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Script to introduce the film

La Gomera is in the Canary Islands, Spain.

In this film BBC Mundo's Laura Plitt looks at schools in La Gomera where the ancient whistling language silbo gomero is taught.

Silbo gomero was made a compulsory subject in La Gomera in the 1990s to ensure the language did not die out on the island. This means that all of the school pupils there must learn the language.

Children at schools in the Spanish Canary Island of La Gomera are learning an ancient local language in which people communicate through whistling

Show the film and use the discussion prompts afterwards. Email if you would like to download a copy of this film.

Why do you think the islanders didn't want silbo gomero to die out?

Do you think the local government were right to make silbo gomero a compulsory subject? Why, why not?

How easy do you think it would be to use silbo gomero to communicate?

Would you like to learn silbo gomero? Why?

The reporter in the film mentions a time before 'telephones and roads'. What do you think it would have been like trying to communicate then?

Do you learn a language in school? If so, which one and do you enjoy it?

Is there a similar regional dialect or language where you live? If so, what is it?

How important is it to keep local languages and traditions in use? Why?

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Join us on Thursday, 21 February from 1100-1300 and debate your opinions about 'language' with other schools around the world!

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