Living The Languages

I highly recommend these series of videos. Not just as an anthropologist and a teacher interested in language but as a human being who understands the importance of preserving cultural/ethnic diversity, our cultural genome.

I presently live in Guatemala and this episode makes a great point – our educational systems worldwide are complicit by ignoring and killing/strangling the languages of thousands of peoples in the world. Here in Guatemala, there is not a Mayan language high school or university. Why? They are the majority of people here but we are wiping their world from the sky….

Same in many parts of the world. We need to think harder of our role in this, us language teachers. Also recommend viewing Wade Davis’ passionate TED Talk / speech on this topic, a must. Also see the PBS series “Language Matters“.

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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2 Responses

  1. Aoife McLoughlin says:

    Hi David,
    Thanks for a great post – really insightful video on Guatemala’s cultural struggle to retain it’s language. We are having a similar struggle in Ireland where only 5% of the country now speak Irish day to day and we are afraid of losing our culture along with it. On our blog,, we are trying to keep it alive by providing teachers with free ESL lessons on Irish culture along with our more mainstream lessons. I’d be interested to hear what other people around the world are doing…

    Thanks again,

  2. David says:

    Thanks for sharing the site. It’s a good approach, from the bottom up.

    Half of the struggle is just cutting through all the noise and supporting each other in these efforts.

    I have spent a lot of years in Corsica and its another European language that has had up and down progress maintaining their language. And as you suggest, language and culture are so interwoven, you can’t have one without the other ….

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