World Languages: Facts and NumbersSebah Al-Ali
I’m sure many of you will have read the article about Sharjah Women’s College, and will likely have an equally diverse range of nationalities and first languages in your staff room. It came to mind as I read one of The Washington Post’s recent articles. The authors share a few interesting facts about world languages with charts, table and interactive maps.
For example, they note that while English is spoken in 101 countries, Arabic comes second with 60 countries using it as a spoken language. It was also interesting to know that the UAE is one of the linguistically diverse countries, with 71 spoken languages in the country!
They have a few more interesting facts that you can share with your students. Find out a lot more, here: The world’s languages
You can use them as visual prompts for speaking activities about learning new languages or a certain language. You’d be surprised how many other languages our students understand or even speak (TV shows!).
You can also use these charts for IELTS task 1 practice, or to practice grammar skills, like comparatives and superlatives. I would also use it with pre-foundations students to practice numbers.
… and you can simply use it to have fun in class! Sometimes, when we need a break in class, my students share their knowledge of other languages to teach me (and their friends) how to say some common expressions in different languages they know. We’ve learned, so far, how to say “hi, how are you?”, “I don’t know” and “none of your business” in Turkish, Japanese, and Emirati! It is fun! It gives me a chance to show them that they’re good language learners; they just need to practice more.