NPR: How language shapes our view of the world

Media Outlet: 

National Public Radio

People who speak different languages tend to group or observe things differently. For example, Temple's Aneta Pavlenko says English distinguishes between cups and glasses, but in Russian, the difference between chashka (cup) and stakan (glass) is based on shape, not material. Based on her research, she started teaching future language teachers how to help their English-speaking students group things in Russian. "They feel that this acknowledges something that they've long expected, long wanted to do but didn't know how," she said. "They felt that it moved them forward, away from teaching pronunciation and doing the 'repeat after me' activities."