ERIC Number: ED462239
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Awakening the Languages. Challenges of Enduring Language Programs: Field Reports from 15 Programs from Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
Linn, Mary S.; Naranjo, Tessie; Nicholas, Sheilah; Slaughter, Inee; Yamamoto, Akira; Zepeda, Ofelia
The Indigenous Language Institute (ILI) collaborates with indigenous language communities to combat language decline. ILI facilitates community-based language programs, increases public awareness of language endangerment, and disseminates information on language preservation and successful language revitalization programs. In response to numerous questions about what works, ILI researchers visited 15 language programs in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. This paper reports findings on Oklahoma. With the exception of California, Oklahoma has the greatest diversity of Native languages and peoples in the United States. All Native languages in Oklahoma are threatened; most are severely endangered. A chart presents languages and linguistic families of Oklahoma, with number of speakers. Oklahoma tribal people do not have a land base, and their children are seldom the majority in public schools. Most Native language programs are grassroots and struggle for funds, teachers, and even community acceptance. Most programs pass through certain vital stages: commitment of the heart, awareness of the reality of the language situation, committed experimentation, re-contextualizing language and culture, transforming the culture of school, re-creating classrooms, and changing attitudes from hurt to responsibility. Successful approaches include using community language teams, promoting immersion, being family-oriented, setting goals, developing a few fluent speakers before expanding the program, balancing tradition and innovation, addressing language variation issues, working through politics, and persevering. The following are not necessary: money, tribal support, or a large number of speakers. ILI plans to create "facts" and "how-to" brochures are described. (Contains 34 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, American Indian Languages, Community Programs, Educational Strategies, Language Maintenance, Native Language Instruction, Program Development, Program Implementation
For full text: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/ILAC/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oklahoma