A historically undervalued language is a language that suffers from systemic, social, and cultural degradation, exists in the shadow of a more dominant and socially “acceptable” language, and is spoken by historically disadvantaged and marginalized peoples.
Speakers within these historically undervalued linguistic communities are often shamed for speaking their Mother Tongue, while being portrayed as “uneducated”, “unintelligent”, and “unworthy” of participating in mainstream societies. Despite their varying histories, many Creoles of the Caribbean share the same struggle: how to overcome the negative stereotype of being the speaker of a historically undervalued language and find a sustainable way to positively promote and preserve the language?
Mother Tongues United will bring together educators, authors, and activists from different language communities to discuss the importance of the use of the Mother Tongue in Children’s Literature in the Caribbean, what is currently being done to positively promote and preserve the Mother Tongue, and how their respective diasporic communities contribute to a shift in the perception of the language. Guest panelists will include, among others, Riva Nyri Précil, author of "Anaëlle and The Mermaid", Carmel Balan, founder of Port Academie, and Keisha Wiel, Papiamentu Scholar. The Panel Discussion will be followed by Professional Development break-out sessions focusing on Lesson Planning, Increasing Parental Involvement, and Cultural Sensitivity Training. Light refreshments will be provided.
Presented in partnership with
The Haitian Creole Language Institute of New York (HCLI)
The event is free and open to the public. A valid ID is required to enter the building.