MOther Language Map

Community members came to the Mother Language Map booth to make their mark! They shared on our map where their heritage is from and which language(s) they speak!

Map of University of Arizona languages spoken--Day 4 of project.

Student: Bri Alexander


One of the primary struggles to the field of revitalization is ignorance; most do not realize what is at stakes, or else there would be no need for the various books, articles, and statistics supporting language revitalization efforts. A simple, and yet potentially effective, way of breaking through this initial challenge is to get people to see just how diverse mother tongues are, globally but also locally. This project makes languages personal, which many sources agree is necessary (Harrison, 2007; McCarty & Zepeda, 2010; Zuckerman, 2013; Lewis, Simons, & Fennig, 2015). Imagine someone (who is unaware of language diversity) sees that their friend’s mother language is not English; simply seeing the map graphic can spark conversation about the language, and thus begins the needed dialogue about what is happening to the language.


I will create a large world map (dimensions yet to be specified) for passersby onto which they can write the name of their heritage languages in multiple colored ink. This visual will be designed so that it can be maintained and added on to each year and a photo will be take to use as a graphic advertising the linguistic diversity of the University of Arizona Campus.