Monthly Archives: June 2021

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Losing Languages Means Losing Remedies

The media frequently discusses language decline in terms of numbers alone—many of us have likely heard the oft-cited statistic that one language goes extinct every three months or the projection that 30% of the world’s languages will be extinct by the end of the 21st century. Language extinction triggers the loss of unique medicinal knowledge,…

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No Downside for Bilingual Kids

A first-of-its kind study in U.S.-born children from Spanish-speaking families has found that minority language exposure does not threaten the acquisition of English by children in the U.S. and that there is no trade-off between English and Spanish. Rather, children reliably acquire English, and their total language knowledge is greater in that they also acquire…

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Taking Digital Communication to Heart

As pandemic-induced school shutdowns have accelerated remote learning, the importance of personal connections between students, their teachers, aides, mentors, and peers has become a major concern—especially for marginalized students, including multilingual learners, who have found it harder to access the support they require. However, there has been a welcome effort to enable such students to…

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Transforming Reading Instruction

1. Millions of people, including me, learned to read with the help of Reading Mastery. Why change such a successful product? Although Reading Mastery has evolved, the instructional design of the program remains the same. Reading Mastery Transformations is based upon the Direct Instruction pedagogy of explicit, systematic instruction. So, teachers can be confident that…

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Linguistic Diversity Declines in Papua New Guinea

Traditional dancing at the Mask Festival, Kokopo, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea—frequently heralded as the most linguistically diverse place in the entire world—is in the middle of a language crisis. According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the…

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French to Lead During France’s EU Presidency

The French language is poised to become the main language of the European Union’s (EU’s) meetings, notes, and debates during France’s presidency of the bloc from January 2022 to June 2022. France is planning to host major EU meetings in French, a move that breaks with the long-held tradition of hosting such meetings in English….

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Michigan Moves on Preschool for All

Detroit’s diverse population would benefit from the plan As President Biden’s American Families Plan meets opposition in Congress, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer is moving forward with a $400 million dollar plan to expand the state’s Great Start Readiness Program so that it can provide free preschool to 22,000 more children. Whitmer wants to spend $255…

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Cherokee Linguist Honored by Senate Act and Center

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chair of the committee, have introduced the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation marks the 30th anniversary of the Native American Languages Act by ensuring federal efforts meet the goal…