Hispanic Heritage Month 2021: Infographic on Samples of Officially Recognized Indigenous Languages across Latin America designed by Dr. Jasmin (Bey) Cowin

Did You know there are over 1000 indigenous languages spoken across the Americas?

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Touro College, GSE and the TESOL/Bilingual department, I wanted to create a sharable resource for educators. In my home country, Germany, my local dialect is Swabian, an often incomprehensible, almost separate local language with customs and stories connected to our region.

Then, I thought about the plethora of officially recognized indigenous languages across Latin America. “Language is the foundation of a culture. For Indigenous oral societies, words hold knowledge amassed for millennia. A language also holds the stories, songs, dances, protocols, family histories and connections.”[1] For teachers, this infographic offers the opportunity to discuss the connection between language and culture, highlighting the treasures of the collectives narratives, stories, songs, dances, customs, family histories and connections.

There is a grave danger that indigenous languages disappear due to continued fallout of colonialism, climate change and devastating land loss of indigenous peoples. “Between 1950 and 2010, 230 languages went extinct, according to the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Today, a third of the world’s languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers left. Every two weeks, a language dies with its last speaker, 50 to 90 per cent of them are predicted to disappear by the next century.” [2]


[1] Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples®

[2] Nina Strochlic, The Race to Save the World’s Disappearing Languages, National Geographic April 2018

Author: drcowinj

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today,” determined Malcolm X at the O.A.A.U.’s [Organization of Afro-American Unity] founding forum at the Audubon Ballroom. (June 28, 1964). (X, n.d.) Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin a Fulbright Scholar, SIT Graduate, completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP™) at Columbia University, Teachers College. Dr. Cowin served as the President of the Rotary Club of New York and Assistant Governor for New York State; long-term Chair of the Rotary United Nations International Breakfast meetings; and works as an Assistant Professor at Touro College, Graduate School of Education. Dr. Cowin has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator, tech innovator, entrepreneur, and institutional leader with a focus on equity and access to digital literacy and education in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Her extensive background in education, administration, not-for-profit leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and technology innovation provide her with unique skills and vertical networks locally and globally. Dr. Cowin participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair-Elect for the New York State, NYS TESOL organization, for the 2021 conference. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications, presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education; Current Global Trends in TESOL; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English; E-learning; Micro and Macro-Methodologies in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.

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