Learning Flemish Dutch in 100 Days

Trisha founder of
Language Learners Journal

Hallo there, starting in September my next language project will be learning Flemish-Dutch in 100 days!

Dutch is spoken by around 23 million people. It is a Germanic language at the heart of Europe. Spoken in the Netherlands (Holland) and Belgium. Flemish is the Belgian variant of Dutch and is spoken by over 5 million people in Belguim and parts of France!

Over the last few years, I’ve undertaken a number of language projects including…

  • Icelandic Basics in 28 Days – (Success).
  • Exploring Scots in 28 Days – (Failed).
  • Spanish in 90 days – with the goal of having a 15-minute conversation with a native speaker. I managed 20 minutes PLUS a Facebook LIVE! (Success – goal smashed).
  • A Year of Mandarin 2019 – I’ve had a 15-minute conversation, but the ultimate goal is for 30 minutes of conversation time!

During each challenge, I’ve documented my personal language learning journey on social media to inspire and (hopefully) help motivate other language learners. Plus to share the resources I have used.

For this challenge I want to demonstrate…

  • What you can achieve in just a minimum of 15-30 minutes consistent study a day over 100 day period.
  • Prove that you don’t need to move to a country to learn the language!
  • Demonstrate that you can learn a language independently and without breaking the piggy bank.

Why Learn Dutch?

Bruges, Belgium. Photography by Simon Dunbar.

More often then not English is spoken better in Europe than by UK natives! So if that is the case why bother!?

During my last trip to Belgium just saying things like please and thank you seemed to earn me the respect of the locals and they appreciated me trying.

As Holland and Belgium are my favourite places to visit I’ve been feeling for some time now that learning Dutch would be of great benefit to me – even if it’s just to read the menu without a double take.

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The Goal: To learn to speak and read in Dutch to A2/B1 cusp level within 100 days, so I can have conversations with the people I meet – in Dutch – and make sense of the menus!

The Starting Line…

Currently, I am an absolute beginner in Dutch, but I’ll aspire to a B1 ‘cusp’ level within 100 days. Given my native language and knowledge of other Germanic languages, I feel this is challenging, but not unrealistic.

Goal setting is really important in language learning and I will have a plan in place because ‘you will never reach you destination if you don’t know where you are going‘!

The Plan?

Bruges, Belgium. Photography by Simon Dunbar.

To set aside a minimum of 15-30 minutes of consistent study time per week for the next 100 days. I’ll spend the first 10 days listening to materials and building vocabulary. Then I will move on to reading and writing before speaking.

I’ll be documenting the whole thing via my blog and on social media and post updates every 25 days. I’ll be working in blocks of 25 days.

Prep Week

To take a placement test to determine my current level of Dutch (done). To learn 1000 most common words in Dutch and complete the mini-review tests and exams. Then retake the placement test to see what progress I have made.

Block 1 : Greetings and Survival Phrases

  • The input method through audiobooks, podcasts, and vocabulary builders.
  • Work through the ‘Learn Dutch’ modules.
  • 15-30 minutes study per day.

Block 2: Dutch Grammar and Reading

  • Start to speak and read in Dutch.
  • Continue to work through the ‘Learn Dutch’ modules.
  • Increase study time to 30-45 minutes per day.

Block 3 : Getting Conversational

  • Book some lessons with professional tutors.
  • Find a Dutch-speaking study buddy to speak with!
  • Continue with the input method.

Block 4: Wild Card and Final Review

  • At the end of my ‘Dutch in 100 Days Project’, I’ll be doing a Facebook LIVE in Dutch!

Resources For This Project

Bruges, Belgium. Photography by Simon Dunbar.

I’ll be using all of the resources on Parleremo. This free language learning platform is packed with useful tools and materials. This will mean that I do not need to waste time searching the web.

I’ll also be taking part in the Parleremo Language Marathon to help keep me motivated whilst learning Dutch. Many challenges tend to use Facebook Groups, but what I like about this challenge is that it is hosted on the Parleremo platform. It has a wide range of tools and resources in 35+ different languages to help build a consistent study routine within a very supportive language learning community!

I have invested in the Dutch in Three Months Course from DK and the Lonely Plant Dutch Phrasebook, which is available on Amazon.

