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Can Putonghua Relieve Poverty?

While Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared war on poverty, and instructed local governments to create a “moderately well-off society” by the beginning of 2021, in time for the centenary of the ruling Communist Party, regional authorities are failing to teach ethnic minority groups enough Putonghua , Zhu Weiqun,...

Hawaiian Language Sets a Good Example

Young girls in bikini have fun - surfers sit on surf boards, wait for big ocean wave. Females feet underwater photo. People in water sport adventure camp, beach extreme swim on summer beach vacation.
Revitalization efforts for the Hawaiian language are now being used as a model for success for other indigenous language programs. Advocates of endangered languages visited the University of Hawaii at Manoa this month for the fifth annual International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. A large portion...

Spain Honors Ladino in Israel

Spain’s Real Academia Española (RAE), the leading authority on the Spanish language, is to establish a special institute in Israel to preserve Ladino—the Judeo-Spanish language of Jewish communities who thrived in Spain before their expulsion in 1492 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabela, in whose name Columbus claimed the...

Bilingual Education on the Brink of Return in Boston

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved the LOOK (Language Opportunity for Our Kids) bill that would allow school systems to bring back bilingual education, potentially ending a 15-year-old ban on schools teaching students academic courses in their native language. The LOOK bill updates MGL Ch 71A English Language...

Belarus Opens First Chinese Department

Belarus flag
Minsk State Linguistic University (MSLU) will open Belarus’ first Chinese language and culture department in the new academic year, according to MSLU Rector Natalya Baranova.The department plans to enroll nearly 300 students. “We have long been preparing for this. We already have the lecturers and teaching staff for...

An Act of Commitment, Generosity, and Mediation

Celebrated author John le Carré believes that anglophones need to learn a second language now more than ever  At the German embassy in London, UK, last month, during an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding teachers of the language, the renowned British author John le Carré, famous for spy novels like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which was made into a Hollywood blockbuster...

BBC launches Pidgin Portal

Afro women using tablet computer in the park
The BBC has launched a new online section that delivers news exclusively in Pidgin for West African audiences. Pidgin is a language spoken by over 75 million Nigerians. While the number of speakers is large, Pidgin offers unique challenges: it is a language without official spelling or grammar that is in constant flux.The portal is a huge step forward...

Taiwan Launches “Mandarin-on-the-Go”

night scene of Taipei Mandarin-on-the-Go
Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has announced Mandarin-on-the-Go, a new language-learning program for those wanting to learn Mandarin. Chinese language centers and universities are working with the Ministry of Education to promote study tours where students going to Taiwan can learn Mandarin through interactive study abroad programs. The language...

STUDY ABROAD: Germany

Historic town of Berchtesgaden with Watzmann mountain, Bavaria, Germany
John le Carré is not the only proponent of learning German. Harald Braun and Kurt Gamerschlag share the benefits of learning the language of Goethe in its homeland.“There are many reasons to learn German in Bonn, or Germany in general. I’ll name three for any prospective student...

Drop in U.S. English Enrollments

Pupils (14-18) in school classroom
IIE announced steep declines in U.S. intensive English enrollments during a presentation at the recent NAFSA conference in Los Angeles. In the 2016 calendar year, 108,433 international students studied in U.S. intensive English programs (IEPs) for a total of 1,530,817 student weeks, data from Open Doors show. The number...