Language for Life: 2016 SIL Annual Update

This 2016 Update highlights ethnolinguistic communities who are making progress toward their development goals, not by giving up their language but by using it.

(February 2017) SIL has just published, in print and online, the 2016 SIL Annual Update, featuring articles that relate to Language for Life. It is available in both English and French. This year’s online edition features a responsive electronic format viewable on mobile devices.

Executive Director Michel Kenmogne begins the update by writing about what it was like to begin his education as a child in a language he did not understand.

Because of my experience, I’ve pondered over the years how education can truly become an enjoyable empowerment for children rather than just a painful ordeal….Examples from around the world convincingly prove that sustainable development happens when the linguistic and cultural heritage of peoples is treated as an enabler rather than an obstacle to development.

The Update features activities conducted in partnership with language communities around the world.

Language and the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Partnering for Multilingual Classroom Success—Orthography development in Philippines
  • Communities Caring for the Environment—Integrating environmental and agricultural sustainability in Cambodia

Language and Individual Wellbeing

  • A Changing Picture for Women—Kol-speaking women’s mother-tongue literacy result in dignity and economic progress.
  • Recovering from Trauma—Trauma healing workshops in mother-tongue in post-earthquake adjustment in Nepal

Languages and Education

  • Celebrating Successful Literacy—Multilingual education project in Thailand wins international recognition.
  • Apps for Reading—Reader App Builder generates mother-tongue stories for mobile phone distribution in Mexico.

Language and Community Vitality

  • Celebrating Culture, Developing Community—new website for Lezgi-speaking people of the Caucasus creates wider cultural communication.
  • Internet Access through Font Tools—SIL’s Graphite enables clearer readability for complex scripts.

Language and Dignity

  • Learning to Read, Reading to Learn—reporting positive changes in lives/communities resulting from mother-tongue literacy
  • Creating Sign Language Dictionaries with SooSL—software enables Deaf to document signed languages.

New Tech Tools:

  • Reading App Builder: free software that helps build customized apps to display books on Android smartphones and tablets.
  • Dictionary App Builder:  free for language communities to publish dictionary apps for Android smartphones and tablets.


Check out the 2016 Annual Update to read these stories.  


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