I am a graduate student specializing in gifted education at the University of Missouri. As part of my practicum this semester, I'm soliciting feedback to the questions below from educators on the subjects of gifted students and language learning. Even if your educational role isn't in those areas, if you have an opinion to share, please do. Many thanks for your participation.
Jason Clark (Email Removed)
How does your school identify gifted students?
How does your school handle gifted students (pull out classes, differentiated instruction, etc.)?
What challenges do you feel exist in teaching gifted students?

What challenges do you feel exist in teaching languages in comparison to other fields?
What are your views on how to best instruct students gifted in learning languages?
How do you handle students who are 'bored?'
1 2 3
How do you handle (language) students who are 'bored?'

You may try assigning special projects that are not mission-impossible but can be intellectually stimulating.
1 - There is a pervasive tendency for the same semantically unrelatedconcepts to be collected into homonyms across languages. For example, Hebrew tsadi-lamed-lamed TZ'LiL means both a tone you can hear and (to dive) deep. In English, the word "sound" has the same meanings. Hebrew MiSHPaT means a grammatical sentence and the verdict of a court. The English word "sentence" has the same meanings. Have the student find similar examples that occur in his native language and the language(s) he is studying.
2 - Have the student find foreign phrases that became idioms in Englishor in his native language. In English, there are two major classes of idioms:
Type 1 - the transliteration of a foreign word/phrase into common words like cats, dogs, sacks, bags.
Type 1a - the source phrase is "plain text", not figurative. Example: German Acht(ung) Grund => an axe to grind. Pay attention/beware + basis/reason/grounds. Beweggrund means motive. Said if someone has an ulterior motive.
Type 1b - the source phrase is a metaphor. I think "kick the bucket" is the transliteration of Semitic 3aGaV B'3a:DeN (make love in Paradise), where 3 represents the letter aiyin with its ancient G/K-sound, as in 3aZa = Gaza.
Type 2 - the translation of a foreign idiom where transliteration occurred into that foreign language.
Type 2a - the foreign idiom is a transliteration of (pun on) a phrase in the same foreign language. Example: In biblical Job 19:20, B'3oR SHiNai (by the skin of my teeth) is a pun on the Hebrew B'QoSHi (barely, hardly, with difficulty).
Type 2b - the foreign idiom is the transliteration of a phrase from another foreign language. Example: Count sheep (to go to sleep). Using @ for aleph, Hebrew S'PoR [email protected] (count sheep) is a pun on the Latin phrase sopor sond (sleep soundly / deeply). Note English soporific.
3 - If the student is interested in ancient languages, have the studentlook for body part maps. Swadesh lists can help one do this. To see examples of these maps, join the BPMaps discussion group and examine the databases at:
/
Now, some nostalgia:
My Algebra teacher noticed that I was doing my homework instead of paying attention to her explanations to the class. She solved this problem by moving my desk to a corner of the room, placing an empty desk next to it, and telling the class that any student who wanted individual help could go sit next to me and get it.

My Geometry teacher lost her teenage son in a tragic boating accident during the summer before I became her student. She emotionally adopted me. While other students were working on a class assignment, she would call me to her desk and talk about her son. Sometimes she would describe elegant geometric proofs that were not being taught to the class.
My 11th grade English teacher gave me the task of grading English vocabulary tests and other tests that could be easily graded. I was allowed to "take" the same tests after grading those taken by the class. We both quickly realized that my taking the tests was just a waste of time, so I was given a virtual A on all of the tests that I graded.
My Chemistry teacher was a very large woman named Dorothy T. We called her "Big Dot". For lunch, she would sometimes heat up spaghetti and meatballs in a beaker over a Bunsen burner. At the end of each semester, Big Dot would announce each student's grade in class. One semester in the Spring she got to my name and said "Cohen...B". The class went wild, shouting in unison, "Cohen got a B." Big Dot looked up and said "Irving knows as much chemistry as anyone in this room. I'm changing that to an A right now." In the silence that ensued, she began reading out the rest of the grades. It was Dorothy T who sent me to a 2-week Science Camp during the summer before my senior year.

ciao,
Israel "izzy" Cohen
BPMaps moderator
How do you handle (language) students who are 'bored?'

