Governments should definitely try to keep their threatened languages alive.It would be hard to learn lessons from their ancestors if they don't know the language that their ancestors communicated in.A good way to presrve languages would be to start school programs that start teaching languages at an early age before they become resistent.
I most agree with the one who references "the overall science of linguistics" in the No column except I'd also say the government should pay parents to teach children certain languages including extinct languages as 2nd languages so that we can run scientific studies to get a better idea of the psychology related to the language.
Governments should defiantly take steps to keep their own threatened languages alive. Language is a key part of culture and helps countries assess where they have come from, and how they have developed. The steps would be easy enough to put into place. For example teaching the threatened language as a second language in school, and encouraging students to speak with older generations who may be the only ones who still use the language. In no case should a language die.
Language is absolutely a vital part of our culture. I do not see anything wrong with moderate "chatspeak" however, language should not be abused and broken out of private conversations. Language determines literacy and knowledge which are key components of becoming and adult and getting a job in the real world. We already do have classes such as grammar, English, Reading, and more to secure our language.
The reason that languages die out is mainly social pressure: a different language is more useful in all aspects of daily life, so people don't teach their children the threatened language, and it eventually dies out. While I believe that it is important to catalog the threatened language so its unique features (and the contribution it can make to the overall science of linguistics) can be remembered, I don't think it's the government's place to try to actually preserve it in use, or keep people speaking a language they have decided is no longer useful.
No, governments should not take steps to keep their threatened languages alive. Our world is becoming a much smaller place and there are very few, if any, isolated areas left. As technology and social networking continue to spread throughout all lands and people, it becomes not only a necessity, but a strong desire, to learn a popular language in order to participate. In the process, some languages are very apt to disappear. This is to be expected and having the government step in to try to keep the language alive will create multiple layers of red tape, rules, laws and bureaucracy. Then after the expense of getting the government involved, the threatened language will still eventually disappear.