Language Education and Diffusion Among its many other roles, the Modern Language Association conducts and disseminates research into the languages spoken in the United States, down to the county level. The maps used 6 4 It also contains a vowel [a] that is pronounced with the tongue slightly further forward than for English [ɑ], and carries a rising tone. Quite a lot of difference for a single syllable! in this guide represent only a slice of the data available in extremely user-friendly format at http://www.mla.org. Missionaries have often conducted critical field research into languages of the world, and the language data compiled at Ethnologue.com by SIL International is the fruit of many such efforts. This is an excellent site for exploring the names, diffusion, and inter-connections of all the world’s known languages
The Migration Policy Institute is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that researches data and trends in human migration worldwide, with a slight emphasis on U.S.-oriented migration: http:// www.migrationpolicy.org/. Though books focused on the nexus of multilingualism, culture, and education come from many sources, Multilingual Matters is a publisher whose perspective and interests align significantly with those of this guide: http://www.multilingualmatters.com/
Linguistic Histories and Structures The 2009 second edition of The World’s Major Languages edited by Bernard Comrie (Oxford) updates a 25-year-old classic that is the right speed for those who understand the structures discussed in this guide, but would like to know more about the history, writing and sound systems, and grammar of a given language, though less-spoken languages do not appear. The Omniglot.com website offers an excellent introduction to many of the world’s writings systems, including clear charts relating symbols, sounds and common transliterations. Online machine translation continues to improve dramatically, and its use as a tool for language learning is relatively untapped, though see the CUNY-NYSIEB Guide to Translanguaging for some interesting classroom applications. GoogleTranslate is an industry leader, with 64 languages available as of mid-2012, but other translation websites such as Systranet offer quality services as well. For those oriented a bit more toward traditional language learning, the Teach Yourself and Routledge Colloquial series are currently among the most linguistically-oriented in this market sector. Many of the books use IPA to describe the sound system, though there is some variation between authors. Of course, books, websites and this Guide are only supplements to the invaluable experience of using the language itself!