Tag: languagepolicy

Louisiana Joins La Francophonie

The state of Louisiana is now a member of the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF). Its application as an observer member was accepted on October 11 by the organization’s member states at their biannual summit in Armenia, along with Ireland, Gambia, and Malta.The 54 full members of the OIF unanimously approved Louisiana’s application at the 17th summit of La...

Lawsuit Demands Bilingual Elections in Florida

As the midterm elections approach, civic engagement groups Faith in Florida, Hispanic Federation, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, UnidosUS, and Vamos4PR, and individual voter Marta Rivera have filed suit against Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner and the Supervisors of Elections of 32 Florida counties who, they claim, are in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965’s requirement...

Arabic Downgraded in Israel

Israel has passed a “nation-state” law that gives exclusive rights to Jewish people and removes Arabic as an official language. The law states that Arabic will no longer be an official language but says that it will retain “special status” and “will not be harmed.”Israeli Arabs, Jews, and Christians have voiced opposition to the move. Haaretz, the country’s oldest...

Report Challenges California’s System to Identify English Learner Needs

Study of local plans identifies key improvements to fix the system Californians Together is releasing a new report today entitled Masking the Focus on English Learners which questions the efficacy of California’s accountability system in identifying the needs of English Learners accurately. The report claims that by combining data from two English Learner subgroups (current and reclassified), the system fails...

‘They’ Create Controversy in Australia

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An initiative to encourage the use of non-gender-specific language by the government of Victoria, Australia’s second most-populous state, has caused public outcry and been labeled as “ugly, authoritarian language control,” according to The Australian.As part of the promotion of “They Day,” by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services on the first Wednesday of every month, government employees are...

U.S. Judge Denies Right to Literacy

In Detroit last month, U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III asserted that, despite its importance, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a fundamental right to literacy.The plaintiffs (students and families), who accuse Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and other state officials of depriving Detroit children of their right to literacy said they would appeal the ruling to the U.S. 6th Circuit...

Should Spain’s Constitution be Gender Neutral?

Spain’s new socialist government has upset the Real Academia Española (RAE), the Spanish language’s official guardian, by asking it to see if Spain’s Constitution could become more gender neutral.Specifically, the government is seeking to replace the prevalent masculine plural (eg. señores) with both the masculine and feminine versions (señores y señoras). The row erupted after Spain’s deputy prime minister...

Senate Bill Counts Coding for Language Requirement

At the end of last month, U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Coding Opportunities and Development for Equitable Students (CODES) Act, a new competitive grant program for local education agencies (LEAs) that would be housed within the National Activities Fund (NAF) at the U.S. Department of Education. The proposal has the stated goal of "boosting...

Brexit Blamed for England’s Drop in Language Learning

According to the British Council's 2018 Language Trends survey of schools in England, less than half of 16-year-olds study a language other than English, down from three fourths in 2002, and Britain’s exit from the European Union was cited in the report as having a “negative impact on student motivation and/or parental attitudes towards language learning.”Figures for GCSEs –...

Bahasa Lessons Required for Immigrants to Indonesia

Indonesia’s government is introducing a regulation that requires companies to offer training in Bahasa Indonesia, the country’s official language, to foreign employees. The requirement comes after considerable media coverage portraying an influx of Chinese workers moving into Indonesia’s like mining, smelting and power industries. In March, Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed a decree, which was ostensibly aimed at simplifying procedures...