WORDS ON THE WALL: A LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY CAMPAIGN
Louise Ian T. de los Reyes-Aquino
Metro-Dagupan Colleges Email address: loui[email protected] Abstract
The Philippines, being an archipelago composed of more than 7,000 islands, has a total of 187 individual languages. Ethnic Groups in the Philippines warns that according to estimates of linguists only 1/10 th of our languages will remain by the 22 nd Century. This poses a threat to our indigenous languages in the Philippines and the Pangasinan Provincial Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. proclaimed that Pangasinan is a dying language and efforts must be done to preserve it.
This paper is aimed at creating awareness and promotion of conservation and preservation of the local language. It is anchored on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) concept that linguistic diversity should be encouraged especially with respect to the mother tongue. This is strengthened by the IFLA concept that libraries should support and promote cultural and linguistic diversity at all levels.
Descriptive-survey method was used to determine the impact of the linguistic diversity campaign as introduced by the MDC Library to 114 high school students with regards to perceptions on inclusivity, influence to learn a new language, and appreciation of cultural diversity. The campaign generally comprised of signs with multilingual words and/or phrases presented in four (4) translations: 1) English, 2) Filipino, 3) Ilocano and 4) Pangasinan posted on conspicuous places within the library.
Based on the survey, the linguistic diversity campaign produced the following impact: 82% of the respondents (93) felt accepted despite the language diversity in the environment, 82% (or 94) of the respondents were influenced to want to learn a new language (English) according to 34% (39 respondents), and 84% (or 99) of the respondents were influenced to appreciate linguistic diversity in the school. While the campaign was only done in a month, the campaign showed promise if continued.
Keywords: linguistic diversity; endangered language; Pangasinan; cultural diversity; language preservation