UTalk is one of another one of my favorite resources for learning languages. It uses verbal, visual and fun exercises to teach languages. A fabulous free alternative to this is LingoHut.

Not to forget that I’ll be using Duolingo and Memrise to build my vocabulary.

Finally I’ll be checking out the Learn Dutch course and Dutch Pod 101

If you want to follow my progress…

Like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter / Instagram

Please leave me your comments below, as I’m very keen to hear from you about this project and any resource recommendations!

Introducing the Language Marathon from Parleremo…

Do you ‘hop’ between languages without building any real consistency to your study routines?

Are you juggling many languages all at once?

Would you like to learn a language, but feel you are just too busy?

Language Learners Journal is excited to announce that we have teamed up with the Parleremo Language Community to create a brand new and exciting language learning challenge!

Parleremo, meaning ‘we’ll talk‘ in Italian is a FREE language learning platform with over 1200+ members. It has resources for 35+ languages (and growing). Originally created in 2008 it reopened in August 2019. With some BIG changes, including the brand new (paid) challenge to help ‘level up‘ language learning!

Online language challenges are becoming very popular for independent language learners as they encourage motivation and community support.

These challenges do have excellent methods to combine accountability and motivation to greatly improve language skills using social media.

Recently prices have soared for online challenges with the average cost now reaching triple numbers for a 30-90 day challenge!

However, Parleremo Language Marathon is slightly different as it is hosted on our very own secure platform with access to many resources, tools and a supportive community to help keep you on track of your language learning.

Learn to build a consistent study routine to lay a strong foundation towards fluency all at an affordable price.

Motivation is important, but discipline is required in language learning to make real progress. It’s the discipline that drives you forward even through those difficult moments, inturn this fuels motivation and the reward pathways in the brain.

Trisha Dunbar,
Founder of Language Learners Journal.
Co-Creator of the Parleremo Language Marathon.

The Way it Works…

Choose between two options:

  • The Mega Marathon: Want to make real progress and level up your language learning? Discover what routine works best for you and commit to a minimum of 15 minutes per day language study for the next 100 days within a supportive online community.
  • The Mini-Marathon: Perfect if you want a ‘taster‘ of a new language, revive the love for a language you may have studied years ago OR to check out the Parleremo Randomiser, where a language is generated for you! Commit to a minimum of 15 minutes per day language study for 26 consecutive days within a supportive online community. (Recommended if you new to language challenges).

“The Parleremo Language Marathon is based on the successful Parleremo language platform. We have all the resources you need to kick start language learning with the aim to ‘level’ up your target language!”

Erik Zidowecki Director of Scrivermo Publishing, Founder of Parleremo and Co-Creator of The Parleremo Language Marathon.

Benefits of the Parleremo Language Marathon


✅ Choose a language OR have one randomly generated for you when you create a profile for the Language Learning Marathon!

✅ Keep track of your language learning progress over 26 days (mini-marathon) or 100 days (mega marathon) with the Language Logs feature.

✅ Take part in mini-challenges and earn virtual badges and points to keep you motivated.

✅ Go head-to-head with other participants.

✅ Visit the video vault of languages.

✅ Check out our library of resources.

Record yourself speaking or write a journal entry in your target language using the tools on our platform and receive feedback from other participants.

✅ Chat with other language learners via the forum, messenger or video chat systems avaliable on the platform.

Certificate from the creators upon successful completion of the Parleremo Language Marathon.

✅ PLUS lots, lots more…

Interested? Register here for more information on how to join the Parlermo Language Marathon or share this article with your language learning friends.

Parrot Time Magazine: Indigenous Languages Special

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A very special edition of Parrot Time Magazine to mark the year of #Indigenouslanguages 2019 ❤️

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You can read the PDF copy online here:
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The 28-Day Gratitude Challenge

From the 1st – 28th May Language Learners Journal will be running a 28-Day Gratitude Challenge in our online community The Self-Development Hub.

All you have to do is post one thing a day that you are grateful for.

Better still post it in the language you are currently learning (optional, but highly recommended)!

By committing to this challenge for 28 days you will be establishing a regular practice of wellbeing and self-kindness.

All posts from group members are required to start with…

I am grateful for...”