You may try assigning special projects that are not mission-impossible but can be intellectually stimulating. 1 - There is a ... sent me to a 2-week Science Camp during the summer before my senior year. ciao, Israel "izzy" Cohen BPMaps moderator

John Briggs
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
How do you handle (language) students who are 'bored?'

You may try assigning special projects that are not mission-impossible but can be intellectually stimulating. 1 - There is a ... classes of idioms: Type 1 - the transliteration of a foreign word/phrase into common words like cats, dogs, sacks, bags.

I'm not convinced you are employing "transliteration" correctly.
Type 1a - the source phrase is "plain text", not figurative. Example: German Acht(ung) Grund => an axe to grind. Pay attention/beware + basis/reason/grounds. Beweggrund means motive. Said if someone has an ulterior motive.

I don't believe that.
Type 1b - the source phrase is a metaphor. I think "kick the bucket" is the transliteration of Semitic 3aGaV B'3a:DeN (make love in Paradise), where 3 represents the letter aiyin with its ancient G/K-sound, as in 3aZa = Gaza.

That can't possibly be the origin of the expression.
Type 2 - the translation of a foreign idiom where transliteration occurred into that foreign language. Type 2a - the ... 19:20, B'3oR SHiNai (by the skin of my teeth) is a pun on the Hebrew B'QoSHi (barely, hardly, with difficulty).

Maybe, but the original context seems awfully literal - Jerome goes for "et derelicta sunt tantummodo labia circa dentes meos."
Type 2b - the foreign idiom is the transliteration of a phrase from another foreign language. Example: Count sheep (to ... S'PoR [email protected] (count sheep) is a pun on the Latin phrase sopor sond (sleep soundly / deeply). Note English soporific.

If you are saying what I think you are saying, that can't possibly be the origin of the phrase.

John Briggs
I don't believe that. That can't possibly be the origin of the expression. Maybe, but ... ... that can't possibly be the origin of the phrase.

Why? or why not?
Type 1 idioms (as described in my prior email) are simply the (English)-ification of foreign phrases. The phrase retains its original meaning, nearly retains its original sound, but becomes re-cast (and later re-spelled) as common (English) words.
Type 2 idioms are simply the literal translation into (English) of idioms that already exist in another language.
You can probably substitute most other target-languages for (English) in these two statements.
Even the etymology of the word "idiom" supports this mechanism of taking a foreign expression and making it "one's own".

It's "as easy/simply as pie". This phrase is probably a translation of the much more alliterative Aramaic P'SHooT D' PaSHTiDa. P'SHooT = simple. PaSHTiDa = pie.
Dosh kham (Hebrew for "warm regards"),
Israel "izzy" Cohen
I don't believe that. That can't possibly be the origin ... ... that can't possibly be the origin of the phrase.

Why? or why not?

Because they are inherently improbable.
Type 1 idioms (as described in my prior email) are simply the (English)-ification of foreign phrases. The phrase retains its original meaning, nearly retains its original sound, but becomes re-cast (and later re-spelled) as common (English) words.

Yes, yes. But you do have to put forward some evidence that this might have happened. Not to mention 'when' and 'how'.
Type 2 idioms are simply the literal translation into (English) of idioms that already exist in another language.

But you have to provide evidence that that might have happened.
You can probably substitute most other target-languages for (English) in these two statements.

Precisely how many languages were targetted by Hebrew?
Even the etymology of the word "idiom" supports this mechanism of taking a foreign expression and making it "one's own".

And taking words from Late Latin that have Greek roots is a standard mechanism.
It's "as easy/simply as pie". This phrase is probably a translation of the much more alliterative Aramaic P'SHooT D' PaSHTiDa. P'SHooT = simple. PaSHTiDa = pie.

Just out of interest, how many English expressions have come from Aramaic?
John Briggs
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
One should not insist that the etymology of an idiom be proven more precisely or accurately than the etymology of words and phrases that are not idioms.
For most of the lexicon, the when and how cannot be precisely known. Dictionary etymologies, including those in the OED, range from "educated guesses" to near certainty. At the near certainty end of the spectrum I would place the names of recently discovered elements. However, see "getting one's bearings => Gallium
Nonetheless, the phonetic aspect of tracing idioms to their source is sometimes easier than tracing other words to their source because idioms tend to have more syllables.
And taking words from Late Latin that have Greek roots is a standard mechanism.

