do languages mean to you? Why do people learn a second language?
Bangladesh is famous for having fought for the right to use
theirs. You might be reading this in your second language
Try and answer the 10 questions below and then check your
How many languages are spoken in the world today?
b. 6, 800
c. 10, 500
What is the most widely spoken language?
The Ter Sami language, spoken in central Russia, has
how many speakers (according to the most recent census
How many speakers of English as a second language are
there in the world today?
a. 100 million
b. 200 million
c. 300 million
Many linguists estimate that … of the languages
spoken today will be extinct by the year 2100
How many seriously endangered languages are there in Europe,
according to a 1999 UNESCO report?
7. Which is
the biggest minority language in London?
8. The Oxford
English Dictionary is the standard reference work for
the English language. How many new words has it identified
in the last 13 years?
of Gaelic are spoken in…
10. What's the
difference between a language, an accent and a dialect?
a. a guidebook
b. a newspaper
c. a leaflet explaining the education system.
Quickly read the following text and decide if it is from:
is a complex and often highly political issue in Scotland.
If you're not from Scotland, you will be spoken to in a variety
of English, spoken in a Scottish accent. However, you will
hear phrases and words which are part of Scots, officially
recognised as a language in its own right. Gaelic, too is
a living language, especially in the Western Isles and Highlands.
is spoken by a third of the Scottish population, around ______________
people. From the thirteenth until the ____________ centuries,
it was the country's official language but since then it has
been consciously and unconsciously repressed in preference
to English. It is now enjoying a renaissance and was included
in the school curriculum once more in ____________ despite
the fact that many people regard it only as a dialect of English.
Gaelic (with Welsh, Breton and Irish Gaelic) is one of the
four Celtic languages to survive into the twenty-first century.
It is most closely related to Irish Gaelic not a surprise
since it was introduced to Scotland from Ireland around the
__________ century BC. From the 5th to the ________ centuries,
Gaelic gradually became the national language but then declined.
After the failure of the final Jacobite rebellion in __________,
Gaelic was banned and the ___________ Education Act gave no
official recognition to the language children were severely
punished if they spoke it at school. There are currently__________Gaelic-speakers
in the traditional Gaelic-speaking areas, with around 250,000
people in an extended community who have a limited understanding
of the language. Gaelic has experienced a revival recently
with the opening of bilingual nursery and primary schools
and more pupils studying the language at secondary school.
you go in Scotland there will always be a warm welcome despite
(or because of?) the language
Now fill in the gaps with the following numbers:
86,000 18th 1745 1996
3rd 1.5 million 12th 1872
D. Now decide if the following statements are true or false.
a. Scots is a dialect of English.
b. Gaelic is a Celtic language.
c. Breton is a variety of Gaelic is also spoken in parts of
d. Gaelic went to Ireland from Scotland.
e. As Scots became more popular, Gaelic declined.
f. In the 19th century it was illegal to speak Gaelic.
g. Now no children study Gaelic at school.
you think of when you think about your native language? How
would you describe it's history, and it's importance to you
and your fellow speakers? Are there regional dialects? Do
some places have famous/distinct local accents? Talk about
these ideas with a friend then try to write a brief summary
of your conversation.
1b, 2 a, 3 a, 4 c, 5 c, 6 c, 7 c, 8 b, 9 a,b&c
10. An accent refers to a different pronunciation, with a
dialect there is a difference in grammar and vocabulary but
speakers can still understand each other whereas users of
different languages cannot understand each others spoken or
In the following order: 1.5 million, 18th, 1996, 3rd, 12th,
1745, 1872, 86,000
(R) thedailystar.net 2004