Tag: language

Middlebury’s Language Schools Turn 100

The Middlebury Language Schools celebrate their 100th anniversary this year and will be celebrating with academic and festive events from July 15-19 at both their Vermont and California campuses. The German School was the first of Middlebury's language consortium, and was founded in 1915, followed by the French and Spanish schools in 1916 and 1917, respectively. The program has...

Preserving the Critically Endangered N|uu Language

N|uu is the language of the San people, who were the first hunter-gatherers in southern Africa. The language has 112 distinct sounds including 45 characteristic “clicks” and has been passed down orally for generations. Due to its critically endangered state, linguists are working with the last three living speakers of N|uu to design alphabet charts in an effort to...

The Icelandic Language, Nationalism, and the Internet

In 2013, a paper by András Kornai entitled “Digital Language Death” estimated that only 5% of the world's languages would ascend into the digital realm, and that the rest would die off in a massive language extinction. While this has greatly been true for many indigenous languages, the globalizing effects of the Internet and other English-language technologies have threatened...

Putin’s Language Policy

While France's Minister of Culture decided that fighting the inclusion of foreign words was hurting, rather than preserving, the French language, Russia remains resistant. President Vladimir Putin has launched a number of initiatives to preserve the “purity” of the Russian language, including declaring this year Russia's Year of Literature. Putin told several dozen government officials, writers and education managers,...

The Ableism of Everyday Language

Microaggressions are defined as “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.” This definition comes from psychologist and professor Derald Wing Sue, who re-popularized the 1970s academic phrase in 2007. People perpetuating these microagressions often do so without any intention to offend and are unaware of any harm caused, as the acclimation...

Language Hits the Hill

Today, over 70 delegates from across the U.S. are in Washington to meet with their representatives in Congress to ask for more federal support for language education. With the guidance of the Joint National Committee for Languages/National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS), these education and business leaders are asking members of the House and Senate to support the...

Elfdalian Language Helps Norse Historians

All of the Nordic languages; Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian are descended from Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. These languages have all evolved in different ways over the past 1000 years, so they are very different from each other. Deep in central Sweden, there is another, lesser known Nordic language that is at risk of going...

Social Media Speeds Up Language Evolution

John Sutherland, a professor of English from University College London, led a study that confirmed the English Language is evolving faster than ever due to social media and communication technology. Sutherland's study on common social media and “text speak” terms found that most British parents were baffled by the language used by their children. According to the study, which...

Scottish Businesses Call for Compulsory Foreign Language Education

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) has pinpointed Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Arabic and Russian as “international languages of business” and is calling for compulsory foreign language education during all years of schooling in order to make future Scottish firms more competitive in the international export market. The SCC has called on the Scottish government to implement the measure...

Texas Protects Dual Language Education

Texas has been an advocate for dual language education since 1973 when former Governor Dolph Briscoe signed into law the Bilingual Education and Training Act, which abolished the English-only teaching requirement imposed in 1918. This April, Texas Senator José Rodríguez's Senate Bill 159, which will help maintain and expand cutting-edge dual-language education in schools across the state, including programs in...
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