Indigenous Languages Explained: What You Need to Know Today

Up to 95% of the world’s languages might be extinct or endangered by the end of the century. And most of them are indigenous, meaning that they spoken by the indigenous people of a region.

In this article, you'll discover

  1. What’s an indigenous language?

  2. Why does it matter so much that we preserve these languages?

  3. And much more about how you can start learning one of these languages too

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Podcast Episode 17: Discover a Travel-Loving Lifestyle with Gabby Wallace

In this episode, I giggle my way through a football reporter’s discovery that German is a useful language - live! You will also hear my interview with Gabby Wallace, a friendly and experienced teacher who has made the whole world her office.

gabby wallace

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Where in the USA they still had a queen in the 1950s

  • Why Discipline and Sharing are the two most important techniques in language learning

  • How to combine the best of Japanese learning traditions with the best of the American classroom

  • How real language learners improve through videos

  • And best of all: How to become location independent, and how to have an immersion trip

  • How I flounder when I’m actually asked to explain Memrise

“The bottom line: It always comes down to motivation.”

— Gabby

Article of the week

Tips of the Week

As our video girl, Gabby didn’t hesitate to choose tip 3 for this episode, so go ahead and try it out.

1) Try some gist reading: Skim through an article quickly and try to get the gist

2) Bulk add your excel or word lists to Memrise

3) Get smarter about video with Yabla

Tips and Links from this Podcast

Support the Creative Language Learning Podcast on Patreon and I’ll send you a nice card.

Gabby Wallace

Laptop Teacher

Go Natural English

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix - they have subtitles and audio in German, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Jeremy Ginsburg teaching Vietnamese on Youtube

Please don't forget to head over to the Flashsticks Sponsor Page to support this podcast.

New Podcast: Becky Morales on Perfect Pronunciation and Having 4 Bilingual Kids

becky language podcast

Hey, welcome to lucky episode 13 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast. In this episode, I'll be sharing a delicious foodie article and talking about Kid World Citizens with Becky Morales.

You Will Learn More About:

  • How Becky went from Maths major to Spanish lover in college
  • What it takes and what it means to become bilingual
  • How to put together a golden approach to teaching language
  • Why pronunciation can be something you master at any age if you only have time, dedication and fun
  • How to create an environment where you can learn a language to any level from your own home

Article of the Week

Top Five Russian Pasta DIshes on Transparent Language

Bonus! Recipes of the Week

Jewish Noodle Kugel

German Spätzle

Kazakh Beshbarmak

Tips of the Week

Out of the following three tips, Becky chose number 1 as her favourite tip -  personalize your language learning experience by building your own vocab decks.

1) DIY your Memrise Courses

2) Start with Pronunciation (here's Gabriel Wyner's take)

3) Incorporate all the senses into your vocab learning habits (Science Daily)

Tips and Links from this Podcast

The Top 10 Podcasts to Help you Learn a Language

Heartwarming video of Brazilian students practicing with elderly Americans

Kid World Citizen : Becky's Website

The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners, Becky's book and on (Buy through this link to support my podcast!)

Why Destination PR can boost language learning and studying abroad alike

Okay, so here is a question for you:

Why are you learning a foreign language?

Think about it for a second.

Got something?

Is it travel-related?

Let's hope so! Travelling truly is one of the great benefits that can come out of language learning. You all know what I mean - the culture-specific words, the calendar events, the different ways a conversation will go. Experiencing life abroad is a dream for so many of us. The dream contains new beginnings, promises of success and amazing experiences. So with that in mind, what are we supposed to make out of this statistic?


Why wouldn't you do it?

Studying abroad has excellent benefits, such as improved language skills, employability and a whole new outlook on your life and career. So what's holding students back? Of course, we can partly blame this on a lack of language skills among university students. Some students might just not find themselves ready to spend a lot of time abroad, and others still will hesitate because it's not that cheap to spend a year abroad. (Phew, thank the EU for Erasmus grants!).

Illustrate the destination and you'll stay motivated for longer.

Illustrate the destination and you'll stay motivated for longer.

The role of the destination

In the study, this particular fact caught my eye: 29 per cent of UK students considering studying overseas selected the US as their first choice destination. Of course the ties between institutions in the US and the UK are strong and the language barrier is as low as it can be. But is there another factor at work?

I certainly think so. There is one fact that's equally true for studying abroad and language learning: We need more destination PR! In a world of carrying the internet in your handbag, it's not good enough to hope the saga of foreign lands will kick anyone into action. [Click to tweet this]

Secrets of ongoing motivation

I worked in marketing for ages and I learnt that the most important question for promoting something is "Why?". Just as with role models, destinations need to become more enticing and more obvious so that we can really feel we're setting our sights on something. Every language learner needs a reason to persevere when the dip hits. Weathering that is one of the keys to success, and I believe that learning more about the destination will keep you going.

In terms of action and practice, this means surrounding yourself with what you find interesting about the place and the people. Tourist brochures, films and radio stations are great - and of course native speaker friends will be even better!

If we're supposed to become true global citizens and boost numbers of language learners and students studying abroad, we will have to put as much into destination PR as we can.

