“International Mother Language Day” Events at University of West Georgia

At the University of West Georgia in Carrolton, one hour west of Atlanta, in collaboration with local UWG student group BABEL (Building Awareness for the Benefit of Endangered Languages), the events are being held on International Mother Language Day, 2012:
  • February 21 @ 5pm – 6:45pm: Endangered Languages Workshop with Anna Luisa Daigneault in Anthropology Lecture Hall, University of West Georgia. Facebook Event
  • February 21 @ 7pm – 9pm: Free Film Screening of acclaimed film “The Linguists” at University of West Georgia, 1601 Maple Street Dr., TLC Building, Lecture Hall C.  Facebook Event
– See you there! Happy Mother Languages Day!

2 thoughts on ““International Mother Language Day” Events at University of West Georgia

  1. Hello! Just arrived to your site and blog, after reaching the last chapter of The Last Speakers. It’s a great book, very interesting and informative. I like the work you are doing with endangered languages, but I have a single question that has lingered in the back of my mind as I read the book: what do you think of language preservation when it gets in the way of the achievement of better living standards for a community? Let me explain a bit further: in Mexico, primary education is given in native languages in some communities. While that preserves their culture and language, it gets in the way of people integrating to national life and economic structures that are predominantly in Spanish, and drive them one language further away of English, which, for better or worse, leads to better salaries and living standards.

    I wanted your opinion since my argument might be missing something, or I might not be familiar with a way to be able to get both progress and protection of tradition.

    Thank you for your time, and hope your work keeps paying off and being successful.

    Andrés C.

    • Hello Andres,
      thanks for your question. In general, we take the stance of promoting multilingualism. We think that communities should protect their languages in the face of their linguistic identity being erased by the dominant language. In most cases, this means having a bilingual teaching approach in schools, where students are exposed to their mother tongue as well as the dominant language. Of course, it is up to the community to see how this plays out and how they do this careful balancing act of conserving their language in the face of social and economic transformations happening all around them.
      As a related example, we believe that integrating technology in language preservation is not a threat to the culture, but rather an opportunity to preserve it using the tools of globalization.
      all the best
      Anna Luisa

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