TOK Tuesdays

Knowledge and Language

To what extent is our use of language influenced by the nature of our bodies?

Today’s TOK Tuesdays topic comes from Ideas Roadshow’s new TOK Sampler, Knowledge & Language, to give teachers a tangible sense of how Ideas Roadshow’s TOK resources can directly assist with the new optional themes starting this fall, while providing stimulating classroom material that they can use straight away while transitioning to the new course. 

In the following clip from this Knowledge & Language TOK Sampler, linguist and sign-language expert Carol Padden describes the fascinating notion of “embodiment” – how our language and accompanying notions of meaning are significantly influenced by the physical means by which we interact with the world around us, highlighting sign language as one where possibilities for embodiment are naturally greater than most. 

(Excerpt from TOK Sampler Knowledge & Language)

UPDATE: Ideas Roadshow’s IBDP Portal includes an extensive collection of TOK video and (digital) print resources which have been fully aligned with the new TOK curriculum while offering support for the ‘old’ curriculum. All resources, including the TOK Lesson Planner, highlight connections with the new core theme, the knowledge framework, optional themes, areas of knowledge, IA prompts, sample knowledge questions and citation details.

Did you register yet for a free New TOK Webinar? For further details and to register, click HERE.

Extending Wednesdays

Linguistic Diversity

Today’s Extending Wednesdays topic comes from the Geography section of Ideas Roadshow’s Extended Essay Guide, where UC San Diego linguist Carol Padden reflects on the impact our modern technological era is having on linguistic diversity around the world.

Prof. Padden points out two opposite trends: the difficulty of maintaining linguistic diversity in an increasingly globalized world and connected technology and the opportunities that precisely these technologies give to those who wish to study and learn new languages. 

The case of sign language is even more complex still, as it was only about 50 years ago, thanks largely to the pioneering work of Bill Stokoe, that what he designated as “American Sign Language” was even recognized to be a unique language at all. 

This topic bridges Geography, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Language & Literature and ITGS.  Possible areas of investigation for an extended essay include analytical studies of the rate of change of linguistic diversity, the impact of technology on cultural norms, language learning through technology, and objective measures of evaluating language acquisition.

Related Ideas Roadshow content includes the clips Different Modalities, Humour in Sign Language, Losing the Sharp Edges, Signing As Language, The Roots of Sign Language, the compilation videos Language and Culture, Examining Community and The Science of Language and the two hour-long videos and accompanying enhanced eBook, Sign Language Linguistics.