This reading test contains 10 questions. You shouldspend about 20 minutes on this task. Read the passage below and answer questions 1-10. Language Conservation and Revitalisation It is estimated that around of the approximately sixthousand languages that are spoken today, overthree thousand of them are likely to havedisappeared by the year 2100. Many of these arenow classified as endangered languages and areclassified as such by factors such as the number ofspeakers a language has, the age of the speakers, and the percentage of the youngestgeneration acquiring fluency in the language. For example, a language with many tens ofthousands of speakers may be considered endangered if the children in the community are nolonger learning the language. This scenario may happen in a place like Indonesia which as manydifferent languages in use, but is trying to make communication easier by teaching a nationallanguage nation-wide. In another scenario, a language may only have a few hundred speakersbut may not be considered endangered because all of the children in the community arelearning the language. Once a language is classified as endangered, conservation efforts may be made in an attemptto save or revive the language. Whether or not to make such efforts is a decision which isultimately made by the speakers of the language themselves, but success often requires agreat deal of help and approval from the government or other authorities. One of the most famous language conservation success stories is that of the Welsh language.Historically, large numbers of Welsh people spoke only Welsh, but eventually English becamethe main language of Wales and fewer and fewer people learned Welsh. Conservation effortsbegan to be made in the mid-20th century with the establishment of such organisations as theWelsh Language Association in 1962. The Welsh Language Act and the Government of WalesAct, both passed in the 1990s, protected the Welsh language and made sure that English andWelsh would have equal status in Wales. Since 2000, the study of the Welsh language hasbeen a compulsory subject in school. Today, over 22% of the population of Wales are Welshspeakers, up from 18% in 1991. Another famous example, Hebrew, is not so much a story of language conservation as muchas language revitalisation. Hebrew was once a spoken language but by the 4th century BCE ithad been replaced by Aramaic. Hebrew continued to be used for religious purposes and inliterature but the language was no longer used for everyday purposes. In the 19th century,there was a movement to revive Hebrew as a spoken language, and when the State of Israelwas founded in 1948, Hebrew was adopted as the official language. There was some resistanceto this idea, as Hebrew was considered a religious language, not a language to be used forcommon communication. In addition, because Hebrew was an ancient language, it lackedmany of the words that are used in modern times and many new words had to be coined.However, because there was a need for a common language in Israel, the language wasaccepted and now thrives. The successes of language conservation are many, but many more attempts at languagepreservation do not succeed and there are many languages that have not survived except fora few recordings made by the last native speakers before their deaths. In some cases, thenumber of remaining speakers at the start of conservation efforts was not enough to sustainrevitalisation, and in others, efforts may fail because there is often no economic benefit tolearning an endangered language at the expense of a more commonly spoken national orinternational language.
Do the following statements agree with theinformation given in the article? In boxes 1-10 on your answer sheet write TRUE if the statement agrees with the information FALSE if the statement contradicts the information NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
- Half of the languages spoken today will be goneby 2100.
- A language may be considered endangered ifchildren of the speakers are no longer learning the language.
- Indonesian is an endangered language.
- Most endangered languages today are saved and revived.
- Welsh was revived mainly due to government legislature.
- The number of Welsh speakers is expected to rise rapidly in the future.
- All school lessons in Wales are taught in Welsh.
- Hebrew died out completely in the 4th century BCE.
- Hebrew and Aramaic are similar languages.
- Many new terms had to be added to Hebrew to make it functional for today’s world.
KEY: 1) F 2) T 3) NG 4) F 5) T 6) NG 7) NG 8) F 9) NG 10) T