11 July 2008

Millet: Not Just for the Birds

In the spirit of Missionary adaptability, I've been trying to incorporate millet into my life. Millet is the primary staple of the Nigerien diet, and so I'm learning to "acquire a taste for it." Actually, it's not that bad . . . with enough butter and salt.

I needed to make a dessert from Niger, and found instead, a cookie recipe that uses millet. And since no one present at the gather had ever been to Niger, none was the wiser. The cookies turned out GREAT and tasted a lot like granola (and who doesn't like granola!?!?!). Everyone enjoyed them, even the picky kids, so I thought I would post the recipe for you. I found it a pccuisine.blogspot.com after doing a google search for "baking with millet." They are very easy to make . . . enjoy!!

Toast 12 min. at 350°:
  • 1 ⅔ c. Oatmeal
  • 1 c. Millet
  • ½ c. sunflower seeds
  • 2 c. chopped walnuts

Beat in a mixer until light:

  • 1 ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Add the following dry ingredients to a big bowl and mix:

  • 3 c. oatmeal, ground into flour in food processor or blender
  • ½ c. raisins
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

Add remaining ingredients to the big bowl also, mixing again:

  • Toasted ingredients, cooled off
  • Creamed ingredients
  • Optional: 1 c. chocolate chips in place of raisins

Scoop 1oz.-size scoops onto lightly-oiled cookie sheets, 12 per sheet, flattening before baking at 350° for 12-15 min. Loosen from sheet while still warm, as they tend to stick otherwise.

08 July 2008

Something Went Askew

I posted some videos that were intended to be on the lighter-side of language learning. Apparently uploading directly from YouTube was a bad idea. My apologies. I will do my best to save the videos in a different format and reload them if I can.

I apologize for any distasteful content that may have come up instead. It was greatly unintended!!

02 July 2008

It's Official, I'm a Nerd.


So much more than words put together into sentences, which in turn formulate paragraphs. In my homework on Monday, I read that individuals experience the world through perception. Communities experience through language.

So here I am, in the mountains of NorthCarolina, learning how to learn a second (and third) language. Children are the best language learners in the world. They listen for months before they attempt to mimic our sounds. They understand long before they verbally communicate. Children are playful and uninhibited. They explore and interact with their environment in order to learn. As little people, they are not afraid of making mistakes and are very forgiving.

Adults on the other hand back translate and speak without learning to listen. We have been programed to retain and regurgitate, not absorb and apply. This is what language acquisition training is all about. Unlearning what doesn't work (but comes naturally) and replacing those unprofitable habits with new techniques that really work.

For example:

Aujourd'hui, la femme a monté le bus à l'église (today, the woman rides the bus to church)
Each picture represents a word or concept and together they make a sentence. I'm actually learning all of this in Bulgarian.
Phonetics has been rather fun as well. Did you know that language is broken down into vowels and consonants (I know, that's the easy one), and that consonants are further broken down into nasals and orals, voiced and unvoiced, stops and fricitives? And there are fourteen locations in the mouth where words are formed (ie: bilabial, labiodental, interdental, dental, alveolar, alveolar retroflexed . . . glottal)!!
Did you know that "buh" is a voiced bilabial sound?? Whereas "puh" is an unvoiced bilabial, and "muh" is a voiced bilabial nasal sound. (Well you do now!!) Want to keep going?? Okay: "fuh" is a voiceless labiodental, whereas "vuh" is a voiced labiodental. Then there's the exercises. Nothing like forcing the mouth to make sounds it's never had to make before!
So that's the latest on language acquisition training (dynamic, I know!).