[MLE] Mother Language day - Updates and Resources

International Mother Language Day 2017 (Image source- en.unesco.org)

In the week of the International Mother Language Day there are usually extra postings related to language and education. Particularly because this year the theme is: “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education”. It is also a good excuse to list a few (new) resources.

The postings in the India Express and India Today are quite general in nature with some quotations from Unesco and background on the history of the day. WebIndia reports that activist used the day to demand linguistic parity for the regional languages. Chanpreet Kaur published an interview with Dr Mukti Sanyal on How the focus on English could be seriously damaging India's future with an interesting link to self-esteem: “We are losing our mother languages. And with it, we are losing self esteem, different ways of seeing the world, and encouraging the mugging up of the concepts”. Scroll.in used the opportunity to dig into history: Which 'mother language' did India's lawmakers want after Independence? A nice news item is that the goverment of Bengal gave Kurukh language an official status and a promise that Rajbangshi/Kamtapuri will also be given that status.

Some new resources might be of more interest to you:

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education: The Key to Unlocking SDG 4 - Quality Education for All. This new 6-page pdf colourful booklet is available as a free download on the UNESCO Bangkok e-Library. It explores the reasons why mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) is the key to quality lifelong learning opportunities for all in the context of the 4th Sustainable Development Goal.

Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages by Mari C. Jones & Damien Mooney (eds). This book is planned to be released this April. Multiple authors are sharing their experience in creating a writing system for an endangered language. Will be a good read!

I trust you had a happy International Mother Language day too!