Reading Test

4114 WordsJul 18, 201217 Pages
READING PASSAGE 1 Lost for Words Many minority languages are on the danger list.In the Native American Navajo nation which sprawls across four states in the American south-west, the native language is dying. Most of its speakers are middle-age or elderly. Although many students take classes in Navajo, the schools are run in English. Street sign, supermarket goods and even their own newspaper are all in English. Not surprisingly, linguists doubt that any native speakers of Navajo will remain in a hundred years’ time. Navajo is far from alone. Half the world’s 6,800 languages are likely to vanish within two generations - that’s one language lost every ten days. Never before has the planet’s linguistic diversity shrunk at such a pace. “At…show more content…
‘Most of these languages will not survive without a large degree of bilingualism’ he says. In New Zealand, classes for children have slowed the erosion of Maori and rekindled interest in the language. A similar approach in Hawaii has produce about 8000 new speakers of Polynesian languages in the past few years. In California, ‘apprentice’ programmes have provided life support to several indigenous languages. Volunteer 'apprentices' pair up with one of the last living speakers of Native American tongue to learn traditional skill such as basket weaving, with instruction exclusively in the endangered language. After about 300 hours of training they are generally sufficiently fluent to transmit the language to next generation. But Mufwene says that preventing a language dying out is not the same as giving it new life by using every day. ‘Preserving a language is more likely preserving fruits in a jar’ he says. However, preservation can bring a language back from the dead. There are examples of languages that have survived in written form and then been revived by latter generations. But a written form is essential for this, so the mere possibility of revival has led many speakers of endangered languages to develop systems of writing where none existed before. Question 1-4 Complete the summary below. Choose no more than two words from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet. There are currently approximately 6,800
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