Conference stresses the importance of Language

The Nation newspaper in Bangkok published this article regarding the recent International Language, Education and Millenium Development Goals Conference held on November 9-11, 2010. Many reknown experts in the field, academics, educators, practioners and government officials attended this conference in addition to representatives from various international agencies and NGOs. Over the three days of the conference, many papers were presented regarding the power of language in increasing access for disadvantaged people to access basic services such as health care and education. Langauge is also crucial in decrease their poverty level through better school and income generation opportunities, as well as more sustainable lifestyles. As Dr. Suzanne Romaine, a well-published author on socio-linguistics, stated “language is the missing link” to having our world and its peoples develop sustainablty and equitably. Without language, we will lose to reach lingusitic and cutlural heritage and knowledge, much of which resides with the most disadvantaged and lingusitically diverse group of all, indigenous people. The speeches and talks echoed the central message that languages must be preserved and cherish and its role towards reaching important social and econmic goals must be recognized and brought to the front of the development and planning agendas.

Source: Nation

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