Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Australia releases draft framework for language learning

21 May 2013

As part of its Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Languages program, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has released its Draft Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages.

The draft is open for suggestions and feedback through 25 July. Read more in “Schools get guide for indigenous languages” and “Consultation of the draft Australian Curriculum.”

In defense of mandatory Zulu classes

18 May 2013

isiZulu, or Zulu (zul), is the most widely spoken native language in South Africa and is spoken by about half of the population.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal has announced it will make Zulu classes mandatory for incoming students, a move that has drawn criticism.

As Pierre De Vos explains in “KZN University: A storm in a (Zulu) teacup,” this policy is not unconstitutional and should not be compared to linguistic policies in the era of apartheid.

High school senior revitalizing Salish

11 May 2013

Vance Home Gun, a high school senior, created an organization named “Yoyoot skwkwimlt” to promote Salish, also known as Montana Salish (fla). Read an interview with Gun in “Language Preservation Made Vance Home Gun a Champion for Change.”

Opposition to lottery system for kindergarten in Hawai’i

11 May 2013

As outlined in “Pūnana Leo,” the introduction of the language nest in Hawai’i, using Hawaiian as the medium of instruction, faced many legal and social hurdles. According to the ʻAha Pūnana Leo website, there are now 21 immersion schools in Hawaiʻi, educating about 2,000 students from preschool through twelfth grade.

Educating keiki, or children, in Hawaiian has become so popular that in Pāʻia, they ran out of space in the program. With space for 40 children, applications were received for 53 children. Pāʻia Elementary School decided to hold a lottery to decide which children would be admitted.

But the idea of a lottery is opposed by Nā Leo Kākoʻo O Maui, a not-for-profit organization that supports Hawaiian language immersion. According to Kaheleonolani Dukelow, an organizer for a demonstration against the lottery, a lottery would never be held to determine which children are given an English education, and so it isn’t right to hold a lottery for Hawaiian education.

Read more in “Hawaiian Immersion Lottery at Pāʻia School Postponed.”

Veps: At an educational and economic disadvantage

8 May 2013

You need to pass an English exam to get into the university and people are concerned that speaking Veps (vep) won’t help you land a job.

Like many endangered languages around the world, Veps is at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting speakers. Nevertheless, there is hope as young people find they enjoy the language and a Vepsian theater group has started up.

According to Wikipedia, Veps has 23 grammatical cases.

Read more at “I fear our language will die.”

Education – few resources, too many children

7 May 2013

Maria Victoria Carpio-Bernido and Christopher Bernido had the problem of trying to run a school with too many students and not enough resources.

Their solution: Have the students compile their own “textbooks” from generic worksheets they use to record what they learn about topics. As shown in “An Innovative Program in the Philippines” on Asian Insight (primarily in Japanese), the teacher provides the topic and the main points and allows the students to explore themselves.

Hosted at the Central Visayan Institute Foundation on Bohol island in the Philippines, their Dynamic Learning Program has turned out top scholars who go on to attend university in Manila.

Read more in the articles “Poverty not an excuse for lag in science, math” and “Essentials versus Peripherals: Our Experience in Basic Education.”

Perhaps there is a way this can be combined with Where Are Your Keys? for higher language learning efficiency.

University of Arizona June Courses: Taking Language Home

6 May 2013

Between 3 and 28 June, the American Indian Language Development Institute at the University of Arizona is offering seven courses aimed at helping people document, learn and maintain languages.

The offerings are:

    1. Where Are Your Keys by Evan Gardner,
    2. Community Language Archiving by Shannon Bishoff,
    3. Creating Linguistic Products for Native American Languages by Colleen Fitzgerald,
    4. Teaching Indigenous Language Through Traditional Ecological Knowledge by Teresa Newberry,
    5. Topics in Native American Linguistics by Luis Barragan,
    6. Language Immersion and Acquisition in the Home and the Community by Jennie DeGroat, and
    7. Revitalizing Spiritual Traditions by Phil Cash Cash.

Promotional video by Evan Gardner:

Promotional video by Phil Cash Cash:


Trilingual education in Bolivia

1 May 2013

With the start of the school year in February, schools are teaching indigenous languages for the first time in Bolivia. This is required by the 2010 Avelino Siñani-Elizardo Pérez Law (Spanish), which covers the “traditional knowledge” of students’ communities.

Students will be taught Spanish, plus a foreign language (English, French or Portuguese) and a local language.

See “Bolivia: Indigenous languages taught in school” for more.

A call to put local languages back in education in Nigeria

1 May 2013

English is used as the official language of Nigeria to tie together communication among the ethnic groups who speak hundreds of languages (522 living languages by Ethnologue’s count).

Victoria Ipe of Ajayi Crowther University has written a letter to the Nigerian Tribune calling for local languages to be used in schools so the children are familiar with their local culture. Read the letter at “The neglect of our indigenous languages.”

Irish classes start this week in London

1 May 2013

The London Irish Centre is offering three courses that start over the next week or so, a beginner’s course, an improver’s course and a comfortable speaker’s course. The courses are eight weeks long and cost 80 pounds.

See “Summer Irish Language Classes” for more details.