In the articles
quoted below, the various writers are concerned about the decline
of languages, and, concommitantly, cultures, from our world, and the
impact that globalization and the internet may have on them...
Language has long
been equated with cultural clout - the "perfect instrument of
empire," as Spain's Queen Isabella was said to have been told
by an adviser. Today, the world's empires may be in retreat but active
movements to leverage language for power have surged worldwide...
Sitting in a circle
with a dozen other members of the native American Tlingit (pronounced
klink-it) tribe, Jon Rowan, a 33-year-old schoolteacher, mutters in
frustration: "We're babies. All we speak is baby gibberish."
The group is gathered at the community center in Klawock, a town of
some 800 people on the eastern fringe of Prince of Wales Island...
Each of the previous
articles, while having different approaches, are similiar in their
message. Assigning the articles to separate groups might be a way
of getting to the key issues of causes, manifestations, and possible
reading, or presenting the Horn and Fishman articles to students,
the teacher might pose the question: If the United States, and its
American English dominates the global economy (and its major communication
tool:the Internet) today, what impact might you think that would have
on both the world, and the influence of the United States in world
Establish an atmosphere
of a Town Meeting in the classroom; assign four students to read and
explain (they may need some assistance) the Crawford rationales for
preserving/restoring lost or endangered languages....
estimate that nearly half the world's 6,500 languages are threatened...