Speaking to the World About Speaking to the World
This chapter argues that there is a need to convince the general public of the importance of languages. It suggests three main ways to achieve a noticeable public presence: awards, artworks and arenas. It provides a number of examples from other subject areas and suggests similar approaches for languages. These could include establishing an annual national prize for an incarnation of multilingualism; an annual commission or competition to provide an artwork on the theme of languages; or developing arenas where people can go to see how languages work, how they are used, and how they evolve: a place in every city, and a national House of Languages. It suggests promoting storytelling sessions, drama groups, poetry readings, public-speaking competitions, singing galas and cultural gatherings, to increase linguistic self-esteem; and designing language-themed products, such as multilingual calendars, postcards, birthday cards and festival posters.