IYL '08: Moratorium on beating kids for speaking mother tongue?

Don Osborn dzo at BISHARAT.NET
Thu Jan 10 17:07:27 UTC 2008

Thank you Bill. I have read some other of her materials and as it happens
just finished a couple of recent articles she co-wrote.

The larger context of rights is essential, I agree of course. My
deliberately understated proposition - which I hope did not offend anyone -
was in part the seeking of a tangible and immediate way to raise public
awareness. Most people have no clue that kids are punished for speaking
their maternal language or the policies that promote such. A few still think
it's a good idea. Many probably are unaware of the histories of linguistic
abuse and genocide.

So, this proposition: That out of respect for the International Year of
Languages, as declared by the UN for 2008, and for the entire duration of
said year, beating, shaming or otherwise punishing children at school or at
home for speaking their mother tongue - wherever it is in the world - will
be halted, unconditionally.

If such an approach could promote a fruitful discussion outside those of us
concerned with language rights, then maybe it would be worth it.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Indigenous Languages and Technology
> [mailto:ILAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU] On Behalf Of William J Poser
> Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2008 6:32 PM
> Subject: Re: [ILAT] IYL '08: Moratorium on beating kids for speaking
> mother tongue?
> On the human rights aspects of minority language use I strongly
> recommend Tove Skutnabb-Kangas' book "Linguistic Genocide in
> Education or Worldwide Diversity and Human Rights?" (Mahwah,
> New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000),
> http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805834680/ref=ed_oe_p/103-
> 7239221-8176636
> Bill

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