ERIC Number: ED415064
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Coyote as Reading Teacher: Oral Tradition in the Classroom.
Heredia, Armando; Francis, Norbert
Although traditional indigenous stories are widely recognized for their artistic merits and their role in the linguistic and cultural continuity of indigenous peoples, they are seldom used in schools. This paper discusses the instructional uses of traditional coyote stories, with particular reference to bilingual revitalization programs involving the teaching of indigenous languages. Instructional uses fall into two broad areas of school-based language learning: the development of academic discourse proficiencies and the development of second-language proficiency (using original versions for indigenous language revitalization purposes and translations for students dominant in the indigenous language and learning the national language). Coyote stories vary widely in their structural complexity and themes. In this variability lies their power as a genre, from a pedagogical point of view. Two extended examples illustrate the features that, respectively, lend themselves to the two broad language learning objectives: developing textual consciousness and literacy-related discourse competencies and providing a source of second-language comprehensible input. The two stories are the Nez Perce "Coyote and the Shadow People," which has a complex story line similar to the Orpheus myth, and from central Mexico, "The Opossum and the Coyote," a simpler children's tale with repetitive structure. Contains 17 references. (Author/SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Teaching Indigenous Languages; see RC 021 328.