Over the past several months, SIL LEAD has asked that question of local community organizations around the world—organizations comprised of people who recognize the value of their languages and cultures and want to improve the quality of life for their communities. We let them know that if they could mobilize local resources and begin taking steps toward those dreams, SIL LEAD would work to provide matching grants that would help them make those dreams a reality…Read More
One of the best ways to ensure that the work we’re doing meets real needs is to get it in front of the people who will be using it and find out their thoughts.
Back in April, when SIL LEAD was announced as a winner of All Children Reading’s “Book Boost: Access for All Challenge,” it provided a great, well, boost to our efforts to increase access to books for some of the world’s most vulnerable readers…Read More
With Canadian Thanksgiving Day just behind us and American Thanksgiving coming soon, for many this is a season for paying attention to all the things we normally take for granted—a time to remember to be grateful for our families, our lives, our work, and all the other blessings of being alive.
One very important thing that almost no one ever remembers to be grateful for is language…Read More
Most Americans will never have to relocate because of terrorism, but for Barbara Trudell it was all just part of her life as a professional linguist. Raised in tranquil western New York State, Barbara attended Houghton College where she studied linguistics and met Joel, the man who would become her husband. The two were interested in literacy work and after graduating from Houghton, in 1980 they joined SIL. SIL sent them as a literacy team to Peru, where for three years they worked with Quechua language groups in the highlands around the beautiful mountain city of Huancayo.
The eighties brought heightened terrorist activity to Peru, most notably by the Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path…Read More
What does it look like when education programs take seriously the need to provide education in languages that children speak and understand? It’s one thing to say that we should do this and quite another to actually do it…Read More
When is it appropriate to teach children in a language they do not speak or understand? That’s a question I found myself asking when I read the following sentence in the U.S. Government International Basic Education Strategy:
“U.S. Government programs will encourage schools, where appropriate, to teach in a language children speak and understand...” [p. 32, emphasis added]
I am glad that the strategy makes space for children being taught in a language children speak and understand. That’s what we’re about at SIL LEAD. But the phrase, “where appropriate” stumped me…Read More
In my previous post, I talked about the READ Act and the Administration’s strategy for implementing it. In this post, I want to look at the strategy from the vantage point of minority language communities.
The strategy highlights the learning crisis:
“387 million children of primary school age (56 percent) are not reaching the minimum proficiency level in reading and math.”Read More
A year ago today, the United States Congress passed the READ Act—Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development. This is not just another bit of legislation. For the first time, the US government hopes to weave together all the disparate efforts of 10 agencies* into a unified effort to provide quality basic education around the world.
From that moment on, the clock has been ticking…Read More