Yes. I would call that a standard pattern or customary path. This type of pattern also occurs in idioms. The numbers are not as large because the ratio of idioms to regular words is very small. But here are some examples:
The "beans" in "spill the beans" and "(he doesn't know) beans about ..." both seem cognate with Hebrew BiNaH = meaning, understanding, wisdom. To "spill" is to tell, as in Yiddish spiel, from Hebrew samekh-peh-resh SaPeR = to tell.
The "dogs" in "raining cats and dogs" and "(his life) went to the dogs" both seem cognate with Hebrew shin-kuf-aiyin SH'Ki3a = "to descend" at a time when the shin had a dental sound and the 3 = aiyin had a G-sound as in 3aZa = Gaza. Compare OE docga = dog.
The "bag" in "let the cat out of the bag" and "(he was) left holding the bag" both seem cognate with Hebrew bet-gimel-dalet BaGaD = to betray. To let the cat out of the bag is to betray the truth, or betray (someone) by telling the truth. An Aramaic term for truth is KiSHoT. Giving the shin its ancient dental sound produces KiToT or "cat out". The poor soul who was left holding the bag was the only one betrayed. Everyone else got away.
Precisely how many languages were targetted by Hebrew? Just out of interest, how many English expressions have come from Aramaic?

I don't think any language was a "target" of Hebrew, but many languages have been affected by it because the Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew and the bible has been translated into more languages than any other book. Aramaic has had a large influence on other languages because it was a lingua franca for about 600 years. By comparison, English has been a lingua franca for less than 300 years. But, English has already had a tremendous impact on Israeli Hebrew. Russian is now having some impact on Hebrew pronunciation.
To see an overview of when and where other languages have been affected by Semitic, go to:
http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/ABOUT-WORDS/2002-08/1029997811

To see how Western Semitic (Phoenician) affected the names of countries throughout Asia minor and north Africa, go to: http://www.usenet.com/newsgroups/sci.archaeology/msg06557.html

Best regards,
Israel "izzy" Cohen
Yes, yes. But you do have to put forward some ... you have to provide evidence that that might have happened.

One should not insist that the etymology of an idiom be proven more precisely or accurately than the etymology of words and phrases that are not idioms.

I try to be precise or accurate in my use of words: I wrote "might have happened". This is what you have not demonstrated.
For most of the lexicon, the when and how cannot be precisely known. Dictionary etymologies, including those in the OED, ... discovered elements. However, see "getting one's bearings => Gallium I think we can safely say that both meanings were in Lecoq's mind - there is no way of determining which was uppermost. Wasn't the cockerel used as a symbol by the Third Republic? I don't believe your "bearings" story :-)
Nonetheless, the phonetic aspect of tracing idioms to their source is sometimes easier than tracing other words to their source because idioms tend to have more syllables.

I have a feeling that this bizarre statement may come back to haunt you :-)
And taking words from Late Latin that have Greek roots is a standard mechanism.

Yes. I would call that a standard pattern or customary path. This type of pattern also occurs in idioms. The ... = meaning, understanding, wisdom. To "spill" is to tell, as in Yiddish spiel, from Hebrew samekh-peh-resh SaPeR = to tell.

I very much doubt that "spiel" comes from Hebrew. Do remember what Yiddish actually is.
The "dogs" in "raining cats and dogs" and "(his life) went to the dogs" both seem cognate with Hebrew shin-kuf-aiyin ... "cat out". The poor soul who was left holding the bag was the only one betrayed. Everyone else got away.

Again, you have to demonstrate that the expressions actually originated in a culture with a knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic (or even Yiddish).
Precisely how many languages were targetted by Hebrew? Just out of interest, how many English expressions have come from Aramaic?

I don't think any language was a "target" of Hebrew, but many languages have been affected by it because the Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew and the bible has been translated into more languages than any other book.

"Mostly in Hebrew"? You have presumably heard about the book that described George Washington as "one of the first presidents of the United States"?

Biblical translators with a knowledge of Hebrew have always been a small elite. One would have to demonstrate words escaping from them into the English language - presumably in the 17th century or thereabouts. That sort of thing did happen, of course - mostly from Greek. For example, "nous" and "jot" (iota). "Crony" is learned slang from the universities, as is "chum". But give me some actual Hebrew examples.
Aramaic has had a large influence on other languages because it was a lingua franca for about 600 years.

