Monthly Archives: January 2020

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Petition to Free Tibetan Language Advocate Gains Steam

PEN America released an open letter signed by nearly 1,000 writers, linguists, translators, and language rights advocates calling for the immediate release of Tashi Wangchuk. Four years ago today, on January 27, 2016, Chinese officials secretly detained Wangchuk for his activism on Tibetan language rights. In 2018, after a one-day trial, he was sentenced to five years in…

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Americans Worry Most about their Accents

Study shows Americans are the nationality most concerned about perceptions of their accent and that accents are associated with traits from professionalism to passion! The popular language-learning app Babbel commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct the largest global study to date into perceptions of accents and “accent anxiety.” The research, which was undertaken throughout November and…

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Celebrate International Day of Education

January 24 is the International Day of Education and this year, the theme is “Learning for people, planet, prosperity, and peace.” In an open letter, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay said, “Because, now more than ever, we need to mobilize. UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day of Education, is issuing a call…

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Japan Reverses Western Name Order

On January 1, 2020, the western format of given name followed by family name will officially change in Japan. On governmental documents and websites Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will become known as ABE Shinzo—capitalization of the family name is also recommended—and other public figures will be expected to do the same. There is no obligation…

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Breaking Down the Wall

Margo Gottlieb offers a look at the other side of language education We approach 2020 with hindsight, insight, and foresight: hindsight in realizing the pervasive inequities that have dominated the education of multilingual learners, insight into recognizing substantive changes that are inevitable if we are to co-exist as an educational community, and foresight in envisioning…

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Analysis of State Funding for English Learners

The Education Commission of the States (ECS), an interstate compact on U.S. education policy, has released a new analysis of how states allocate funding for English Learners (ELs). Based on the analysis, 48 states and the District of Columbia provide funding specifically for ELs. Although allocation formulas are different in each state, the report shows…

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Jan. 20 is #MLKDay

Monday, January 20 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, also known as MLK Day of Service. The holiday is both a celebration of Dr. King’s birthday and the only holiday designated by Congress as a national “day of service.” It earned that distinction in 1994 and since then, the Corporation for National and Community Service…

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Rising Voices

In celebration of the International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019 (#IYIL19), Rising Voices has joined forces with partners in organizing four rotating Twitter campaigns to highlight the work of Indigenous language activists from across the world. If you are curious about the current status of Indigenous languages worldwide as well as what’s involved in their…

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Israel Launches English Reform

The Council for Higher Education has approved the new reform regarding conversion of academic educational programs from Hebrew to English and to run them in parallel to each other as bilingual education. Academic institutions will adopt a study method to ensure students gain English skills in reading, writing, comprehension and speech. The CHE has updated…

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‘Home of Hispanic Cultures’ to Open in LA

The Cervantes Institute will open its first center in Los Angeles, which will be “the home of Hispanic cultures,” according to Cervantes director Luis García Montero. Announcing the project at the Los Angeles Central Library last month, García Montero said that Los Angeles was a bilingual city “where Spanish has its role” and stressed the importance…