Many groups around the globe are concerned with languages that seem to be slowly fading out of existence, whether they be spoken in Africa or Europe. Government efforts have helped out a number of languages during the past several decades and the role of various institutions of higher education should not be underestimated as well. One rather interesting program that has been in the news recently is the Keough Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. The Institute has been in existence in 1993, and offers instruction in a wide variety of topics, including the Irish language, Irish history, and Irish dance. The courses offered by the Institute have grown increasingly popular over the past few years, and as John P. Harrington (who serves as the president of the American Conference for Irish Studies) noted recently, "They've done a good job of creating Irish studies as a genuinely international subject area, which is what it is." Summing up much of the feelings at the Institute, language instructor Brian O Conchubhair remarked that "The death of the Irish language has been foretold since the 1840s, but it's still hanging in there."
The first link leads to a news story on the Irish studies program at the University of Notre Dame from The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. The second link will take visitors to the very informative homepage of the Keough Institute for Irish Studies, where users may learn about their public lecture series, their faculty, and other germane details. The third link leads to the website for The American Conference for Irish Studies, which awards prizes for distinguished publications in the field and also provides information on the various Irish studies programs around the country. The fourth link leads to the Irish-language radio station operated by RTE in Ireland. Here visitors can listen to a wide range of programs, all of which are broadcast in Irish. The fifth link takes users to the Ethnologue website, which is a truly amazing online resource about the world's languages. The final link leads to UNESCO's very fine International Mother Language Day, which includes a variety of resources such as position papers, and the very useful Atlas of World Languages in Danger of Disappearing.