Language Status: How cool is your language?

This is a really interesting articles and shows why we, as teachers, need to help children celebrate their home language no matter what it is.

on raising bilingual children


One of the unfortunate realities of bilingualism is that success or failure is often determined by language status. Yes, it’s true, languages have “status”. Some languages are high status, some are low status, some are in the middle. It’s not an unchangeable rating – it depends on where you are and what other languages are involved. Here in the Netherlands the high status languages are Dutch, English, probably French, maybe German, and Frisian (in Friesland, arguably). Low status languages are Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Portuguese probably, Polish definitely. So how does language status affect bilingualism, and is there anything that can be done to counteract the effects?
The answer to the first question lies in sociocultural attitudes and government support. Language status is a complex phenomenon made up of people’s attitudes towards the home county of the language, people’s attitudes towards speakers of that language, and institutional attitudes about the language.

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