Skip to main content

Summer SAVY 2017, Session 4/Day 4- Looking into Language (Rising 4th/5th)

Posted by on Thursday, July 13, 2017 in SAVY.

What power do words have? What’s in a name? Today our linguists debated the strength of language against physical force. We analyzed the quotes “ticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” and “the pen is mightier than the sword” in order to explore the ways language influences the world we live in. We read Names/Nombres by Julia Alvarez, a personal narrative that explores the author’s childhood experiences with constant mispronunciations and misunderstandings of her name. The text regularly integrates Spanish words, which students were able to understand due to context clues. After reading the story, we discussed which languages are spoken in the United States using a heat map provided by the Modern Language Association ( We talked about why some languages would be spoken in particular regions and noticed that the greater Nashville area is host to a great many speakers of multiple languages!

We continued learning about Navajo and what it means for languages to fade or gain popularity. Did you know that both Star Wars and Finding Nemo have been translated into Navajo? We capped off the afternoon with a field trip to Furman Hall on Vanderbilt’s main campus, where we visited the Center for Second Language Studies. Students were surprised with a lesson in German and had the opportunity to explore language games Vanderbilt undergraduate students play to improve their skills.

I cannot believe how quickly the week has gone by! We look forward to welcoming you to our classroom tomorrow.

Ms. Abby Broughton

Leave a Response