"Just published: Why Languages Matter"
- FYI, from the UNESCO site at
Just published: Why Languages Matter
29-08-2008 - Published in this 2008 International Year of Languages,
?Why Languages Matter? provides readers with real life stories about
how literacy programs in local languages are helping to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In Indonesia for example, a program in mother-tongue prompted
villagers to replant mangroves to stem the destruction of coastal
areas. In Togo, a farmer began a chicken breeding business after
learning about how to manage finances and resources in an Ifè adult
literacy class. In indigenous communities of Mexico, bilingual
teachers are noting that students who begin primary school in their
mother tongue acquire literacy skills more quickly. In Benin?s Waama
community, literacy classes in mother tongue are giving people access
to basic health information and leading to improved overall health.
The brochure also highlights how partnerships can revitalize local
languages. In Viet Nam for example, speakers of several
closely-related languages now have a font that is usable on computers
and the Internet, an initiative supported by UNESCO.
The MDGs were officially adopted by 189 United Nations member states
in 2000. These goals seek to eradicate extreme poverty, universalize
primary education, promote gender equality, improve health and ensure
environmental sustainability by 2015.