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South African and European Universities Form Consortium to Boost Use of Indigenous Languages

South Africa’s university system notoriously lacks instructional programs offered in the nation’s Indigenous languages, like isiXhosa and Sesotho. Currently, English and Afrikaans are the only languages widely used in university-level coursework, however even Afrikaans’ future is not entirely certain (see Language Magazine’s coverage of UNISA’s ban on the language in instruction from earlier this summer)….

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Helsinki Mayor Floats Idea of English-Language City

Finland has two official languages: Finnish and Swedish. The government also recognizes an additional handful of regional languages like Sámi or Karelian, as well as local signed languages—of all the languages with some sort of legal status in Finland, none of them are English. Despite this, the mayor of Helsinki—the nation’s capital and largest city—recently…

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Emphasizing the Needs of Hispanic Students

The Florida Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (FL-ALAS) helps to transform educational institutions across the state of Florida by seeking to ensure that the educational needs of all students are met, with an emphasis on Hispanic/Latino youth. FL-ALAS also supports the Florida State Statue 1003.42 (p), which mandates curricular inclusion of “the study of…

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Make English Truly a World Language

The Caribbean Sea encompasses over 7,000 islands, including the famous tourist destinations of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados. Taken all together, the Caribbean islands, sometimes referred to as the West Indies, are incredibly diverse, yet they share distinct historical traits, behaviors, and values which have created a Caribbean culture and identity. For countries like…

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After Whiteness, Part Two

How many times have you seen an advertisement for an English teaching position that either implicitly or explicitly seeks a “native English speaker”? What ethnoracial background do you think the students and/or school administration expect when hiring an applicant for an English teaching job that is seeking a “native English speaker”? Is “native English speaker”…

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Mandarin Imposed on Minority Preschools

The Chinese Ministry of Education is making Mandarin the medium of instruction for preschoolers in areas where minority languages like Mongolian, Tibetan, and Uyghur, as well as regional Chinese languages like Sichuanese or Cantonese, had been used. “In order to… implement General Secretary Xi Jinping’s instructions on nationwide Mandarin-medium education (‘start them when they’re babies’),…

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A Step to Slow France’s Regional Language Decline

France is notorious for its single-language policy, which ranks French as the only official, national language in the country—despite the country being home to more than 20 different regional languages, like Occitan, Alsatian, and Basque. While these languages have historically been quite robust, France’s policies regarding language use and education have largely ignored— and at…

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Taiwan Opens Chinese Centers Across US

Taiwan’s Minister of the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC), Tung Chen-yuan (童振源), opened the new Taiwan Center for Mandarin Learning in Irvine, California, to provide Chinese language courses for American adults. The center aims to provide a language learning environment that values “freedom and democracy while respecting cultural diversity,” Tung said at the inaugural ceremony…

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French in Haiti: Is It Time for a Change?

With the recent natural disaster and assassination of the country’s president in July, Haiti is in the middle of major political, economic, and social upheaval. Amidst the turmoil, some commentators believe now might be the right time for Haitians to take up a revolutionary linguistic policy: adopting Haitian Creole as the primary governing language. Benjamin…

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