Episode #27: Biocultural and Linguistic Diversity with Luisa Maffi

Luisa Maffi is the Director of Terralingua, an organization dedicated to the conservation of the world’s biocultural and linguistic diversity. In Part I of this two part series, Dr. Maffi explains the goals and purpose of Terralingua, and then paints a picture of crisis and extinction for our world’s languages. The relationships between language, culture, and biodiversity are profound and poorly understood, and Dr. Maffi’s experience and education come to the fore in this interview.

Stay tuned for Part II, coming in about a week’s time. And yes, it is good to be back podcasting once again.

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Episode #27: Biocultural and Linguistic Diversity with Luisa Maffi — 1 Comment

  1. This was a wonderful discussion. Thanks so much for it. I hope it’s O.K. with you that I point to it from my own Introduction to Linguistic Analysis site. Luisa speaks of children not knowing about bees creating honey, cows milk. At least as often, our children don’t know the languages of their grandparents or parents, speaking nothing but the national language of their country, in the case of my students, English. For so long, teachers and others advised parents not to speak the languages of their home cultures/countries around children, suggesting that adding a second or further language would hinder the child’s acquisition of English, and thus their ability to do well in school, and hence in life. Of course, we know that’s not the case. In addition, of course, there is the very strong pressure for “English Only.” Linguistic bigotry has not dissipated with time, either. It surrounds us like the blue air caused by Made in the USA trucks that get 10 mpg, and for many of the same reasons.

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