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Portuguese Museum Arises Like a Phoenix

Six years after it went up in flames, Brazil’s Museum of the Portuguese Language has reopened at the Estação da Luz station in the heart of São Paulo. The museum originally opened in 2006 but was destroyed in December 2015, in a fire that claimed the life of a firefighter. It is now opening its doors to the public...

White House Officially Recognizes Indigenous Peoples Day

The Biden administration is the first to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on October 11, 2021. The holiday, which coincides with Columbus Day, is a holiday that celebrates Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. The holiday is also an opportunity to reveal historical truths about colonialism and the genocide and oppression that Native Americans faced. The...

Challenging the Neutrality Myth of EdTech

Media technology has been introduced into classrooms at least since the time of educational filmstrips. Later, private media companies began providing schools with “free” equipment that could broadcast their content, introducing commercials into one of the last advertising-free spaces. Today, students regularly use commercial learning software and learning management systems that generate a huge amount of student data as...

South African and European Universities Form Consortium to Boost Use of Indigenous Languages

South Africa’s university system notoriously lacks instructional programs offered in the nation’s Indigenous languages, like isiXhosa and Sesotho. Currently, English and Afrikaans are the only languages widely used in university-level coursework, however even Afrikaans’ future is not entirely certain (see Language Magazine’s coverage of UNISA’s ban on the language in instruction from earlier this summer). A new, transcontinental initiative at...

A Step to Slow France’s Regional Language Decline

France is notorious for its single-language policy, which ranks French as the only official, national language in the country—despite the country being home to more than 20 different regional languages, like Occitan, Alsatian, and Basque. While these languages have historically been quite robust, France’s policies regarding language use and education have largely ignored— and at times, even banned—their use,...

Mary Simon is Canada’s First Indigenous Governor General

Indigenous leader Mary Simon is the first Indigenous person to serve as Canada’s governor general. The largely ceremonial role acts as the federal Canadian representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Simon, who has been an advocate for Inuit rights, has been appointed following a national scandal over the devastating discovery of mass graves at government-funded boarding schools....

English on the Rise in Singapore

It’s no secret that English is the most widely spoken language on the planet—with a native speaker population of 370 million and a learner population of 1.5 billion worldwide, the language remains on an upward trend, oftentimes at the cost of linguistic diversity in regions that have historically had high levels of multilingualism. For example, in Papua New Guinea,...

Ukraine Limits Russian Use

Ukraine has adopted a new language policy which marks the nation’s continued departure from the protocols outlined in the Minsk Agreements of 2014, indicating that linguistic tension remains a major issue in the country. The policy—which was passed in 2019 and took effect beginning July 16, according to a report from TASS Russian News Agency—requires television channels to broadcast...

Celebrating International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2021

August 9 commemorates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. It is celebrated around the world and marks the date of the inaugural session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations at the United Nations in 1982. The 2021 commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples will focus on the theme “Leaving no one behind:...

Papua New Guinea Sees Decline in Linguistic Diversity

Papua New Guinea—frequently heralded as the most linguistically diverse place in the entire world—is in the middle of a language crisis. According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the youngest generations in the nation are using Indigenous languages far less than ever before, instead opting for...
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