Tuesday, 21st February (Richmond)

1. It’s International Mother Language Day today. UNESCO’s statement on ‘mother language based education’ begins as follows: “While mother-tongue-based education is essential to the full development of individuals and to the transmission of linguistic heritage, 40% of the world’s students do not have access to education in  the language they speak or understand  best.”

Here’s the full (short) text https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000384469_eng

here’s more background https://www.unesco.org/en/articles/international-mother-language-day-unesco-calls-countries-implement-mother-language-based-education

and here’s a detailed report, Born to Learn, on exactly why it’s never a good idea to inflict English medium education on young people who haven’t yet mastered their first/mother language https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000383289 PDF below as well – quite a big file.

2. Short notice of two events: firstly, the next event in Trinity’s ‘Transformative Teachers’ webinar series at 16:00 UK time tomorrow, 22nd February, Using songs to build awareness of global citizenship issues with Chris Walklett More info and registration here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/using-songs-to-build-awareness-of-global-citizenship-issues-tickets-526340357177

Details of other events – past and future – in the series here https://resources.trinitycollege.com/ttw

and while you’re in the Trinity website, consider submitting a proposal for this year’s 8th Future of English conference this coming June – the deadline’s 31st March https://resources.trinitycollege.com/foelt/events/2023

You’ll find recordings of all the very wide range of talks at last year’s 7th Future of English conference on that same page.

3. Secondly, the second event in the 21st Century English Teacher Express series with Peartree Languages and English Academy is this Thursday, 23rd February at 07:00 UK time. It’s a double-header: Planning Lessons & Courses and Understanding Learners. It will be streamed live on the British Council Teaching English Asia Facebook page: more info here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=575766161253568&set=pb.100064605672813.-2207520000.&type=3

4. Catch up with the winners of the Greenpeace Poems for the Planet competition here https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/resources/poems-planet-winners-resources/ and scroll down to download posters and teaching notes for Benjamin Zephaniah and Nicola Davis poems. PDFs below as well.

5. And, finally and controversially – and (nonetheless)(therefore) potentially the basis of an excellent lesson for advanced students, I reckon – the veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Hersh has just published an article in which he claims that it was the USA, not Russia, that blew up the Nord Stream pipeline https://seymourhersh.substack.com/p/how-america-took-out-the-nord-stream.

Hersh has an impressive track record – for example, he exposed the My Lai massacres in Vietnam and the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq – but not everyone agrees with him, including UnHerd, who’ve published two pieces rebutting his Nord Stream claim in detail (which you’ll be able to access if you’ve not already read eight articles this month, as I have):

i) https://unherd.com/thepost/who-really-blew-up-the-nord-stream-2-pipeline/

ii) https://unherd.com/thepost/osint-picks-holes-in-seymour-hershs-nord-stream-claims/

All I can say is that not everyone agreed with him on My Lai or Abu Ghraib either …

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