Tagged language

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Canada’s New Indigenous Language Office

The Canadian government has created an Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages and is calling for applicants to fill new positions, including that of commissioner and up to three directors. Qualified candidates must have “the knowledge and understanding of Indigenous communities, cultures, and the languages and dialects associated with them, including an understanding of…

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Mexico and Spain to Promote Spanish in U.S.

The Instituto Cervantes and the Mexican government’s Cultural Diplomacy unit have begun collaborative activities for the international promotion of Spanish and its culture in 2021, following last month’s signing via videoconference of an action protocol between the two organizations. In the agreement, they committed to developing joint actions on the Spanish language (and the culture…

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Stop Overlooking English Learners

Deborah J. Short outlines a plan to invest and engage in English Learner education In the past six months, we have heard the cry “DEFUND” in varied contexts, often as a call for social justice, always engendering public controversy. But when the action is the gradual defunding of one area of education, we hear nothing:…

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Chinese Progresses as a World Language

More than 70 countries have officially incorporated Chinese language teaching into their national education systems, including the UK, Russia, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, according to Tian Xuejun, China’s vice minister of education. Speaking at last month’s opening ceremony of the International Chinese Language Education Week 2020, Tian said that over 4,000 colleges…

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Tamil Politicians Fear Imposition of Hindi

Politicians in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have been raising concerns over the country’s National Education Policy, arguing that the policy could be used as a way to impose the Hindi language, according to the New Indian Express. While the policy emphasizes that instruction will be given in students’ mother tongues or the local…

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English Learner Slated to Lead U.S. Education

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Connecticut Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel A. Cardona to replace Betsy DeVos as the next Education Secretary. Cardona, whose heritage is Puerto Rican, reportedly spoke very little English when he started school, but went on to earn an MA Ed. in Bilingual Bicultural Education before moving on to educational…

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Congress Approves Extra $15M for World Languages

On Monday, December 21, the U.S. Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations package, which provided $15m in new funding for the World Languages Advancement and Readiness Act (WLARA), in the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). This grant program was enacted last year, and with the appropriation, is now funded. The efforts to create…

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Indonesia to Digitize Indigenous Scripts

Ramadan Mobile UNESCO and the Indonesian Internet Domain Registry (PANDI) have announced plans to work on digitizing the Indigenous scripts of Indonesia through an initiative called “Connecting the Nation through Ancient Character Digitalisation.” Indonesia is home to more than 700 languages, and while the official language is Indonesian, which has nearly 200 million speakers, many…

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Connecting the Dots

Whatever the outcome of this month’s U.S. election and however bad the second wave of COVID-19 hits this winter, our world will continue to become more interconnected and more interdependent. Despite the closing of borders and the imposition of travel restrictions, the pandemic has proven how permeable national borders are to not only disease and…