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ERIC Number: ED428923
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Some Basics of Indigenous Language Revitalization.
Reyhner, Jon
Drawing from papers presented at the five "Stabilizing Indigenous Languages" symposia held since 1994, this paper recommends strategies for language revitalization at various stages of language loss. Based on a study of minority languages worldwide, Joshua Fishman postulated a continuum of eight stages of language loss, ranging from the edge of extinction, with only a few elderly speakers (stage 8) to use in higher levels of government and higher education (stage 1). Moving a severely endangered language from stage 8 to stage 5 is a prerequisite for keeping it alive and can be accomplished through the efforts of parents, families, and communities. Stages 4 through 1 involve giving the minority language a status that encourages its usage in schools, workplaces, and government. However, the key to minority language preservation lies in the intergenerational transmission of the language in the home. Other issues in language preservation include the role of writing and literacy in the indigenous language hierarchy of needs, the need for students to expand their language skills from primary discourse to secondary discourse, the role of technology in revitalizing indigenous languages, and what kind of teacher training is needed to make schools successful partners in language revitalization efforts. The conclusion discusses the value of indigenous languages as conduits of culture and the need for language activists to concentrate on the methods, materials, and motivation they will use to achieve their goals. Contains 21 references. (SV)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A