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At Transparent Language, we are proud to contribute our innovative language learning technology to the world’s under resourced languages as part of the 7000 Languages Project. More exciting than the language learning resources we create, however, is how those resources can be integrated into the community to preserve and promote that language.
Back in February, we announced our partnership with BASABali, an organization dedicated to preserving the Balinese language. In the months since then, we have worked together to create and promote the first ever multimedia materials for teaching Balinese. But the story doesn’t end there.
Alissa Stern, Executive Director of BASABali, reported some great news this week. The Balinese language software we’ve produced together has been accepted as part of the regular Balinese middle school curriculum!
As you may know, Balinese schools are taught in Indonesian as are the schools from other Indonesian islands. However, the Mayor and Minister of Culture for DenPasar, the capital of Bali, recognized the high quality of the materials, noting that they fit perfectly into the current curriculum. As a result, the software will now be used during a 1-hour per week Balinese language instruction permitted in the schools, as well as in after-school programs.
Alissa reports that, “We are piloting the program in 12 middle schools, with 2 students from Udayana University helping with each middle school and a committee comprised of a linguistic professor and his students who are coordinating the whole thing.” Selected schools are located mainly in and around the Balinese capital, including SMP Tunas Bangsa, SMP Bina Nusantara, and SMP Negeri (1, 2, and 4).
The 7000 Language Project materials being used in the pilot program have English as the facilitating language for learning Balinese. Alissa and the great team at BASAbali are now also working on an Indonesian/Balinese version of the programs, which could be used in more schools, further from the capital. The Minister of Culture has expressed interest in learning more about that version when it’s released, and everyone is hopeful that that version can be put to work in the schools as well.
The goal of the 7000 Languages Project is to create and make available best-of-class technology-enabled learning materials in languages of limited commercial interest. Just making those materials available to interested teachers and learners is exciting. But once the materials exist, it opens up all sorts of opportunities to energetic visionaries, like the folks at BASAbali, who are proactively expanding the use of the materials to advantage schools and university programs.
For more information, please visit www.transparent.com/about/7000-languages-project.html