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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Welcome Back!

     The Owl's Bookshelf was inactive for several weeks due to technical difficulties encountered with the blog administrator's laptop.  But now that the technical issues are solved, the Library Committee wants to welcome you back to the blog. Our year's goal is to continue posting information relevant to our profession and that will benefit our BA students.  We also want to document the accomplishments of our department faculty.
      This post will be dedicated to languages and  how some languages are at this moment in danger of extinction.  While English is considered a lingua franca for business, travel and other related situations, Spanish has more speakers as well as Hindi and Mandarin Chinese.  Mandarin Chinese is classified as the language with the most speakers.
     National Geographic published in their July issue a series of articles about languages that are in danger of extinction. The project Enduring Voices has as its goal to document the languages that are in danger of dying out with the ever-growing globalization our contemporary world is experiencing. As the National Geographic web page states of this project that" Nearly 80 percent of the world's population speaks only one percent of its languages. When the   last speaker of a language dies, the world loses the knowledge that was contained in in that  language." The goal of this project is to help preserve threatened languages.
     One of the most impressive data presented in the national Geographic article is that every fourteen days, a language disappears from our world.  As English professors, we know the importance of preserving languages as well as learning new languages to express ourselves.  The knowledge of different languages open doors to better understanding of the diversity of cultures.
     As Frantz Fanon expressed, "I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language. To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization."
     So welcome back to "The Owl's Bookshelf".  Our next post will be dedicated to a former student of UPRH who is completing  her Master in Education and worked on a study related to assessment and teaching.