Everyone knows the benefits of reading to babies and toddlers, right? Health visitors hand out Bookstart packs in the UK almost as soon as your child is born, libraries run all-singing, all-dancing, glue & glitter sessions for families; Dolly Parton posts books monthly to children in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. And the results from research is overwhelming: a child is never too young for a book. Continue reading
To learn (verb) from the Old English ‘leornian’ meaning ‘to study, read, think about’.
We tend to see teaching as an active, dynamic activity and learning as a passive one, as if the learner were just an empty vessel waiting to be filled with knowledge. But perhaps, if we look at the etymology of these words, we have not always seen it this way.
Thanks to the Romans, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, the Vikings, and the French, English is an interesting and varied language happy to absorb new words and adapt to new influences. English has embraced words from around the world, and massively simplified the Germanic inflectional system of Anglo-Saxon.
And yet, I feel, there are still basic deficiencies in our language.