ERIC Number: ED445872
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
An Examination of Western Influences on Indigenous Language Teaching.
Mellow, J. Dean
To examine the influence of Western perspectives on indigenous language teaching, a two-dimensional framework of approaches to language teaching is presented. A horizontal continuum concerning the nature of language ranges between form and function, and a vertical continuum concerning the nature of language learning ranges between construction and emergence, creating four quadrants into which language teaching approaches are grouped according to their basic assumptions. The formal-construction quadrant includes grammar practice, skills-based, and phonics approaches; the functional-construction quadrant contains the total physical response and functional-notional approaches; the formal-emergence quadrant includes the natural approach and innate language abilities such as Chomsky's language acquisition device; and the functional-emergence quadrant contains the whole language, emergent literacy, immersion, and communicative approaches. The model provides a useful way for indigenous language teachers to examine the assumptions and implications of various Western approaches to language teaching and decide which are appropriate for their community. The model can also be used for examining underlying assumptions and properties of traditional, indigenous approaches to language use, transmission, and acquisition. A principled eclectic approach may be most effective because language is both form and function, and can be internalized through practice and acquired through natural communicative use. It is important to involve the community in decisions about how to teach a language, so that local factors specific to particular indigenous languages are considered. (Contains 38 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, American Indian Languages, Community Control, Culturally Relevant Education, Educational Principles, Elementary Secondary Education, Models, Native Language Instruction, School Community Relationship, Second Language Learning, Teaching Methods, Tribally Controlled Education
Full text at Web site: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/LIB/LIB9.html.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Learn in Beauty: Indigenous Education for a New Century; see RC 022 648.