Have you thought about the number of languages in the world? It has been estimated that there are over 700 languages across the globe, many dialects that reflect languages, and that we have lost as many of the older languages in historical times.

This raises the question of how many languages there are in this region, and no one seems to know the answer to that question. Not that it would make much difference, however, the number of ethnic groups is quite substantial, and therefore while English is the prevailing language, there certainly are many families where a second and even tertiary languages are spoken across regional boundary lines. The language system is important to an understanding of the type of region that exists as well as what it might be like in the future.

Many factors dictate how and in what manner life will be like in coming decades. Speaking several languages in a global economy is critical and teaching language training should be an ongoing activity, whether it be high school, colleges, or other means. In the 51 school districts of the region, it would be helpful to have a review of what is being taught in a language sense so that a better focus can be established about what it represents today and what should be language focused in coming years.

This might apply to middle schools as well.

It has been said that in one nation alone, New Guinea, there are thousands of languages and many dialects, so that this shows the extent to which one small country has as many languages as may be in the United States, if not many more. The region should not take this for granted. We are in a worldwide trade war that demonstrates the need for language training of a major magnitude to achieve a better solution to community life and exporting and importing of products and services. To push forward

toward monitoring and developing a better understanding of international life, steps should be taken along the following lines within the region.

An inventory of languages that are spoken in the region should be undertaken and the results published and discussed among the one million or so people living in the region.

A review of what is being taught at educational levels to determine whether or not changes should be made would add value to the overall analysis that languages bring to regional life.

Special forums should be held across the region to discuss language capability and relate this to international trade and the essential ingredients of the economy.

Create an International Language Center in the region that can help advance language capability and add to the growth of trade and finance.

Hold special language days across the region so that language becomes more intense and critical to regional life.

English should not be neglected relative to language training, and there are English classes in every school district, however ,much more attention should be given to both English and writing since are tools for almost every type of business venture for youngsters who will graduate from high school or college .

Languages are the lifeblood of communications. Despite the growth of computers and technological devices, much more needs to be accomplished in enabling people to people skills in the development of actions that will cause transference of information by citizens and students alike. This means that as much attention as possible should be given to language development by this and future regional generations.


Howard J. Grossman operates his own consulting firm, HJG Associates, 116 Grandview Drive, Pittston Township Pa. 18640, e-mail grossmanHJ@aol.com.