Whatever else does or does not happen with International Year of Langauges
2008, it would be a success if it could achieve even this one result: That
children are no longer beaten, shamed, or otherwise punished for speaking
their mother tongue.
Whatever this means for curricula or teaching methods is secondary - i.e.,
adapt to the learning approaches to the linguistic realities.
Reason I bring this up is that I just received a letter from a Tanzanian
working on a project in the north of that country who mentioned this
practice. In this case it was children who speak Maasai being told in class
that they'd be beaten if they spoke anything other than Swahili, but similar
approaches still exist in lots of places (substitute the languages and
perhaps the punishment).
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