Tag: languagepolicy

The cultural colonization of Anglo-American media has threatened countless languages, including the Gaelic language of Scotland. Not to be confused with the Irish language, which also descended from the Celtic language of the Gaels, Gaelic is slowly on the decline. Historic Scotland set in motion a Gaelic Language Plan to enhance the status of Gaelic, promote the acquisition and learning of Gaelic,...

The Puerto Rican Senate recently approved a bill declaring Spanish as the first official language of the country, moving English to second place. The 1993 law proceeding this new regulation put both English and Spanish on equal footing making both compulsory in executive, legislative and judicial matters. "By establishing Spanish as the first official language, we will strengthen our...

Frederick County has repealed a controversial ordinance making English the county’s official language, which was implemented three years prior. Frederick was Maryland’s first county to issue an English-only ordinance, something that has been proposed multiple times at the national level, but ultimately rejected because many believe that English-only laws violate the U.S. Constitution’s due process and equal protection. “The...

In the wake of university student protests against multilingual instruction in South Africa, the South African education system announced plans to implement optional Chinese language classes in schools. The Chinese language is the latest of about a dozen new languages proposed for South Africa's education system, including German, Serbian, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil, Telegu, and Urdu. China and South...

Schools are struggling to provide quality education to an increasing number of students who don't speak English. In the last 25 years, the amount of English language learners (ELLs) in the U.S. has risen from 5% of all public school K-12 students to more than 10%. The majority of these ELLs speak Spanish, leading to a country-wide increase in...

Recently, the collective voice of the Navajo Nation passed a referendum to change the language requirements for the positions of tribal president and vice president. The referendum eliminates the need for potential leaders to be fluent in Navajo, giving voters more freedom in who they can elect for office. Starting with the 2018 election, there will be a possibility...

Language minorities earned voting rights only in 1975 August 6th marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Voting Rights Act, signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson following the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama and “Bloody Sunday,” which drew national attention to voting rights issues. The Voting Rights Act addressed the rampant discrimination that racial minorities faced despite the...

Haiti has two official languages; French and the French-based Hatian Kreyòl. Until recently, education in Haiti was conducted with French as the primary language of instruction, despite the French language being spoken only by an elite 10% of the population. Quality education in Haiti was only available to very few because of this socio-economic language barrier, with many teachers...

A government decision in 2012 started an official dialogue offering Spanish citizenship to Sephardic Jews in compensation for their ancestor’s expulsion from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition. Citizenship will be granted to descendants of Sephardi Jews provided they hire a Spanish notary and pass exams on Spanish language and history. The tests will be administered by the Cervantes Institute,...