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Welcome to your May language fix!

In this issue we profile two of our exceptional trainers, Hans-Werner Mühle and Shehnaaz Bulbulia and we bring you the latest in teacher training all the way from Mpumalanga. We explore the concept of Critical Thinking and how it can be leveraged in the workplace and in social contexts. You can even put your Critical Thinking skills to the test by taking our pop quiz. We also examine the relationship between language and culture and how this impacts the way we communicate locally and globally.

The Communication for Professional Development Book Club launch took place in April, with special guest, Yvonne Busisiwe Kgame.

Wits Language School Africa Week is taking place from 9 May to 14 May 2016, where we will be showcasing our courses and you can stand a chance to win a course to the value of R5000.

See you at our Africa Week celebrations!

MAY 2016 Edition
Is Culture important in Language Learning?
Teacher Training in Mpumalanga

Translating & Interpreting Facilitator Profiles
- Shehnaaz Bulbulia
- Hans-Werner Mühle

Communication for Professional Development Book Club
English for Critical Thinking
Characteristics of a Critical Thinker
Test your Critical Thinking Skills with our Pop Quiz

Is Culture Important in Language Learning?

The relationship between language and culture is a complex one and it is always quite challenging to fully understand people’s cognitive processes when they communicate. Language competence does not only include the knowledge of grammatical principles and sentence construction, but also knowledge of the norms that link language to social and cognitive contexts. Many teachers and students seem to lose sight of the fact that knowledge of grammatical systems has to be complemented with culture-specific meanings. It is therefore essential for language teachers to approach language learning with this in mind, as the understanding of this relationship is central to the acquisition of linguistic and cultural competency.
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English for Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is an important skill that provides you with the ability to take information, and synthesize it and communicate your ideas succinctly both verbally and written. Although it’s a salient part of business and academic success, it’s rarely taught at school unless it’s part of a math, science, or business curriculum.
Our English for Critical thinking course examines the bases of critical thinking and analysis in business and how it can enhance work processes through acquiring knowledge, improving theories and strengthening arguments. We discuss the role and contribution of critical thinking in a range of social and business contexts and how engaging in reflective and independent thinking enables you to systematically improve your decision-making, problem-solving and taking appropriate action. Further, as part of the process, critical thinkers reflect on the situation, after executing their plan, to determine if it was effective and if it could have been done better.
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1. Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door.
This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator? Wrong answer.
Correct answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.
This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. Correct Answer: The elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory. Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the animal conference. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.