Report of the international expert group meeting on indigenous languages

The present report provides an overview of the issues discussed at the international expert group meeting on indigenous languages, held from 8 to 10 January 2008, at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Some of the issues discussed included the importance of linguistic diversity, the connection between language rights and all other fundamental rights, a concern for the lack of urgency while the majority of all indigenous languages are threatened with extinction, and proposals for the revitalization, promotion and protection of indigenous languages.

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Ignorant Decisions

'Ignorant decisions exacerbate declining outcomes for Indigenous learners,' says Misty Adoniou, President of ACTA, the peak body for professional associations for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. 'We express profound dismay at the actions of the Northern Territory Minister for Education, Marion Scrymgour, to effectively end bilingual education in the Northern Territory.' Minister Scrymgour's directive that all Northern Territory students receive four hours of English instruction each day effectively closes the 10 remaining bilingual programmes in the Northern Territory. This marks the final blow in a systematic undermining of bilingual education in the Territory, where prior to 1998 21 programmes were in operation.

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