A Brock Radio-produced series is hitting the airwaves overseas and receiving rave reviews for its efforts to highlight Canada’s rich culture.Catherine Parayre, Associate Professor in Studies in Arts and Culture as well as Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, has partnered with the University of Innsbruck and the Canadian Embassy in Austria to create “Kanada: Nouvelles littéraires and more.”The seven-part radio series is one of a number of initiatives launched in 2017 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Centre of Canadian Studies at Innsbruck.The show began April 4 and will run biweekly until June 20 on Innsbruck radio station Freirad.Each hour-long instalment features interviews in English, French and German, as well as a wealth of Canadian music between segments.“It’s all about Canadian culture, but it’s also about diversity and being able to use resources in different languages,” said Parayre, who is producing the series.Since the initial episode aired, Parayre has received a wealth of positive feedback and has been invited to speak about Canadian culture and about Brock on other international platforms.The project was born through a research agreement between Brock and the University of Innsbruck, which houses the oldest centre of Canadian studies in Europe.The centre promotes research in any discipline that has a connection to Canada.“You don’t have to be focused on literature or culture, you can be focused on biochemistry — as long as there is Canadian content,” Parayre said.That ideal is reflected in the radio show, which covers a broad range of topics in some way related to Canada.Some of the many guests featured throughout the series include Konstanze Zwintz, University of Innsbruck astrophysicist, Mark Bailey, Canadian Ambassador to Vienna, Herménegilde Chiasson, Acadian author and former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, and Phil Cormeau, Acadian filmmaker. The shows also feature a variety of Canadian authors, musicians and artists.Brock English Language and Literature Associate Professor Adam Dickinson and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures Instructor Paul Savoie will also be featured on the show, in addition to Tabitha Lewis from Brock’s MakerSpace.“It’s not just about getting people to know Canada — Canada in Austria is known,” Parayre said. “It’s about bringing together cultures, expressions and languages and sharing knowledge.”The project was made possible with the assistance of Brock Radio, which has provided Parayre use of its professional equipment and the expertise of Brock Radio Director Deborah Cartmer to produce each session.“Preparing this series has been a great experience in solidarity and intercultural and linguistic exchanges,” Parayre said. “Freirad is interested in continuing its co-operation with Brock Radio, which is very interesting for us. Scientists, professors and students at the University of Innsbruck regularly use Freirad as a platform for the dissemination of knowledge and for teaching.”The Canadian Embassy and the University of Innsbruck will archive the radio series and will use segments for promotional purposes. The series will also be archived at Brock Radio with some segments broadcast locally.“Kanada: Nouvelles littéraires and more” can be streamed online and airs live on Freirad from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Standard Time.The first episode is available online.
Dr Shinskey said: “Books with these sort of features are very popular with parents who hope the interactive feature will aid learning and enjoyment of reading.“However, if parents want their children to learn factual information about the world from books, it doesn’t appear to help to make books more toy-like by adding 3D features.“This seems to enhance their tendency to treat books as just another type of physical toy, rather than a tool for learning.“As the findings suggest young children can find these features in a book distracting we would recommend having a range of books available so children learn to love reading as well as learning more about the world around them.”The research was presented at the British Psychological Society’s Developmental Psychology Section annual conference. They are meant to make learning more fun and interactive, but lift-the-flap books could significantly harm a toddler’s chance of learning words, a new study suggests.Picture books for children often include unusual textures or pop-ups, which are thought to encourage engagement and keep youngsters interested.But researchers found that when toddlers have to hunt for a word or object they are less likely to remember it.In tests with 31 toddlers, those who used books with lift-up-flaps were half as likely to remember words compared to those using normal books. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Dr Jeanne Shinskey, a senior lecturer at the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London said: “Many educational picture books for toddlers often feature manipulatives like flaps or texture to encourage interaction, but do these actually help toddlers to learn new words?“We wanted to test how a commercially-available book with or without flaps affected two-year-olds’ learning of a new word for an unfamiliar object.”For the experiment the toddlers were split in to two groups. Each group were asked to look through a book with a researcher that contained nine food objects including a new fruit they had not seen before – a starfruit. We would recommend having a range of books available so children learn to love reading as well as learning more about the worldDr Jeanne Shinskey Children were half as likely to remember the word starfruit when using flap books The books were exactly the same but one had lift-the-flaps and the other had these sealed.Around 68 per cent of the youngsters who looked at the book without flaps correctly remembered the starfruit at the end of the session compared to just 30 per cent of those who were given books with flaps.