Five for Friday: Bilingual Education, 1860 Fake News, Unboxing

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CHICAGO, IL (December 2, 2016) — Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

How A Christmas Story Went from Low-Budget Fluke to an American Tradition

It’s only the greatest Christmas movie ever made. And I saw it opening night.

From the article: “So when A Christmas Story premiered, in 1983, we suddenly had a new kind of holiday movie, one that acknowledged—even relished—the ‘unbridled avarice,’ the commercialism, the disappointments, the hurt feelings, and all-around bad luck that, in reality, often define the merry season. In other words, what real Christmas was like in real families.”

Potential Brain Benefits from Bilingual Education

New research on how bilingual learning shapes our brain is reversing cultural attitudes that once supported “English first” education. Now studies indicate that bilingual education helps students develop skills beyond simply learning the second language.

From the article: “Traditional programs for English-language learners, or ELLs, focus on assimilating students into English as quickly as possible. Dual-language classrooms, by contrast, provide instruction across subjects to both English natives and English learners, in both English and in a target language. The goal is functional bilingualism and biliteracy for all students by middle school.”

playstation-4-unboxing

How Watching Other People Unwrap Gadgets Became Big Business

It’s an example of how something that sounds so boring and harmless can have such an impact. What has happened to us that watching someone else open a box is now entertainment?

From the article: “For better or for worse, kids all over the world tend to be compulsive watchers of unboxing videos. Unable to purchase desirable products, they can—in some small way, through the unboxing videos—indulge in the repetitive viewing of someone else in a state of euphoric consumption. This leads to numbers like the 130 million-plus views a video of a 4-year-old unboxing a battery-operated Spiderman car.”

Fake News Isn’t a Recent Problem in the U.S.—It Almost Destroyed Abraham Lincoln

lincolnThe more things change, the more they can stay the same—unless we try to learn from history.

From the article: “Back then, telegraphs and other technological changes let news spread swiftly and gave rise to more starkly partisan newspapers. Public trust in government was in tatters. With little consensus or authority over the truth, the purest gauge of veracity was gut feeling. And in an America so deeply divided—especially over differences about race—what tended to feel real were stories that confirmed fears and biases.”

Italian Prisoners Honor Pope Francis with Flash Mob Dance

Perhaps pastors at the Midwinter Conference next month will be inspired to do something similar when President Gary Walter speaks.

From the article: “Around 70 inmates from diverse faiths and ethnic backgrounds danced a Zumba routine titled ‘Pope Is Pop’ on Thursday (Dec. 1) at the low-security district prison in the northern city of Ferrara. They included Catholics, Muslims and Orthodox prisoners from Italy and other countries. Among the lyrics the inmates sang while they danced were ‘Tonight you are not alone, Francis is there, everywhere. Hallelujah!’ and ‘Pope is pop, our hope is pope.’”

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About the Author

Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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