A museum dedicated to the art of language is opening in Washington, DC

Feb 6 2020, 2:25 pm

Attention to all of our fellow lovely, lyrical, laudatory linguists, get ready for a haven where you can indulge in your profuse love of language.

Washington, DC, will soon be home to Planet Word, a museum whose mission is to “inspire a love of words and language…because language is essential to every aspect of our lives,” according to its website.

 

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The museum will introduce visitors to the value, purpose, and power of words via unique immersive exhibits that demonstrate how the world’s languages play such a vital role in determining all aspects of life from decisions to impressions to relationships.

With playful and interactive experiences, Planet Word seeks to guide visitors of all ages to uncover the fun of language and words while also building skills in literacy.

“Our community is hungry to share our excitement about language with a broader audience; faces light up when I mention that Planet Word is coming to Washington, DC,” Colin Phillips, Director of Language Science Center at the University of Maryland, said in a statement.

Examples of galleries that will exist in the museum include an informative feature entitled Words Matter.

 

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The exhibit will feature firsthand stories from real people who describe how words and language can transform their lives in both positive and negative ways.

Another gallery called The Spoken World will feature thirty-one language ambassadors — individuals who speak different languages as well as signers — who will introduce you to their various dialects.

There will also be Speaking Willow, an interactive auditory installation by world-famous contemporary artist Rafel Lozano-Hemmer.

 

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“Language is what makes us human. From earliest childhood, we weave our words into speech to communicate. At Planet Word, we inspire and renew a love of words and language through unique, immersive learning experiences,” the museum’s website explains.

Unfortunately, the site states that in the US, 21% of adults read below a fifth-grade level, while 31% of fourth-graders fail to perform at the Basic level on national reading tests.

 

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“Literacy is the essential gateway to early school success, high school graduation, participation in the global economy and citizenship,” says Ralph R. Smith, Managing Director for Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

“But what is magical about reading is how we move from learning to read, to reading to learn, and then loving to read. Although Planet Word will be a national museum dedicated to reading, writing, and speaking in a fun and informal setting, truly, it will be even more…Planet Word will be nothing less than a bold attempt to capture and share the magic.”