Thursday, April 26, 2007

Test dummies help in Intercultural training

Four medical students examine Juan Lopez, a 54-year-old Spanish speaker who was admitted to the emergency room with chest pains. Through an interpreter, the team ascertains that the patient is a pack-a-day smoker whose pain intensified while doing yard work.

But these students are little concerned with saving Lopez's life. "Mr. Lopez" is a high-fidelity human simulator, part of a cultural-competency pilot program that uses mannequins - predominantly used in medical schools for practicing skills like administering intravenous fluids, resuscitation, or code-blue management - to reinforce softer skills, such as ethics and diversity.

Read more: Mr Lopez
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:52 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

HSBC offers 24-hour multilingual advice service

Customers of HSBC's current account designed specifically for new arrivals in the UK, HSBC Passport, will now have access to local knowledge of the UK in their own language, with the introduction of a new 24-hour multilingual advice service.

The relocation advice service is available online or over the phone in six languages - Polish, Spanish, French, Slovak, Czech and English, with plans for more to be added if there is sufficient demand. As part of the service, customers can either speak directly to a representative in their own language or email their enquiries in any language and receive a response in English within 48 hours. However, the multi-language relocation service does not include telephone banking.

Read more: HSBC

Australia: Boost language skills say bosses

With next month's Budget in mind, Australia's business leaders are turning their attention from corporate boardrooms to the nation's classrooms.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has issued a 10 year blueprint for education and training containing 153 ideas for improving primary, high school, university, TAFE and even early childhood learning. The Chamber wants the Education Budget to grow annually by 3 per cent over 10 years to almost $8 billion dollars.

Read more: Australia
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:47 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Word of the Day: argot

argot \AHR-go; -gut\, noun:
1. A specialized and often secret vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a particular group.
2. A secret language or conventional slang peculiar to thieves, tramps, and vagabonds.

In William Aberg's "Siempre," set in an unusual Arizona jail that housed both men and women, a veteran talks a novice through fear of the penitentiary (the pinta, in Mexican argot) to which she is being sent. -- Bell Gale Chevigny, Doing Time: 25 Years of Prison Writing

Posted by Kwintessential at 4:43 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Psychologist Provides Cross-cultural Perspective of Virginia Tech Killing

Tyndale University College psychology professor Paul T. P. Wong says he has identified several culturally-based risk factors which may have contributed to the Virginia Tech shooting.

Dr. Wong, an internationally recognized expert on cross-cultural psychology, comments, "Cho Seung-Hui had experienced difficulties common to many new immigrants. These included acculturation stresses, language barrier, poverty and discrimination. The cumulative stress of these risk factors coupled with problems of mental illness, autism and personal grievances might have pushed Cho over the edge."

Read more: Wong
Posted by Kwintessential at 5:02 PM
Categories: Cross Cultural News

A revival of Latin?

The children are writing postcards about their favourite things - holidays, sport, food.

But however many times they jot down "wish you were here", their intended recipients never will be. They have been dead for about 2,000 years. It sounds macabre, but a primary school in Hackney, east London, is actually trying to keep something alive. Latin, the ancient language which has long been in decline in state schools, is being taught in the area for the first time that anyone can remember.

Read more: BBC
Posted by Kwintessential at 4:59 PM
Categories: Language Learning News

Word of the Day: prepotency

prepotency \pree-POTE-n-see\, noun:
1. The quality or condition of having superior power, influence, or force; predominance.
2. (Biology) The capacity, on the part of one of the parents, as compared with the other, to transmit more than his or her own share of characteristics to their offspring.

The awesome prepotency of this smokescape is no illusion, for this is an epicentre of power, oil capital of the Western world and the most industrialised corner of the United States. -- "Dark heart of the American dream", The Observer, June 16, 2002

Posted by Kwintessential at 4:35 PM
Categories: Expand Your Vocabulary

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