some unintended—but very beneficial—side effects. Employees want to be developed Employees might roll their eyes when review time is approaching not because they don’t believe in the development process,…

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10 Funny False Friends from French

As you may already know, cognates are words from different languages that look very similar. Thanks to the Norman conquest of England in the eleventh century, some 10,000 French words entered Middle English vocabulary, and language experts estimate that approximately three-fourths of those words are still in use in Modern English. Because of the heavy French influence on the English language, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of French-English cognates. However, there are also a lot of “false friends” to look out for: words that look alike but have very different meanings. Here’s a list of 10 false friends that…

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How Language Training Drives Employee Performance

When we talk about language learning in the workplace, we tend to think of those employees who might be going on an overseas assignment and will be required to do business in the local language. While that is a key use of language training, there are many more benefits to bringing language learning to your workforce. Those benefits are discussed in our new report, Driving Global Readiness: A Road Map, available now. It describes not only the challenges and opportunities facing businesses in the international economy, but also how language learning can benefit the employee here at home. For instance,…

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