Global Updates From World View
April 2011

World Languages:
Resources for Educators

Text Box: Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem.  “You live a new life for every new language you speak.  If you know only one language, you live only once.”                                                                   - Czech proverb

As the quote suggests, language is much more than grammar and pronunciation; it is a gateway into another world of understanding, exchange, and ideas.  Whether it’s a Romanized, Cyrillic, or Arabic alphabet, written words also allow us to see the world as other cultures see it.  American citizens, especially students, are in desperate need to learn, improve, and expand their knowledge of world languages. This issue of Global Updates will offer facts, resources, and top ten reasons to engage our students in multilingual dialog.

A special thank you to World View's Carina Brossy for authoring this month's Global Update!


  • The world has 6912 living languages.
  • Of these languages, nearly 516 are close to extinction.

  • The language with the greatest number of speakers is Mandarin Chinese.

  • The language spoken by the greatest number of non-native speakers is English (250 to 350 million non-native speakers).

  • Papa New Guinea is the country with the most languages spoken- 820 living languages!

  • The first language ever written was Sumerian or Egyptian (about 3200 BC), and the oldest written languages still in existence are Chinese and Greek (about 1500 BC).
  • The most translated document is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was written by the United Nations in 1948. It has been translated into 321 languages and dialects.

    Adapted from

Top 10 Language Families by Number of Speakers
Data Source: Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 15th ed. (2005).

Language Family Approx. # of Speakers % of world population
1. Indo-European 2.562 billion 44.78%
2. Sino-Tibetan 1.276 billion 22.28%
3. Niger-Congo 358 million 6.26%
4. Afro-Asiatic 340 million 5.93%
5. Austronesian 312 million 5.45%
6. Dravidian 222 million 3.87%
7. Altaic 145 million 2.53%
8. Japanese 123 million 2.16%
9. Austro-Asiatic 101 million 1.77%
10. Tai-Kadai 78 million 1.37%
  Total % of world's population 96.4%


  1. To increase global understanding
  2. To improve employment potential
  3. To increase native language ability
  4. To sharpen cognitive and life skills
  5. To  improve chances of entry into college or graduate school
  6. To appreciate world literature, music, and film
  7. To make travel more feasible and enjoyable
  8. To increase understanding of oneself and one's own culture
  9. To make lifelong friends
  10. To better connect with parents, students, or peers from other countries.

International Mother Language Day, February 21, has been observed since 2000 to promote lingual and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Learn more about celebrating the power of language at Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
The ACTFL is the only national organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. It is an individual membership organization of more than 9,000 foreign language educators and administrators from elementary through graduate education, as well as government and industry. Find out more at of Critical Languages Program (TCLP)
TCLP is a cross-cultural program funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State designed to increase the number of Americans teaching and studying Arabic and Mandarin. To find more out about this program, visit

The Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP)
FLAP is the only federally funded program that exclusively targets and supports foreign language instruction in elementary and secondary schools. Through a competitive application process, FLAP provides 3-year grants to states and local school districts to establish, improve, or expand innovative K-12 model programs.
*The U.S. Department of Education does not anticipate having a FLAP competition for new grants in 2011. Funds appropriated to the FLAP program in 2011 will be used for continuing the grants into their second through fifth years. Check back for a 2012 offering.

The Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS)
JNCL-NCLIS represent over 60 national and regional organizations encompassing virtually all areas of the language field: the major and less-commonly taught languages, including English and English as a second language, bilingual education, the classics, linguistics, exchanges, research, technology, and translation. Foreign languages grants are also listed on their site. Tongues – Institute for Endangered Languages
Half of the world’s languages are likely to vanish in the next 100 years. Minority languages are being increasingly replaced by various politically, economically, or socio-culturally dominant ones. Living Tongues has partnered with National Geographic for a five-year joint project to assist indigenous communities in their struggle for cultural linguistic survival. Learn about and follow the progress of these projects or support them in their efforts at


This site is a one-stop information website on the world’s most important and populous

This page features an interactive map demonstrating where and to what extent languages are in danger of becoming extinct.

This website allows students to hear and compare the short testimonies of over 5,000 members of humanity as they answer the same questions about their fears, dreams, ordeals, hopes in their native language (with English subtitles).

This site provides an interactive map of where languages are spoken in the United


Dialects and Accents

Learn more about North Carolina’s regional and socio-cultural English dialects.

This curriculum, designed to support the Standard Course of Study for 8th grade social studies, is the first state-based curriculum on language variation in the country.

This curriculum unit, based on the documentary Do you speak American?, examines the origins of regional dialects in the United States and the prevailing stereotypes often associated with certain dialects or


An information source for language learners and language learning on the web.

STARTALK is part of a federal initiative to enhance the national capacity for critical need languages. The goal of the STARTALK program is to increase the number and expertise of students and teachers in critical languages.

North Carolina Virtual Public School provides online and blended courses for students to learn Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Russian, Latin, Arabic, and Japanese.

Free language resources for teachers.

LEARN NC is publishing digital textbooks for secondary language instruction in Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and

Enhance your world language study with authentic resources and lesson plans from Peace Corps Volunteers.

Check your local library for this unique language learning resource.

Learn a new language in fun and unique ways off the BBC Language website.


Speaking in Tongues Film- PBS
This documentary shows one city’s daring move to expand foreign language education in its schools - Four kids.  Four languages. Once city. One world.

Enduring Voices – Youtube Channel

The Enduring Voices Project’s Youtube Channel provides video updates on language hotspots.

TED TALK: Steven Pinker on language and thought
Stephen Pinker gives viewers a crash course in simple grammar and then proceeds to extrapolate on the not-so-simple topics of human intelligence, human language, and indirect human verbal communication. Most importantly, though, viewers get to hear Pinker tell jokes about guacamole.

Local North Carolina Elementary School Features Arabic

UNC TV: Critical Languages in North Carolina
The NC Dept. of Public Instruction has identified four foreign languages as critical languages--Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and

Carolina Brogue
The Carolina Brogue is a documentary on the life and language of North Carolina’s Outer and InnerBanks, in which residents tell the story of their unique culture and dialect.


Difficult Languages: Tongue Twisters
The Economist

Do You Speak My Language: Considering the Role between Language and Culture

OMG! Exploring Slang

What Will Globalization Do to Languages? A Freakonomics Quorum

The Mother Tongue: English and how it got that way by Bill Bryson

American Regional Dialects: A word geography
by C. Carver


Peace Corps Around the World Expo in Raleigh, NC on April 30

The National Peace Corps Association, Peace Corps and the North Carolina Peace Corps Association invite you to commemorate 50 years of promoting peace and friendship.
Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Around the World Expo
Date:  Saturday, April 30, 2011
Time:  2:00 - 5:00 pm
Venue:  Raleigh Convention Center, 500 South Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC

Join Peace Corps in supporting the agency's mission and legacy of service by honoring our past, demonstrating our effectiveness, and inspiring the next generation of Volunteers through education and engagement.  Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will be showcasing their work, while Peace Corps and the National Peace Corps Association will host information sessions for potential applicants and RPCVs. The Expo is free and open to the public.

Included in the event is a special workshop for educators,  Bringing the World Back Home through Global Education.

Description: The "third goal" of Peace Corps is to educate people in the United States about the countries and cultures that Volunteers have experienced. During this workshop, you'll have the opportunity to hear of free resources that support the efforts of educators, returned Peace Corps volunteers and others to bring the world back home to classrooms and communities. Learn about the different ways in which you can become engaged in a variety of global education activities, whether you're a returned Volunteer, an educator, or just interested in getting involved.

- Anne Baker (RPCV Fiji 1985-1987), Moderator
- Susan A. Grundstrom (RPCV Bolivia), ESL Teacher, Merrick-Moore Elementary, Durham Public Schools
- Patricia Matisz Smith, Ph.D. (RPCV Malaysia 1973-1975), Associate Professor of Business Administration, North Carolina Wesleyan College

Read complete details on the speakers, program, Around the World exhibits and workshops on the 50th anniversary calendar .
Preregistrations are not required, but they do help in planning.  Register online now .


Dollar General Literacy Foundation Accepting applications for Back to School and Youth Literacy Grants Program

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides support to schools, libraries, and literacy-based nonprofit organizations throughout Dollar General’s thirty-five-state market. The foundation is now accepting applications for Back to School Literacy Grants and Youth Literacy Grants.

Back to School Grants provide funding to help school libraries and media centers meet some of the financial challenges they face in the following areas: implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs; purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives; and purchasing books, materials, or software for literacy programs. Applicants must be K-12 public, private, or charter schools. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded.

Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations working to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Applicants must be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, a K-12 private or public school, a college or university, or a public library. Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded.

All applicant organizations must reside in and provide direct service within Dollar General's thirty-five-state market area and must be located within twenty miles of a Dollar General store.

For complete grant guidelines, eligibility quiz, application procedures, and store locator, visit the Dollar General Web site.




Do you have information to share?

Do you have information that you would like to share with other educators across the state? You are welcome to submit interesting global education programs that are going on in your schools, announcements about global education seminars, new resources that others might find interesting, etc. Please email Julie at with your "update-worthy" items!

Reader Mailbag

If you have comments about any of the information contained in the Global Update, send us an email! Perhaps your comments will appear here in this new section of the Global Update.

World View at UNC-Chapel Hill provides information, resources, and announcements for educational purposes only. It does not represent an endorsement of organizations or point of view by World View or The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The European Union and the Euro:
A Workshop for K-12 Educators

MAY 12-13, 2011
FedEx Global Ed Center,
UNC at Chapel Hill


Co-sponsored by World View and the
UNC EU Center of Excellence

Join colleagues for a 1½ day workshop designed to help North Carolina K-12 teachers better understand our interconnected world by learning more about the European Union.  This workshop will include presentations by EU scholars on the European Union and the Euro currency. Resources that use technology to enhance content and better integrate the EU in the school's curriculum will be provided. One CEU will be offered.

Session highlights:
The State of the EU
The Euro Currency
EU Classroom Resources
Euro Challenge Spotlight

Cost: $50 per person (includes hotel accommodations on May 12 for participants traveling from outside the Triangle and lunch for all on May 13)

Space is limited. To register call 919/962-9264


World View's Fall
Global Education Symposiums

Peace and Conflict: 10 Years after 9-11

October 19-20, 2011
for K-12 Educators

November 9-10, 2011
for College Educators

To register go to:


APRIL 22, 2011


It’s never too early to start thinking how you will incorporate Earth Day themes into your spring curriculum. Earth Day represents a common day around the world to raise awareness for environmental issues, including policies and programs to protect our Earth and its resources. 

Earth Day Network
Earth Day’s coordinating agency, the Earth Day Network has chosen A Billion Acts of Green® as the theme for Earth Day 2011. A Billion Acts of Green – the largest environmental service campaign in the world–inspires and rewards simple individual acts and larger organizational initiatives that further the goal of measurably reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability. The goal is to register one billion actions in advance of the global Earth Summit in Rio in 2012. Earth Day Network’s, Ning social networking site ( ) is for those interested in strategizing together around their plans for Earth Day in a atmosphere of support, discussion, and debate.

Additional Resources for Teachers & Kids

DisneyNature Earth and Oceans Teacher Resources:

Earth Day: Cleaning up our Planet:

Eco Kids:

Edutopia Think Green, A Resource Guide for Green Projects:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Earth Day Site:

EPA Teaching Resources Page:

EPA Environmental Kids Club:

EU Commission - Environment:

LEARN NC, Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations Carolina:
Environmental Diversity Explorations are virtual field trips to areas characterized by both beautiful scenery and useful lessons about North Carolina’s environment.

Scholastic Earth Day Resources:

Teacher Planet Earth Day Resources:

Tunza :


In your home state, North Carolina Newspapers in Education (NIE) programs offer educational resources, not listed in an earlier Global Update. NIE at local, state and national levels encourages young people to become lifelong readers and learners, capable writers, informed, involved adults, thoughtful consumers of news and advocates for the First Amendment. NC NIE provides standard-based curriculum guides and credit workshops for teachers and offers educational content for publication in newspapers. Content includes in-paper features, serial stories and tabloid sections. 

Working with the Collaborative Summer Library Program and local public libraries, NIE supports the 2011 Summer Reading Program with its focus on  One World, Many Stories and You are Here. The 24 features posted on the NC NIE website provides reading activities for students to complete while they are on summer vacation and encourages young readers to visit their public libraries. To learn more about the summer reading initiative and other NIE projects, visit

The state's newspapers offer news and information from large and small communities across the state in print and digital editions. Check by city for newspapers that provide web editions. Visit the state:, NCPA and Newspapers- online.

Crystal Trio to Perform

Community Center

Igor Sklyarov, Vladimir Popras, and Vladimir Perminov are musicians who play special glass instruments including a glass harp, verrophone, and glass panflute bass. Glass Music is an ancient art which had success in many noble houses of Europe, Russia, and North America. Crystal Trio continues to develop ancient tradition of 'sounding glass', and also explores its new dimensions. Crystal Trio has been featured on many Russian National TV channels and is currently on tour. Catch them in the Triangle this month!

For more information visit:

Teachers for Global
Classrooms Program

Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) Program provides a professional development opportunity for middle and high school teachers from the United States to participate in a program designed to globalize US classrooms. TGC is a program of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IRE).

Activities include:
•        An online course designed specifically for US teachers aiming to globalize their classrooms;
•        Two Global Education Symposiums in Washington, DC (pre and post travel); and
•        An international fellowship through a two week country visit upon successful completion of the online course.

Travel under this program will be to one of the following countries: Brazil, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Morocco, or Ukraine.

Participants are selected through a national, open competition. Eligible applicants must be:
•        Full-time secondary-level (middle or high school), teaching professionals with five or more years of classroom experience in disciplines including English as a Second Language, English Language or Literature, Social Studies, Mathematics, or Science;
•        US citizens.

Applications are due June 15, 2011.

For more information, visit Teachers for Global Classrooms on YouTube.  To receive updates please sign up for the mailing list on the Teachers for Global Classroom webpage. Download Application Instructions. 


Machine, Mother, Mannequin: The Good Woman in Soviet Propaganda
March 15th to May 15th
Duke University

This exhibit of Soviet propaganda posters, located in the Nasher Museum's Education Corridor, illustrates government-prescribed images and roles of the good Soviet woman from the 1917 Revolution into the 1960s. All the posters are taken from Duke's own collections. Co-curated by Angela Linhardt (M.A. candidate, Slavic and Eurasian Studies) and Professor Beth Holmgren (Slavic and Eurasian Studies).

Educator Travel with GEEO!


Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is a non-profit organization that runs summer professional development travel programs designed for teachers. 

GEEO is offering 13 different travel programs for the summer of 2011: India/Nepal, China, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey/Syria/Jordan/Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa/Mozambique/ Zimbabwe/Botswana, Morocco, Argentina/ Uruguay/Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica and Guatemala/Belize/Mexico. Registration deadline is June 1, 2011, however some of the programs will be full before then. 

Educators can earn graduate school credit (3 credits through Indiana University) and professional development credit while seeing the world.  The trips are 8 to 23 days in length and are designed and discounted to be interesting and affordable for teachers. GEEO also advises teachers on how to find funding to subsidize the cost of the trips. GEEO provides teachers educational materials and the structure to help them bring their experiences into the classroom. The trips are open to all nationalities of K-12 and University educators and administrators, as well as retired educators. Educators are also permitted to bring along a non-educator guest.

Detailed information about each trip, including itineraries, costs, travel dates, and more can be found at To sign-up for GEEO's listserv, please send an email to with the subject line "subscribe." To follow us on facebook click here and then click the "like" button. 



U.S. Immigration Policy in an Unsettled World explores how economic development, immigration trends, and foreign policy concerns have affected immigration law throughout U.S. history. Students consider immigration-related issues in the United States, and formulate their own ideas about future U.S. immigration policy.

New videos for this curriculum explore the experience of immigrants in the United States.