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Reimaging/Reimagining America’s Oldest Language Association

Last summer’s civil unrest, BLM protests, and the inequities laid bare by the pandemic forced much reevaluation. The teachers of Spanish and Portuguese were no exception. During the quiet periods offered by the pandemic, the 16-member AATSP Board of Directors reflected on the AATSP’s time-honored logo, complete with seal reminiscent of the coat of arms of Castile and León,...

Move to Egalité for French in Canada

Highway shield of the Trans-Canada highway/Transcanadienne in Quebec.
Since its adoption of the Official Languages Act in 1969, Canada has been an officially bilingual country—that is, the nation has recognized both English and French as its official languages on a federal level. But French has been in decline, as its proportion of native speakers within the country shrinks. A series of major reforms to the country’s language...

Fostering Multilingualism for Inclusion

Sunday’s celebration of International Mother Language Day, the UN’s annual commemoration honoring linguistic diversity and multilingualism, focused on inclusion, both in the classroom and in society. “Fostering the use of the mother tongue means, precisely, at the same time fostering access to education for all, as well as the dissemination of cultures in all their diversity. The theme of the...

Canadian Survey Reveals Youth Indigenous Language Loss

Statistics Canada has released the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey this month, and it sheds lights on Aboriginal language and culture across the country. The study revealed that young people were far less likely to understand even a few words, which is less than their parents' generation. The study, which takes places every five years and surveys over 45,000 Indigenous...

Seal of Biliteracy Goes Nationwide

Close up of three college friends standing in the street with arms around each other. Cheerful boys and a girl wearing college bags having fun walking outdoors.
For the first time since its inception, all 50 states and the District of Columbia are or have begun working toward implementing a state Seal of Biliteracy program, according to the recently released 2020 National Seal of Biliteracy Report for the 2018-19 Academic Year. The program, which began in 2008 as a grassroots movement in California aims to recognize...

Canada Launches First Indigenous-Language TV Channel

A new, all-Inuit Inuktut language channel has been launched in Canada, serving as the country’s first channel broadcast entirely in an Indigenous language. Devised by the team at Nunavut Independent Television (NITV), Uvagut TV (Inuktut for “Our TV”) began broadcasting Inuktut language shows, movies and live programming on January 18. “Our ancestors survived by the strength of their wits and...

Begin from Within

Students will gain the benefits of a culturally competent teacher who is racially informed. If teachers recognize how oppression and systemic racism work and if they look through a racial lens in their work, they will understand that systemic racism impacts student lives and will start the lifelong journey to do the human work necessary to avoid perpetuating it...

Canada’s New Indigenous Language Office

The Canadian government has created an Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages and is calling for applicants to fill new positions, including that of commissioner and up to three directors. Qualified candidates must have “the knowledge and understanding of Indigenous communities, cultures, and the languages and dialects associated with them, including an understanding of language vitality and endangerment.”...

Study Sheds Light on Passive Language Acquisition

According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, New Zealanders acquire a sort of passive understanding of Māori phonology and phonotactics, despite actively speaking little to none of the language. “Most New Zealanders do not speak Māori, yet are exposed to it throughout their lifetime,” the paper reads. “This exposure leads to a large proto-lexicon—implicit knowledge of the...

Indonesia to Digitize Indigenous Scripts

UNESCO and the Indonesian Internet Domain Registry (PANDI) have announced plans to work on digitizing the Indigenous scripts of Indonesia through an initiative called “Connecting the Nation through Ancient Character Digitalisation.” Indonesia is home to more than 700 languages, and while the official language is Indonesian, which has nearly 200 million speakers, many speak it as a second language. Indonesian...
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