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Archive for November, 2009



TOKTalk Reflections


A cake with whipping cream
Readers of TOKTalk have probably already noticed that I’ve been experimenting around with the layout of the website – and that I’ve still not settled for a final design. The square pictures are now back where they originally were (on the right side) and the advertisements at the top in the individual posts are now also gone. The ads simply didn’t “fit in” aesthetically and, in my view, did not provide sufficient additional value for the readers. Worst of all, these ads nearly generated no revenue for me and sometimes advertised products with which I do not want to be associated. Continue reading »

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Does Language Influence our View of the World?


Dry leaves

We use language to describe our subjective perception of the world. If I say “I feel cold”, then I use language to describe how I feel. This is nothing new. The interesting question now is: does it also work the other way around? Can the language that we use influence the way that we perceive and view things?

The idea that that the language that we use can influence the way that we think is nothing new. According to the Sapir-Whorf-Hypothesis (also known as linguistic relativity) language does not only reflect our way of thinking, but is also able to shape it. This hypothesis became known in the 1950s. People from different cultures and languages view the world differently and organize their reality differently. The way that they think is influenced by the grammar and vocabulary of their language. To bring it directly to the point: there are certain thoughts and ideas that can only be thought in a particular language. These ideas do not exist in other languages. In this episode I’d like to give you several examples that illustrate this point. Continue reading »

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Starting and Planning the TOK Essay


Autumn leaves

Structuring the TOK essay is an essential component for obtaining many points on the essay. This post illustrates the first steps.

More info can be found here: TOK Essay and Presentation Help

You just received the list of the ten prescribed TOK essay titles. What are the next steps?

  • Read all of the prescribed titles: do this several times and take your time. You may not understand every title yet and you may not be certain on what the quesdtion asks you to do. You need to take your time to understand the titles.
  • Choose one prescribed title: Select one title based on your personal interest and previous knowledge on the issue. Be careful – you already may think that you know an answer to the title. Be aware that you have to answer the title question in a balanced way. Do not limit your options by focussing on one answer too early.
  • Highlight the relevant terms in the title: What are the key words of the title? What does the question ask you to do?
  • Continue reading »

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The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.

- Thomas Berger -
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