Some interesting articles on this topic:

The 4 most powerful language news items of winter 2012

Merry Christmas everyone! Once you've sat back and had a good meal, an internet session and a good browse of my recommended articles I say get away from the screen and do something fun! Why not play with the little ones, go for a winter bicycle ride or a new class at the gym?

But first, let's catch up on the best news articles about languages in recent months.

1) Under-25s most likely to regret not studying abroad says poll - BBC 1 November

At a time where employers are increasingly looking for candidates who are proud global citizens, this article is a worthwhile reminder that opening up to a new culture can bring you not just more social points, but also more money.

To me, language learning and teaching is where all of this starts. What easier way to educate with global awareness than to show people how important and how very possible it is to communicate with a foreigner?

CC Image by Dave Catchpole on Flickr

CC Image by Dave Catchpole on Flickr

2) 153 languages being spoken in Manchester, but census didn't show that says language professor - MEN 17 December

Linguistic diversity lives where you least expect it. 153 languages in Manchester alone. One of the key excuses preventing people from language learning is this feeling that there is little point, that the language won't be used. Well, with studies like these you're forced to think again. It is proof that you can find a speaker of your target language much nearer than you think.

3) Schools science project aims to boost foreign language take-up - BBC 21 December

Finally someone in Britain's education policy camp has woken up! The project introduced in this article gives me hope that future generations of learners will stop thinking of themselves as a "scientist", "linguist", "mathematician" or whatever, and instead just enjoy whatever they are learning. It's so crucial to encourage a good general education, and languages are not an isolated add-on. They're something to learn along with many other things like business techniques or geography. Learning language for more than just the holidays - that's what the future is made of!

4) Why is the government ripping into language learning? - New Statesman 13 September

"It’s complacent to think that the rest of the world will learn English and talk to us on our terms."

A great read celebrating the big asset that has developed in many international communities all over the world. As globalization and increased mobility of workers in the world makes our communities more international, the number of languages in one place is exploding. There are two ways to take this development: You can turn your back on it, stay intolerant and refuse to accept that the others are people like you. Or you can approach different people with curiosity and discover what a great asset their language, their food, their religion and way of life can bring into your life. Throw away travelling - you probably have to walk no more than a mile to meet a speaker of Gujarati or Yoruba! (In my town of less than 100 000, I know where to find speakers of Polish, Igbo, Bulgarian and Mandarin without even considering the big university around the corner.)

Ja, je suis Global Citizen

I recently watched a nice video from the Goethe Institute, who promote German language and culture. It’s a summary of why learning German is actually a great idea for Brits, if perhaps narrated a bit too pompously for me. But in this video, the narrator states that “schools play a vital role in educating the global citizens of the future”. Global Citizens. Is your Buzzword alarm going off too?

Obviously “citizen” in itself is quite a powerful word. Pupils learn citizenship at school, and from looking at the exam papers this is about understanding the way society is organised. There are questions about all sorts from lobbying to charity and The Cuts™. Citizenship is more than just understanding how society works though -  it’s about getting the sense that the institutions work for you and it’s worth being a part of it.

So what makes the citizen global?



I consulted the master of all plain language definitions on this one: Urbandictionary, and it actually came out with a pretty nice summary:

“ A person that intentionally chooses to consider all countries as potential places to live, work, and play.”

This sounds a lot more fun than what those exam papers showed. More importantly, the website gave us what it thinks the opposite of a global citizen would be: a xenophobe, someone who resists the influence of other cultures and languages out of fear. We have the internet, the United Nations and a lot of rising superpowers who influence our own country’s economy and culture. Add to that the fact that these days almost every company works with clients and suppliers from all over the world, and almost every employee has at least one foreign colleague as a consequence. Now I understand: Global citizenship is a fancy way of saying that we should live the opportunities that are out there in the world. Don’t be scared of how different it would be to live somewhere else, but instead take advantage of your passport and travel the world.

Where does Language come in?

In the video about German language, we hear from companies like Bentley. They’re growing into all markets of the world, and owned by a German company. I can really see how a bit of German, Chinese or Spanish is going to come in handy – they might need you to work abroad for a period of time or show your local office to an international team of visitors. I’ve had jobs which involved travelling all over the world, and I love the absolute privilege of having an international career. Going to China or Russia didn’t make me fluent in those languages straight away, but it’s just such a great sense of achievement and acceptance when you can communicate across a language barrier. Understanding how people live and what values rule in their society is even more important – you will always need to understand your client or partner’s requirements before you can be successful in business. Or did you know, just like that, that in Moscow 8 March is an official holiday?

We don’t tend to put pupils who are learning a foreign language in school into Camp Acquisition – after all, they are learning it because it’s part of the curriculum. But conversely, global citizenship is all about that. It’s about discovering your curiosity about what’s out there in the world and what makes people tick over in the foreign lands. Language is where you can start entering another world, and the potential you are unlocking with that will absolutely change your life if you let it.

I’m not going to start using this term as a fancy buzzword any time soon, but it doesn’t change this: Global Citizenship is really important, and it means an awful lot to me.