The 31 Benefits of Gratitude

#IamGrateful ❤️

10 Ways to build better habits that will improve your life.

Register

There is a misconception that it takes 21 days to form a habit. In reality forming a habit depends on the individual and the changes that one wishes to make. The misconception stems from a plastic surgeon called Dr. Maxwell Maltz.

Back in the 1950s Dr Maltz observed a  pattern emerging from his patients. It seemed on average it took a minimum of 21 days for a patient to readjust and accept the life changing surgery that had altered their appearance. This observation left Dr. Maltz to question his own experiences.

“These, and many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.” – Dr. Maxwell Maltz (1960), Psycho-Cybernetics.

However, here is how the misconception started as over the years self-help gurus have misquoted and shortened the minimum of 21 days to the belief that it takes ‘only‘ 21 days to form a habit! This is simply not true and habit formation depends on may different factors.

The author of The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg wrote that habits are not born, but created. Every bad, good or insignificant habit starts with a psychological pattern that he referred to as a “habit loop.”

This “habit loop” is a three-fold process.

  1. The first step is the trigger that tells your brain to acceptance certain behavior.
  2. The second step is the behavior itself, or the routine it creates and finally the
  3. The final step is the reward, or “something that your brain likes that helps it remember the ‘habit loop’ in the future.”

ACCEPTANCE + ROUTINE + REWARD = HABIT 

 Recommended Reading:

Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Mindset: changing the way you think to fulfill your potential. 

65 Inspiring challenge ideas to improve your life…

Bookclub 1

How long does it really take to build a new habit?

A Research study conducted by Dr. Phillipa Lally (2009) concluded that on average it took 2 months (66 days) for a new behavior pattern to become automatic and the participants to start seeing noticeable results.

“To change a habit, make a conscious decision, then act out the new behavior.”  – Dr. Maxwell Maltz

20 odd days to accept the new behavior pattern as observed by Dr. Maltz, a further 20 days to build a routine and finally 20 days to ensure you are rewarding the brain for the new routine it is establishing.

Get the ball rolling for forming a new habit with community support from the #15x100Challenge.  The 100 day challenge focuses on one goal for a minimum of 15 minutes per day for 100 days. This walks you through the ‘habit loop‘ to ensure you are not just setting better habits to achieve your goals, but you are starting to see noticeable changes in your life.

Are you up for the challenge?

10 ways to build a new habit…

silhouette photography of people near body of water
Photo by Bithin Raj on Pexels.com

1. Stop with the Self-judging

Research shows it can take months to build a new habit NOT weeks. So don’t be hard on yourself if you are not seeing the desired benefits straight away. 21 days is merely the point of acceptance and recognition. Push past this phrase to see success.

2.  Let go of perfectionism

It is worth noting that making a mistake once or twice has no measurable impact on your long-term habits. This is why you should treat failure like a scientist, give yourself permission to make mistakes, and develop strategies for getting back on track quickly!

3. Get into a daily routine

Your brain loves routine and habits are more likely to take effect if you work on a good daily routine. You will need to stick at this routine for a minimum of 66 days before it starts to become automatic.  So choose a time that you can stick to on a daily basis.

4. Discipline over motivation

There are a lot of articles on improving motivation, but this can be another misconception. The most successful of people will tell you that it is discipline rather than motivation that initially drives them. They continue even when motivation is low. Discipline drives motivation so by pushing through the difficult patches it will help motivate you in the future.

5. Learn to love the process

Remember habits are a process rather than a goal with a deadline. You need to embrace and enjoy the process.

6. Breaking goals into Small chunks

New habit formation will work best when you set small manageable daily or weekly goals  rather than focusing on everything all at once! Focusing on the bigger picture can sometimes feel overwhelming especially in the beginning.

7. Stop paying attention to negativity

Don’t pay attention to the negativity of others when forming a new goal. What they are really revealing is how they feel about themselves. Equally it’s your own choice if you listen to your own negativity or choose to push pass this. The most successful of people accept this is a stage that we all go through when building new habits and have learnt through experience that it will pass.

8. Don’t focus on the number

21/66/ 100 they are all but numbers, love the process and reflect upon your progress at regular intervals. Not making the progress you want? Reflect on goals and pivot if you have to just don’t give up!

