I don’t know if you will agree with me but I have learned from various resources that for all the people in the world, the major indicators of identity and important factors in development, communication, education and social integration are languages. It has been said many times that languages are very important since they connect people together with better communication and harmony.
Cultural diversity is one characteristic being accentuated by languages and since globalization has put many languages under serious threat of harm or extinction; cultural diversity is also on the way to being debilitated. A lot of things in cultures such as traditions, distinct expressions and thinking styles, and memories will surely be under heavy strain or will eventually disappear from existence once languages will not be preserved. I believe in that too that is why I think learning new a language or more is essential.
One of the best solutions to this growing problem of language threat will be the promotion of multilingualism. People who are speakers of a mother-tongue are encouraged to use and promote their language to their local community, in their country and in the world; and they are encouraged to learn and use other regional and/or international languages as well. That way, languages will remain active not just in the communities where they originated from but also in other parts of the planet. So if I were you, aside from learning new languages, I should also preserve my mother-tongue or first language.
The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages. UNESCO will be the lead agency to promote the said event since the language issues are fundamental to its education, social and human sciences, sciences, information, culture, and communication mandates. UNESCO has encouraged its partner organizations to promote and protect all available languages, especially the endangered ones, in all collective and individual situations. It will be great help to UNESCO if we do our parts too even in our own little ways.
There are numerous ways on how to promote language and multilingualism projects such as research and analysis, network development, information dissemination, capacity building, awareness promotion and varied local, regional or global outreach programs among the few. Most of these activities are interrelated but they can also attend to particular issues. Educational projects which promote quality learning by supporting bilingual and multilingual education especially with the use of the mother-tongue at all formal and non-formal aspects will surely be able to help promote multilingualism together with culture-centered projects on cultural diversity; social and human sciences endeavors focusing on human and cultural rights and languages; science projects aimed at developing and disseminating of information to overcome language barriers in different communities; and information and communication projects which concentrate on building and promoting linguistic and cultural diversity in international media and information networks.
If you are really concerned with language preservation and learning, better do your part by participating in events and projects which are supported by your local community, national government or international organizations. Your part in safeguarding your mother-tongue and learning new languages will eventually make you a good resource for the promotion of multilingualism. If you want to alleviate your multiple language skills yet you are in need of funding; try searching for scholarships, grants or financial aid from different educational, government and private institutions which sponsor language learning studies either on a short term or long term basis. It is never too late to help preserve languages and promote multilingualism. Learn new languages, and help preserve them!