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SOS spelled on a Scrabble board
SOS

Save your endangered language!

You have just heard a lot of information about current trends in language policies aiming at protecting and promoting multilingualism. You have listened to a language policy maker in a region in which a minority language plays a role and you read an article about language policies written by an expert in the field.

Now we would like you to make your own language policies in order to protect an endangered language of your choice. Let’s help promoting multilingualism!

For this you should go to the interactive website of the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. According to the Atlas there are about 2,400 languages in danger of extinction. So, there are a lot of languages in need of protection.

Using the search tools of the interactive atlas you should choose a country or area, a degree of vitality (vulnerable to critically endangered) and then select one of the languages, according to what might interest you the most. You can choose a language from your region or decide to explore regions in the world that you so far know little about. Then you should come up one policy to protect that language. Think about education, community activities or research.

At the end, you should share your policy with the other course participants by posting results.

Note: Mobile users may find it easier to use the downloadable UNESCO languages dataset below.

Have fun saving a language!

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This article is from the free online course:

Multilingual Practices: Tackling Challenges and Creating Opportunities

University of Groningen

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Expat family on home language maintenance
    Expat family on home language maintenance
    video

    In this video our multilingual expat family discusses language use, home language maintenance and explicit language policies in the family.

  • The trilingual school
    The trilingual school
    video

    In this video we see a the trilingual school De Flambou in Friesland, which teaches in Dutch, Frisian and English and includes migrant languages.