9. “If we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always got“. – Henry Ford

If we keep doing the same things we will always get the same results. If you want to form a new habit then you must embrace change.

10. Get Accountable for your actions

I read a blog post once that said keep goals to yourself, actually the opposite is true hold yourself publicly accountable for your goals. You never know who might be able to help you or inspire you to continue when you feel like giving up.

15x100Join the #15×100 Challenge, where you choose to focus one thing, i.e. learning a new language, mindfulness practice, exercise for a minimum of 15 minutes per day for 100 days with full support from an awesome community of goal-getters.

 

What new habit would you like to form? Let me know in the comments section below or on social media using the hashtag x15x100Challenge.

Connect with me Facebook or Twitter.


The 15x100 Challenge

 

65 Inspiring challenge ideas to improve your life…

You can make a massive difference to your life without having to spend lots of money in only 15 minutes per day for 100 days. This post presents you with 65 challenge ideas to inspire your life.

65 15 minutes x 100 day inspiring challenge ideas…

1. Learn a foreign language by practicing for as little as 15 minutes per day for the next 100 days.

2. Give a compliment everyday for the next 100 days.

3. Draw or paint a picture everyday for the next 100 days and build a portfolio.

4. Write in a journal for the next 100 days.

5. Exercise daily – doesn’t mean joining a gym!

6. *Give up alcohol for 100 days and research ways to detox.

7. Give up watching TV for 100 days and use the extra time to find a new hobby.

8. Listen to a different song everyday for 100 days.

9. Spend 3 – 15 minutes just focusing on your breath every day!

10. Take time out each day to observe your thoughts without judgement and note your mood.

11. Take a photograph & add some effects to it… every day for the next 100 days.

12. Work on writing a story or song 15 minutes per day for 100 days.

13. Grow your vocab – learn a new word a day!

14. Teach others something new every day.

15. Think of your worst habit that you’ve been meaning to ditch and work on giving it up over the next 100 days.

16. Do some gentle stretching exercises for 15 minutes everyday for the next 100 days.

17. Do some yoga everyday for the next 100 days.

18. Read an inspirational and motivational blog a day…extra kudos if it is in a language you are learning!

19. Write a blog post everyday for the next 100 days!

20. Spend 15 minutes a day repeating positive affirmations and practicing positive thinking.

21. Keep a laughter journal. Write down one thing a day that really made you laugh.

22. Work on those abs – Do 50 sit-ups a day.

23. Scribble or write some quotes on the back of a postcard everyday for the next 100 days.

24. Prepare or cook something healthy everyday for the next 100 days.

25. Cycle for at least 15 minutes everyday for the next 100 days.

26. Keep a worry journal, rate worries from 1 – 10 and write a solution for the main worries. Notice any patterns occurring? Note these down too, along with an action plan.

27. Write and reflect upon a gratitude list for the next 100 days.

28. What have you always wanted to do but never have? Write a bucket list and spend the next 100 days completing as many items from it as possible. #BucketList

29. Take up knitting or crochet. Random I know, but knit or crochet an item a day! Post your creations on Instagram or Pinterest with the hastag #15x100Challenge for extra credit and as a record of progress being made.

30. Don’t bitch OR moan or saying ANYTHING negative about people for the next 100 days!

31. Live on a really strict budget for the next 100 days and save some money!

32. Wake up at 5am to do 15 minutes meditation every morning for the next 100 days.

33. Spend 15 minutes every morning playing devils advocate with yourself to challenge your own beliefs.

34. Face a fear!  Push yourself out of your comfort zone and work on a phobia for the next 100 days.

35. Spend 15 minutes learning to love yourself.

36. Learn a new magic trick everyday for the next 100 days.

37. Plant a flower a day — in your garden or at random places.

38. Write a motivational quote on a sticky note everyday for you guessed it the next 100 days and pop them in random places, such as in library books or on trees!

39. Business owner? Work on your social media marketing for at least 15 minutes per day everyday for the next 100 days.

40. Get you and your friends to write down cool ideas for things to do and put them in a hat and pull out a different thing each day for the next 100 days.

41. Can’t draw? Then practice every day for the next 100 days record your progress in a sketchbook and post on Instagram, prepare to be amazed with the results!

