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ERIC Number: ED428924
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Running the Gauntlet of an Indigenous Language Program.
Greymorning, Stephen
This personal narrative of an Arapaho teacher compares the development of an indigenous language program to running the gauntlet. On the Wind River Reservation (Wyoming), Arapaho instruction was introduced in reservation schools during the late 1970s. By 1984, it was taught in grades K-12, but for only 15 minutes per day. Although recordings of elders and extensive instructional materials were created, little language learning occurred because the materials were not used effectively. Efforts to translate children's songs, stories, and cartoons into Arapaho were criticized as demeaning to the language. After a discouraging assessment of language instruction practices in the schools, it was decided to begin more extensive Arapaho instruction with kindergarten children in 1993. After receiving an hour of instruction each day for 18 weeks, the pilot class of 15 children had mastered over 200 Arapaho words and phrases. Evidence of the success of Hawaiian and Maori immersion programs convinced administrators to implement a half-day kindergarten immersion class in 1994, which became a full-day program in 1995. As the Arapaho Language Immersion Program completed its fifth year of operation in 1998, it continued to draw on Hawaiian and Maori models by implementing preschool immersion classes and providing language and culture lessons to mothers with toddlers and young children. (SV)
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Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A