Why teachers shouldn’t be afraid of other languages being spoken in the classroom

More than 20% of all primary school and 16% of secondary school children in the UK speak languages other than English. And there are now more than 360 languages spoken in British classrooms. But more often than not, in mainstream schools in the UK, the “home languages” of children can be sidelined at best, and [...]

By |2018-05-23T00:55:42+00:00May 23rd, 2018|Education, Languages|0 Comments

Native Language Schools Are Taking Back Education

For more than 150 years, the Wôpanâak language was silent. With no fluent speakers alive, the language of the Mashpee Wampanoag people existed only in historical documents. It was by all measures extinct. But a recently established language school on the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s reservation in Massachusetts is working to bring back the language. The [...]

Linguists digitise 1970s children’s storybooks to help preserve Indigenous languages

During this time, bilingual education programs were rolled out in remote schools throughout the Northern Territory, allowing schoolchildren to read and write in their native languages before transitioning to reading and writing in English. Thousands of unique, entry-level children's books, often based on local stories and illustrated by local artists, were created in Indigenous languages. [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:27:10+00:00October 30th, 2017|Australia, Education, Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Educators Try New Methods to Save American Indian Languages

The United States is home to 562 federally recognized American Indian Nations, each with its own language. Yet the number of Native Americans with the ability to speak their tribe’s language has decreased over the past century. Now, Indian Nations are trying different ways to expand the number of native speakers, and increase interest in [...]

Carrying On His Great Grandfather’s Work, A Kansas Professor Helps Keep Their Language Alive

As a kid, Andrew McKenzie had an unusual affinity for languages. He took French in high school (because everyone else was taking Spanish). But that wasn't enough. "I started to teach myself different languages, like Latin and Greek and Basque and Turkish," he remembers. "I would drive into the city to a bookstore, and they’d [...]

How This Native Educator Is Keeping A Tribal Language Alive

On the Omaha Native American reservation in northeastern Nebraska, one educator is working hard to keep the tribal language alive by helping kids to learn it in school. Vida Woodhull Stabler is the director of the Omaha (or “Umonhon” in the tribe’s language) culture center at Umonhon Nation Public Schools in Macy, Nebraska. She has [...]

Wisconsin School Works To Keep Native American Languages Alive Around The World

In Hayward, Wisconsin, a program is working to preserve Native American language and culture in the state and across the world. Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Institute is an immersion school where the Ojibwe language isn't only taught, it's the language used to teach all core classes. Waadookodaading means "a place where people help each other," and [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:21:45+00:00October 6th, 2017|Education, Native American languages, Wisconsin|0 Comments

With fewer fluent speakers, demand for teachers of Indigenous languages is on the rise

A trend toward "Indigenizing" programming in schools by bringing Indigenous culture and languages into the classroom has led to a demand for teachers who are fluent in Indigenous languages. But with the number of Indigenous language speakers on the decline, school divisions have had a hard time finding qualified and certified teachers. "We had some [...]

By |2017-09-17T21:52:31+00:00September 18th, 2017|Canada, Education, Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Cantonese, Putonghua or English? The language politics of Hong Kong’s school system

Education issues have rarely been out of the headlines in the 20 years since Hong Kong’s handover. Some of the scenes we have witnessed include primary students tearfully describing the pressure of drills and cramming to the Legislative Council and parents collecting signatures to abolish the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) tests. Add to that the [...]

Mother Tongues matter amid English-language push in Asia

British Council Senior Adviser John Knagg calls it “the global, suicidal run to early English” – the penchant of many education systems to prioritize English at the expense of other non-dominant languages, often children’s mother tongues. It’s an issue that is particularly relevant in Southeast Asia, as countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian [...]