NPR: National Public Radio

New English word? Translate any word using double click.

A great new website I have found.

I was actually googling ‘gap between rich and poor’, looking for an article I had recently read about how the growing income gap, especially the growing income loss, is one of the most volatile issues for the future of societies, and the biggest threat to peaceful co-existence. I actually believe this fact to be a no-brainer, and at the core of most violent conflicts in the world – poverty bears violence -, but it seems more and more people (some of whom in the past couldn’t have cared less) are beginning to see a growing threat in and to hitherto basically democratic societies.

Income inequality: Does wider gap between rich and poor threaten capitalism?

Since mid-2009, some 95 percent of all US income gains have gone to the top 1 percent. Now, even powerful financiers are alarmed by the increased income inequality between rich and poor.  *

There is loads that shows up when you google those keywords, but one article caught my attention as a linguist and language teacher:

Closing the ‘Word Gap’ between Rich and Poor

I found this article on the webpage of NPR or National Public Radio. It describes the relation between a child’s linguistic environment and its language development, and the consequences of rich versus impoverished language surroundings children grow up in. Similar studies in the past had already shown the same results, but it seems not much has changed since then: a tendency or correlation between income levels (which often correlate with educational interests, pursuits and background of the parents or wider family) and language proficiency.

As the child coming from an impoverished language environment grows older, the gap widens and the disadvantages accumulate exponentially (see Matthew Effect).

Besides being an interesting topic in itself, the web site NPR – as it is a radio program – offers an audio version, and thus great additional listening comprehension practice. If you have access to the internet in your class, this is a great place to go.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPR

* For more information on this see

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks
2013 report

Every year 1 000 experts from industry, government, academia and civil society are asked to give their assessment of 50 global risks. The result is reported on the WEF webpage, where you can also find the survey itself and graphic analyses of the results.

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