Here’s a great article, Listening to (and Saving) the World’s Languages (by Sam Roberts) in the New York Times about keeping almost lost languages alive. At the end of the article are these quotes from a man from Belize who is singing songs to his kids so they will remember his language, Garifuna.
Music does help people keep their languages alive!
“But as he witnessed his language fading among his friends and his family, Mr. Lovell decided to expose his younger children to their native culture. Mostly through simple bilingual songs that he accompanies with gusto on his guitar, he is teaching his two younger daughters, Jamie, 11, and Jazelle, 7, and their friends.
“Whenever they leave the house or go to school, they’re speaking English,” Mr. Lovell said. “Here, I teach them their history, Garifuna history. I teach them the songs, and through the songs, I explain to them what it’s saying. It’s going to give them a sense of self, to know themselves. The fact that they’re speaking the language is empowerment in itself.”