An ecological approach assumes that the world requires a full complement of its languages and cultures; it obligates the entire world to maintain and appreciate all languages and cultures, especially those at risk.
Educational Restitution & The Ecology of Languages
Educational restitution informs victims about pre-genocidal oral traditions and cultural complexity.
These are languages at risk of no longer being spoken by successive generations due to the aggressive influence of languages and cultures associated with power and high status. They also include languages and their corresponding cultural expressions that have been victims of genocides. Acts of genocide have attempted to exterminate these symbols of cultural identification and oral and written tradition.
Acts of genocide have attempted to exterminate these symbols of cultural identification and oral and written tradition.
In a description of what can be done to save endangered languages, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) states that [implementation of] “education systems that promote mother-tongue instruction, and creative collaboration between community members and linguists to develop a writing system and introduce formal instruction in the language” is needed.
Another organization focused on endangered languages is the National Endowment for the Humanities’ program “Documenting Endangered Languages.” The DEL program funds initiatives which seek to document and describe endangered languages. It also gives native speakers of endangered languages the chance to learn different methods of documentation.