42. Learn to play an instrument in 100 day, i.e. the ukulele, flute, guitar…

43.*Stop smoking over the next 100 days. If you need some support check out this awesome NHS site. #SmokeFree.

44. Learn something new over the next 100 days…

45. Make a patchwork quilt in 100 days.

46. Research a different culture, religion or philosophy every day for the next 100 days.

47. Read about a different period of history every day.

48. Do one thing each day that makes you feel inspired.

49. Revamp your house in 100 days.

50. Deep clean, sort and tidy your home by focusing on one small area everyday for the next 100 days.

51. Spend at least 15 minutes in nature whether it’s your garden, a park, the countryside or the beach.

52. Go caffeine free for 100 days.

53. Ditch social media sites for 100 days, or limit yourself to just 15 minutes per day.

54. Spend 100 days as a vegetarian or vegan

55. Do at least 1 random act of kindness everyday.

56. Visit a new website everyday.

57. Read a chapter of a book. Finished the whole book then start a new chapter of a new book!

58. Ditch your car and walk.

59. Be positive for 100 days straight even if things go wrong, focus only on the positives.

60. Change sleeping patterns i.e. go to bed earlier or wake up earlier and stick to those times EVERYDAY for 100 days (even weekends).

61. Spend 100 days fundraising for a charity or promoting a good cause.

62. Grow those brain cells… Do a brain training puzzle everyday,  like sudoku, crosswords or  Lumosity puzzles for 15 minutes per day, everyday for the next 100 days.

63. Reflect upon and write down something you love about your partner or a close family member every day and give them the list after your 100 day challenge.

64. Read or write a poem a day.

65. Dance or sing everyday — whether you’re good at it or not.

BONUS. DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for 15 minutes, everyday for the next 100 days!

Thank you for reading this post. I wish you all the best with whatever challenge you decide to do over the next 100 days. If you decide to try out any of the challenges mentioned then please keep in touch or share your progress on social media with the hashtag #15x100Challenge.  I’d love to hear how you get on.

On Twitter? Why not hold yourself publicly accountable and Tweet about the challenge you would like to do!

Don’t forget to like our brand new Facebook Page and join our free supportive Self-Development Hub to help keep you motivated and disciplined during the challenge.

If you have any ideas not on the list please let me know in the comments section below.


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Dutch in 100 Days Project: In the Beginning

The goal I have in mind is to go from being a complete beginner in Dutch to reaching A2 Level in 100 days, this is my language journey…

In September I joined the Parleremo Language Marathon. I have been a bit of a language ‘hopper‘ in the past. This means jumping around different languages. It’s time to really knuckle down and focus on just 1 language consistently for a few months rather than juggling multiple.

I decided to go the full hog and take part in the Mega 100-Day Language Learning Marathon to kickstart my Dutch. There is a shorter option available for a Mini-26 Day Marathon if you want a taster of a language OR to check out the Parleremo Randomiser, where a language is generated for you!

Then

Pre-language marathon I decided to do a warm up and worked on the 1000 Most Common Words in Dutch Course over 7 days! Although I wasn’t fast enough to get the certificate (yet) I learnt a lot and feel more confident with the challenge ahead.

Now…

I have just completed my first week in the challenge and decided to retake the placement test I did at the end of August. I was an absolute beginner, but now the placement test has put me at CEFR A1 level!

Further Reading: Learning Flemish Dutch in 100 Days.

So what exactly is CEFR A1 Level?

The CEFR standard is short for the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. There are 6 levels that are widely accepted as the global standard for grading an individual’s language proficiency.

Being at A1 level means that I can now understand and use very basic everyday expressions and phrases. I can introduce myself and to some extent others too. I am still working on asking and answering questions such as where I am from, what I like to do and what food to order.

I look forward to seeing what the next 90 days will bring.

You can follow my progress on Twitter and via IGTV on Instagram.

Parleremo Language Marathon

Emoji aren’t ruining language: they’re a natural substitute for gesture 🔥🔥🔥

Gestures and emoji don’t break down into smaller parts, nor do they easily combine into larger words or sentences. Shutterstock
Lauren Gawne, La Trobe University

We’re much more likely to be hanging out on social media than at the watercooler these days. But just because we’re no longer face-to-face when we chat, doesn’t mean our communication is completely disembodied.

