Everyone knows it’s a good idea to get kids to learn a foreign language.
But lots of Australian kids already speak a foreign language — at home. Yet these ‘mother tongues’ are losing ground to English. How do we encourage the minority languages in our midst?
Linguist Daniel Midgley investigates on this episode of Talk the Talk.
Listen to this episode
Promo with Ronan Lane
We’re talking about this article in Slate:
One Planet, One Language: How Realistic Is Science Fiction Linguistics?
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Uyghur Linguist, Two Associates Sentenced After One Year Detention
The Language Log post
Uyghur is an official language of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
In Australia, about one in five people speak a language other than English at home.
But for schoolkids, it’s more like one in three.
Push to get more Aussie kids speaking their native language
How we kill languages and fail our cleverest children
How many are in your area? Find out using the SBS Census Explorer.
Some parents are concerned that bilingualism will hurt their child’s language skills. It doesn’t.
Bilingualism is pretty normal.
There are perhaps 20 healthy Aboriginal languages in Australia
Here they are, under “Strong Indigenous Languages”.
Language nests can help
They’re a way to facilitate trans-generational language transference.
New South Wales made a big push for them last year.
Economic success ‘drives language extinction’
And that’s bad, because language diversity is very positive.
Here’s where it comes from
It’s getting degrammaticalised
‘Beautiful Mother’ by Dirty Projectors + Björk
from the album Mount Wittenburg Orca
‘Hold the Line’ by SBTRKT
from the album Transitions