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Friday, 13 August 2010

CONFERENCE DECLARATION: “Enkontru Dahuluk kona-ba Dalen Nasion·l Timor-Leste” 5 to 6 August, 2010

The participants in this conference:

Recognise the unique place occupied by the national languages or “mother tongues” of Timor-Leste in defining our identity and culture;

Affirm their commitment to assisting the Government and State of Timor-Leste to honour its constitutional obligations of “valuing and developing” the national languages of our beloved Timor-Leste through:

Establishment of Councils for the Promotion of Mother Tongues for each of the national languages in order to serve as a source of information and guidance for all groups and individuals interested in promotion of the language concerned;
Collaboration with the National Institute of Linguistics (INL) and other relevant authorities on the development of written materials, including dictionaries, linguistic profiles, literacy materials and written/audio-visual documentation of our languages.

Appeal to the Timor-Leste Government to boost its funding support to the INL as the body entrusted with the role of safeguarding and developing the languages of Timor-Leste, including development of a standard orthography which can be used for all national languages;

Urge the Government of Timor-Leste to give serious consideration to a role for national languages in the education system of our nation, particularly in the early years of primary education, taking into account the empirical evidence and international best practice which points to the superiority of mother tongue in the acquisition of basic literacy skills;

Appeal to the Government to create a “development packet” in support of the national languages, including funding for human resource development.

6 August, 2010

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