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The Best Resources For International Mother Language Day

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'International Mother Language Day' photo (c) 2012, jan  Sefti - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Much to my surprise, I just learned that today, February 21st, had been designated International Mother Language Day by UNESCO. Here’s what it says on its website:

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30C/62).

On 16 May 2009 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/61/266 called upon Member States “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”. By the same resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

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Here are my choices for The Best Resources For International Mother Language Day:

Endangered Languages is an online interactive site highlighting…endangered languages throughout the world.

Vanishing Languages is an impressive feature from National Geographic.

Our Mother Tongues is a great website about saving Native American languages.

Number of Endangered Languages by Country is an interactive graphic.

How Do You Save a Dying Language? Crowdsource It is from GOOD.

Tribe Revives Language on Verge of Extinction is from The New York Times.

How Turkish Villagers Communicate via a 400-Year-Old ‘Bird Language’ is from The Atlantic.

With Casino Revenues, Tribes Push to Preserve Languages, and Cultures is from The New York Times.

Study links biodiversity and language loss is from The BBC.

Australia, which was once home to 200 languages, now suffers from the highest rate of language extinction in the world. is from Al Jazeera.

Digital Technologies Give Dying Languages New Life is from NPR.

A Road Trip In Search Of America’s Lost Languages is from NPR.

Documentary Shows Language Saved From Extinction is also from NPR.

Rescuing Endangered Languages Means Saving Ideas is from Pacific Standard.

Half of living languages face extinction is from The Guardian.

Dying Languages of the World is from The Wall Street Journal.

Are dying languages worth saving? is from The BBC.

Saving a language, and a culture is from The Los Angeles Times.

Dying languages: scientists fret as one disappears every 14 days is from The Star.

Preserving the Voice of Vanishing Cultures is from The New York Times.

A Village Invents a Language All Its Own is from The New York Times.

UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger is pretty impressive.

Marie’s Dictionary from Go Project Films on Vimeo.

Two New Good Writing Prompts For My Students


Losing languages
is an infographic from The Washington Post.

Reindeer herders, an app and the fight to save a language is from The Guardian.

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You might also want to explore the 1075 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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