Languages are dying all over the world.
"Unesco’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger lists 576 as critically endangered, with thousands more categorised as endangered or threatened. The highest numbers occur in the Americas. “I would say that virtually all the [minority] languages in the US and Canada are endangered,” says Peter Austin, a professor of field linguistics at the University of London. “Even a language like Navajo, with thousands of speakers, falls into that category because very few children are learning it.” If measured in proportion to population, however, then Australia holds the world record for endangered languages. When Europeans first arrived there, 300 aboriginal languages were spoken around the country. Since then, 100 or so have gone extinct, and linguists regard 95% of the remaining ones as being on their last legs. Just a dozen of the original 300 are still being taught to children." (from the article "Languages: Why we must save dying tongues" by Rachel Nuwer).
1. Read the complete article at http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140606-why-we-must-save-dying-languages to learn the arguments for and against the preservation of endangered languages.
2. Make a list of points both supporting and opposing the statement, "It is important to make efforts to preserve endangered languages".
3. Decide on your own point of view. Express your point of view in one sentence.
4. Write a paragraph explaining your point of view, using the sentence you wrote in step 3 as your Topic Sentence.
5. Find a friend who takes the opposite point of view and discuss.
The top 10 languages in the world claim around half of the world’s population (Thinkstock)