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Routledge International Companion to Education by Bob Moon, Sally Brown, Miriam Ben-Peretz

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44

MOTHER TONGUE TEACHING

Jenny Leach

 

 

 

DEFINING MOTHER TONGUE

We do not speak one language, nor half a dozen, nor twenty or thirty. Four to five thousand languages are thought to be in current use. This figure is almost certainly on the low side. We have, until now, no language atlas which can claim to be anywhere near exhaustive. Furthermore the four to five thousand living languages are themselves the remnants of a much larger number spoken in the past. … One can only guess at the extent of lost languages. It seems reasonable to assert that the human species developed and made use of at least twice the number we can record today. … In many parts of the earth, the language-map is a mosaic each of whose stones, some of them minuscule, ...

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