Over the last three decades, psychologists, linguists, and anthropologists, along with researchers from other traditions, have come together to understand how people gesture, and the relationship between gesture and speech.

The field of gesture studies has demonstrated that there are several different categories of gesture, and each of them has a different relationship to the words that we say them with. In a paper I co-authored with my colleague Gretchen McCulloch, we demonstrate that the same is true of emoji. The way we use emoji in our digital messages is similar to the way we use gestures when we talk.


Read more: What your emojis say about you


What gestures and emoji have in common

We can break speech down into its component parts: sentences are made of words, words are made of morphemes, and morphemes are made of sounds.

Signed languages have the same features of grammar as spoken languages, but with hand shapes instead of sounds. They have some advantages in complex expressions that spoken languages don’t have, but there are gestures as well as grammatical features when people sign.

By contrast, gestures and emoji don’t break down into smaller parts. Nor do they easily combine into larger words or sentences (unless we’re using a clunky version of the grammar of our language).

While there are preferences, there is nothing “grammatical” about using 😂 instead of 😹. Rather, what is most important is context. 🐶 could be a reference to your own dog, a good dog you saw while out for a walk, or a sign of your fondness for puppers over kitties.

There are some gestures that can have a full meaning even in the absence of speech, including the thumbs up 👍, the OK sign 👌 and good luck 🤞. Gestures like these are known as emblems, some of which are found in the emoji palette. Some object emoji have also developed emblematic meanings, such as the peach 🍑, which is most typically used non-illustratively to represent a butt.

Many gestures and emoji do not have these specific meanings. So, let’s take a look at different ways emoji are used to communicate with reference to a common framework used to categorise gestures.

Illustrative and metaphoric emoji

Illustrative gestures model an object by indicating a property of its shape, use, or movement, such as the classic “the fish was THIS big” gesture. Similarly, we often use emoji to illustrate the nature of a message. When you wish someone a happy birthday you might use a variety of emoji, such as the cake with candles 🎂, slice of cake 🍰, balloon 🎈, and wrapped gift 🎁.

It’s not grammatically correct to say “birthday happy”, but there’s no “correct” sequence of emoji, just as there is no one correct way to gesture your description of the fish you caught.

We also have metaphoric uses of gesture and emoji. Unlike a “big fish”, a “big idea” doesn’t have a physical size, but we might gesture that it does. Similarly, our analysis showed that people typically use the “top” emoji 🔝 to mean something is good.


Read more: Emoji are becoming more inclusive, but not necessarily more representative


Beat gestures are used for emphasis

Another common type of gesture used to draw attention is a beat gesture, distinguished by a repetitive “beat” pattern. Some uses of emoji have a direct parallel to beat gestures. For example, using the double clap 👏 for emphasis, which has its origins in African American English.

The emphatic nature of beat gestures helps explain something about common strings of emoji. When we looked at sequences of emoji the most common patterns are pure repetition, such as two tears of joy emoji 😂😂, or partial repetition such as two heart eyes and blowing a kiss/heart 😍😍😘. Repetition for emphasis is rare (but possible) with words, but very common for gesture and emoji.

Along with these categories, we also looked at pointing and illocutionary gestures and emoji, which help show your intentions behind what you’re saying – whether that’s amused 😂 or ambivalent 🙃.


Read more: Understanding the emoji of solidarity


Emoji have limitations that gestures don’t

There are obviously some differences between online and physical chat. Gestures and speech are closely synchronised in a way emoji and text can’t be. Also, the scope of possibilities with gesture are limited only to what the hands and body can do, while emoji use is limited to the (currently) 2,823 symbols encoded by Unicode.

Despite these differences, people still use the resources available to them online to do what they’ve been doing in face-to-face conversations for millennia. Bringing together research on gesture and internet linguistics, we argue there are far more similarities between emoji and gesture than there are between emoji and grammar.

Instead of worrying that emoji might be replacing competent language use, we can celebrate the fact that emoji are creating a richer form of online communication that returns the features of gesture to language.The Conversation

Lauren Gawne, David Myers Research Fellow, La Trobe University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.