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: