Global Updates From World View
Resources for Educators
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 www.vistawide.com/languages/why_languages.htm
Top 10 Language Families by Number of Speakers
Data Source: Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 15th ed. (2005).
||Approx. # of Speakers
||% of world population
||Total % of world's population
TOP TEN REASONS TO LEARN
- To increase global understanding
- To improve employment potential
- To increase native language ability
- To sharpen cognitive and life skills
- To improve chances of entry into college or graduate school
- To appreciate world literature, music, and film
- To make travel more feasible and enjoyable
- To increase understanding of oneself and one's own culture
- To make lifelong friends
- To better connect with parents, students, or peers from other countries.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE ASSOCIATIONS
International Mother Language Day
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 www.un.org/en/events/motherlanguageday/.
American 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 www.actfl.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1.
Teachers 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 www.americancouncils.org/TCLP/.
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. www2.ed.gov/programs/flap/index.html
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. www.languagepolicy.org
Living 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 www.livingtongues.org/.
This site is a one-stop information website on the world’s most important and populous languages.www.aboutworldlanguages.com/
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – “Enduring Voices”
This page features an interactive map demonstrating where and to what extent languages are in danger of becoming extinct.
6 BILLION OTHERS
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). www.6billionothers.org
THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION LANGUAGE MAP
This site provides an interactive map of where languages are spoken in the United States.arcgis.mla.org/mla/default.aspx
Dialects and Accents
THE NORTH CAROLINA LANGUAGE AND LIFE PROJECT
Learn more about North Carolina’s regional and socio-cultural English dialects.
VOICES OF NORTH CAROLINA DIALECT AWARENESS CURRICULUM
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. ncsu.edu/linguistics/research_dialecteducation.php
DO YOU SPEAK AMERICAN?
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 accents.www.pbs.org/speak/
|RESOURCES ON LEARNING WORLD LANGUAGES
VISTAWIDE- WORLD LANGUAGE AND A CULTURE
An information source for language learners and language learning on the web. www.vistawide.com/
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
North Carolina Virtual Public School provides online and blended courses for students to learn Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Russian, Latin, Arabic, and Japanese. www.ncvps.org/
THE LANGUAGE MENU
Free language resources for teachers. teachers.thelanguagemenu.com/
LEARN NC is publishing digital textbooks for secondary language instruction in Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and Japanese.www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/6427
PEACE CORPS LANGUAGES
Enhance your world language study with authentic resources and lesson plans from Peace Corps Volunteers. www.peacecorps.gov/wws/multimedia/language/
Check your local library for this unique language learning resource.
BBC WORLD LANGUAGES
Learn a new language in fun and unique ways off the BBC Language website.
ONLINE VIDEOS & DOCUMENTARIES ON WORLD LANGUAGES
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. www.youtube.com/enduringvoices
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. www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/eng//id/164
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 Russian.video.unctv.org/video/1803438884/
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. www.carolinabrogue.com/
ARTICLES AND BOOKS ON LANGUAGE
Difficult Languages: Tongue Twisters
The Economist www5.economist.com/node/15108609
Do You Speak My Language: Considering the Role between Language and Culture
OMG! Exploring Slang
What Will Globalization Do to Languages? A Freakonomics Quorum www.freakonomics.com/2008/05/28/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
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 email@example.com with your "update-worthy" items!
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.