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(September 2017) The challenges and opportunities in promoting literacy in the digital world were highlighted at the international conference on 8 September at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, France. Participants from around the world who are active in the field of education, policy-making, literacy and digital technology were invited; Drs Barbara and Joel Trudell represented SIL. Objectives of the international conference were to deepen understanding of what kinds of literacy skills people need to navigate in a digital world. Promising practices were shared about effective policies and programs, and supportive financing to advance literacy in a digital world.
Côte d’Ivoire—Literacy for literates
SIL Côte d’Ivoire hosted an event to celebrate International Literacy Day. The event included a speech on the importance of the mother tongue and a discussion about partnership. A special highlight of the day included giving prizes to SIL staff who had recently learned to read their mother tongue. Already literate in the national language, they accepted the challenge to learn to read their mother tongue by 8 September. Literature in Ivorian languages was displayed and sold with the goal of helping SIL partners promote and organize literacy classes.
Special mother-tongue literacy classes were conducted for those already literate in the national language.Click Image to Enlarge
Washington D.C.—Literacy as tool against violence and radicalization
An event on 7 September, sponsored by SID and SIL in Washington, D.C., featured a discussion panel that included presenters from USAID and the US State Department and Dr. Kimmo Kosonen, Senior Education Consultant with SIL. The panel explored the connections between language, perceived self-worth, and human and community security. Panelists focused on whether members of a minority group, especially youth, may be more vulnerable to extremist ideology as a result of linguistic constraints. Presentations and discussion also examined how both the absence of linguistic restriction and encouraging positive attitudes toward the preservation and use of minority language can increase individual and group resiliency—thus decreasing both violence and a violent radicalization among youth. The discussion was followed by a reception sponsored by SIL.
Yao-language literacy classes.
Click Image to Enlarge