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ERIC Number: ED467413
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jul
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Maintaining and Developing Indigenous Languages.
Reyhner, John
Dr. Joshua Fishman, a world renowned sociolinguist and expert on endangered languages, postulates a continuum of eight stages of language loss for indigenous languages. The most-endangered languages are in stage 8 and only have a few elderly speakers. In stage 7 only adults beyond child-bearing age still speak the tribal language. In stage 6 there is still some intergenerational use of languages in homes. In stage 5 the language is alive and used in minority communities, and even on a voluntary basis in schools. In stage 4 the minority language is required in elementary schools as a language of instruction, not as a second language to be learned. In stage 3 the indigenous language is used among employees, but not by supervisors. In stage 2 lower government services and mass media use the language. In stage 1 higher levels of government and higher education use the language. The most important factor in keeping endangered languages alive is their intergenerational transmission at home. Outside of homes, minority-language use in early childhood centers and in pre- and post-natal programs for young mothers is important. Communities can support their languages by using them in businesses, markets, community centers, and local agencies and services. Minority languages can be given an exclusive role in traditional family and community social activities. The role of schools is to build on native language fluency that children learn at home. (Contains 21 references.) (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A