Which 600 years? Which languages?
By comparison, English has been a lingua franca for less than 300 years. But, English has already had a tremendous ... Hebrew pronunciation. To see an overview of when and where other languages have been affected by Semitic, go to: http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/ABOUT-WORDS/2002-08/1029997811

That just demonstrates that other people think you are a crank.
To see how Western Semitic (Phoenician) affected the names of countries throughout Asia minor and north Africa, go to: http://www.usenet.com/newsgroups/sci.archaeology/msg06557.html

I don't think you'll get many takers for your "Body Maps".
John Briggs
One should not insist that the etymology of an idiom ... the etymology of words and phrases that are not idioms.

I try to be precise or accurate in my use of words: I wrote "might have happened". This is what you have not demonstrated.

OK. Let's look at an example of a Latin phrase that might have become an English idiom, but we know that it did not: "e pluribus unum" which means "out of many, one".
If it had become an idiom it might have been spelled "a flower bush you name" but it would have retained its original meaning. It would also have acquired a folk-etymology, perhaps "a flower-bush could have many names, but we typically give it only one."
I think we can safely say that both meanings (the Latin word for rooster and the former name for France) were in Lecoq's mind - there is no way of determining which was uppermost.

The OED finally accepted Lecoq's protestations (after his death) and revised its etymology for the element Gallium.
Wasn't the cockerel used as a symbol by the Third Republic?

I had to Google this one. The answer is "almost". See: http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/article.php3?id article=362 http://www.languedoc-france.info/06141212 cockerel.htm
I don't believe your "bearings" story :-)

I did a Google search for ("getting your bearings" + email) and found this 58-page website:
http://www.sciencenorth.on.ca/schools/teacherresources/edu guides/IMAX/bears.pdf

The Germanic Spiel means "a play", as in a Purim Spiel. This meaning is also found in Yiddish. But the "spiel" in "spill the beans" means to tell/relate/recount as in the long spiel you might get from a used-car salesman. This spiel is semantically related to Hebrew samekh-peh-resh = to tell. Play it again, Sam.
Again, you have to demonstrate that the expressions actually originated in a culture with a knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic (or even Yiddish).

Jews are infamous for Wandering. As for Aramaic, any culture that engaged in world trade from 800 BC to 300 BC had significant contacts with Aramaic
... the Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew ...

"Mostly in Hebrew"? You have presumably heard about the book that described George Washington as "one of the first presidents of the United States"?

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr oldt.htm
Hebrew Scriptures: The text was originally written in Hebrew, except ... have been originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic. ... <<[/nq]
Biblical translators with a knowledge of Hebrew have always been a small elite. One would have to demonstrate words escaping from them into the English language. But give me some actual Hebrew examples.

English expressions derived from Hebrew did not come directly from the very few people engaged in translation. They came mostly from translated Bibles and the many clerics who quoted them. For a long list of English translations of the bible (with dates), see http://www.bible-researcher.com/versions.html
But give me some actual Hebrew examples.

"Count sheep (to go to sleep)" probably originated in a monastery or university "Take hair of the dog that bit you" as a hangover remedy is probably another. Here the Latin phrase is Saccharomyces cervisiae, a yeast that converts sugar to alcohol. The cure is spent Brewer's yeast (Marmite or Vegamite in your supermarket). The Hebrew pun is Sa3aR MiNSHaKH KeLeV = hair bite dog. Compare the Greek 3-headed dog CeRBerus. See:
http://www.musicalenglishlessons.org/contributors/izzycohen.htm
Aramaic has had a large influence on other languages because it was a lingua franca for about 600 years.

Which 600 years? Which languages?

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~ancientpersia/language.html
(Aramaic) became the language of Semitic peoples throughout the ancient ... other languages have been affected by Semitic, go to: http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/ABOUT-WORDS/2002-08/1029997811

That just demonstrates that other people think you are a crank.

Would you include yourself in that group of "other people" :-?
To see how Western Semitic (Phoenician) affected the names of countries throughout Asia minor and north Africa, go to: http://www.usenet.com/newsgroups/sci.archaeology/msg06557.html

I don't think you'll get many takers for your "Body (Part) Maps". John Briggs

The BPMaps discussion group currently has about 140 members. It is a very quiet group that currently averages about 1 message per month. You and all of the readers are cordially invited to join. When you do, be sure to examine the databases.
ciao,
Israel "izzy" Cohen
BPMaps moderator
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