What is the difference between "a hearty welcome" and "a cordial reception"? In a brief, action-packed history of the English language
, Kate Gardoqui explains why these semantically equal phrases evoke such different images.In her talk, longtime English teacher Patricia Ryan asks a provocative question: Is the world's focus on English preventing the spread of great ideas in other languages?
(For instance: what if Einstein had to pass the TOEFL?) It's a passionate defense of translating and sharing ideas.Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language
. He suggests that language is a piece of "social technology" that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.All it takes is a simple S to make most English words plural. But it hasn't always worked that way (and there are, of course, exceptions). John McWhorter looks back to the good old days when English was newly split from German
-- and books, names and eggs were beek, namen and eggru!The College English Test
, better known as CET, is a national English as a foreign language test in the People's Republic of China. The purpose of the CET is to examine the English proficiency of undergraduate students and postgraduate students in China and ensure that Chinese undergraduates and postgraduates reach the required English levels specified in the National College English Teaching Syllabuses (NCETS). This test has been existed in China for 26 years and now has a huge test population of 18 million people annually.