Tag: languagepolicy

Call for Sweden to Recognize Elfdalian

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A Swedish parliamentary representative is calling for action to preserve an extremely vulnerable language spoken in Sweden’s forested countryside: Elfdalian (älvdalska in Swedish and övdalsk in the language itself). Currently, the Swedish government only recognizes Elfdalian as a dialect of Swedish, despite the two languages sharing very little mutual intelligibility. Peter Helander, who hails from the region where Elfdalian...

Help Fund World Language Education

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Funding for the World Language Advancement and Readiness Act (WLARA) Grants Program is critical. Reach out to your Senators and ask them to sign onto the Senate version. This letter is addressed to Senate Appropriators and requests $15 million in FY22 funding for the WLARA through the forthcoming Department of Defense Appropriations bill.  The deadline for final signatures is...

Coronavirus Language Access Act Reintroduced to House

A new version of the Coronavirus Language Access Act has been introduced to the House of Representatives by Grace Meng (D-NY). An earlier version of the act was introduced to the Senate in August 2020, however it did not receive a vote before the previous Congress ended. “COVID-19 continues to ravage our nation, especially communities of color. To help...

Congress Approves Extra $15M for World Languages

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On Monday, December 21, the U.S. Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations package, which provided $15m in new funding for the World Languages Advancement and Readiness Act (WLARA), in the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). This grant program was enacted last year, and with the appropriation, is now funded. The efforts to create and fund WLARA began...

Connecting the Dots

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Whatever the outcome of this month’s U.S. election and however bad the second wave of COVID-19 hits this winter, our world will continue to become more interconnected and more interdependent. Despite the closing of borders and the imposition of travel restrictions, the pandemic has proven how permeable national borders are to not only disease and disinformation but also cures...

Multinational Call to Invest in Language Education

“Clear and precise communication is more crucial than ever before to the health and security of every nation.” For the first time in their histories, five international academies have joined together to ask for increased investment in language education, an unprecedented collaboration at a time of global uncertainty. The Importance of Languages in Global Context: An International Call to Action is...

Challenge to Spanish Causes Outcry

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Last month, Spain’s eighth education law in democratic history was passed by congress while creating a storm of anger and protest. One of the most controversial aspects of the bill is the elimination of a passage stating that Castilian Spanish (Castellano) is the “vehicular language” of Spain. Right wing commentators view this as a concession to Cataluña’s “linguistic immersion”...

New Bipartisan Native American Language Bill

The short documentary "Durbin Feeling: Language Is Everything" honors the Cherokee linguist after whom the legislation is named.
On October 30, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Native American Languages Act (NALA) with the announcement of new bipartisan legislation, the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2020, to ensure the federal government is living up to policies and principles set out in NALA...

Call to Reimagine English Learner Education

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Coalition for English Learner Equity issues a call to help address the education disparities faced by English Learners across the U.S. The Coalition for English Learner Equity (CELE), a group of national education leaders and organizations, working together to improve educational outcomes for linguistically and culturally diverse students, has launched a new national effort to help address the education disparities...

Coronavirus Language Access Act Introduced to Senate

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U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) have introduced the Coronavirus Language Access Act, which expands access to coronavirus-related resources by increasing language access services and supporting culturally appropriate COVID-19 response programs to help those who have limited English proficiency (LEP), older Americans, and people with disabilities. “We’ve seen that...
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