ERIC Number: ED445873
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching English to American Indians.
Many practices in Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools were negative, but this paper emphasizes the positive efforts that were made throughout their history, especially in regard to teaching English. The Carlisle Indian School, which opened in 1879, encouraged the use of English through an English language student newspaper and frequently praised and rewarded students for speaking English. At the end of the nineteenth century, the "object method," which used objects and realia to help provide comprehensible input, was adapted for use in BIA schools. During the 1930s-40s elements of progressive education, which placed emphasis on the child rather than the subject matter, were used in BIA schools. Local material and daily experiences were used in teaching, early primary reading was based on words that children were already familiar with, and games and activities were used to teach vocabulary and engage students. English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) programs were initiated in Navajo-area BIA schools in the 1960s, and their success was bolstered by the addition of bilingual programs and bilingual teacher training programs. The problem with the all-English immersion teaching methods used in Indian schools was that they were used to replace the children's Native languages rather than to give them an additional language. Indigenous language activists strongly support immersion language programs for indigenous language revitalization, and most of the techniques the BIA adapted or developed to teach English are adaptable to teaching Indian languages as second languages today. (Contains 65 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, American Indian Languages, Bilingual Education, Educational History, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Federal Indian Relationship, Immersion Programs, Second Language Learning, Teacher Education, Teaching Methods
Full text at Web site: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/LIB/LIB10.html.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A