The challenge of revitalizing endangered languages is going to be with us for at least another couple of generations- many more if we are successful in preventing extinctions.
We can ensure that we have enough people who really care about the issue, and have the skills to help, if we change our approach to primary languages education.
At present we offer children either nothing, or an inadequate amount of instruction in an economically important language. It teaches them that language is not their thing.
What we could offer them is a chance to be multiculturally bilingual in primary school. Fully bilingual- with friends around the globe who speak languages other than English- both economically important and otherwise.
We would give them the ideal apprenticeship language- Esperanto, which is 6 times easier to learn than Italian and offers primary school contact opportunities in 60+ maximally diverse global cultures.
Bilingual children concentrate better and achieve more in all academic areas, they are resistent to dementia when they get older, and they learn subsequent languages faster and more willingly.
Esperanto alone is easy enough for any primary teacher to learn as s/he teaches it, using readily available resources such as "Talking to the Whole Wide World" and "Springboard to Languages".
This means that every child- even those who can't spell in English, even those who live in small country towns without specialists- could be bilingual and have a friend who lives in an endangered language.
And the next generation will be better able to help than this one is.
You can see a 7 minute presentation on this strategy at the University of the Sunshine Coast website here:
To read more about the poll, the reasons given by voters and the editor's response see here.
Here's an amazing opportunity to explore the chapel in private, listen to the music and see the pictures as close up as you like!
Just click the image and let the program load, it is worth the wait :-)
If you've been to the Sistine Chapel in person, tell us what we're missing!
This is a well-designed tour through the concept and implementation of human rights. What are your thoughts on the subject?
"If the earth were only a few feet in diameter, floating a few feet above a field somewhere, people would come from everywhere to marvel at it.
People would walk round it, marveling at its big pools of water, its little pools and the water flowing between the pools.
People would marvel at the bumps on it, and the holes in it, and at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it and the water suspended in the gas.
The people would marvel at all the creatures walking around the surface of the ball and at the creatures in the water.
The people would declare it as sacred because it was the only one, and they would protect it so that it would not be hurt.
The ball would be the greatest wonder known, and the people would come to pray to it, to be healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty and to wonder how it could be.
People would love it, and defend it with their lives, because they would somehow know that their lives, their own roundness, could be nothing without it.
If the world were only a few feet in diameter."
These are not my words but I remembered them from a long time ago and now can't find the author. It seemed a good start to a blog about appreciating, enjoying, exploring and sharing our Earth, even if it is too big to hold :-)