SIL International Media Release
SIL and World Bank Host International Mother Language Day Event:
Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning
(FEBRUARY 2006) International Mother Language Day has been observed annually on 21 February since 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. This year, SIL International and the World Bank in Washington, D.C., sponsored an event entitled, “International Mother Language Day: Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning.”
The participants at this event received a gift of coffee from the Mazatec Highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico. The coffee was handpicked and processed by friends of SIL International in San Jose Buenavista, Elox, De Flores Magon. They represent one of 1200 language communities SIL currently serves.
Three representatives of SIL International gave reports on different aspects regarding mother tongue education. Mr. George Maalug, a literacy consultant with SIL International, reported on current literacy projects in Ghana. Dr. Steve Walter, SIL’s International Literacy and Education Consultant, gave a brief overview of SIL’s involvement in mother tongue education during the last 50 years. He then explained the results of research focused on mother tongue education in the last decade conducted by SIL staff.
Dr. Susan Malone, International Consultant for Multilingual Education and Literacy Coordinator of SIL International Asia, addressed the seminar through a pre-recorded video presentation. She reported on several communities in Asia that are experimenting in, or are conducting mother tongue education projects, and gave background statistics and policies, as well as conferences being held regarding multilingual education.
A short film was shown about an SIL project called “Bridging the Gap: Dong-Mandarin Bilingual Education.”
As an international nongovernmental organization (INGO),
SIL partners with government organizations, other INGOs and local civic and religious groups.
SIL has special consultative status with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) and with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.