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ERIC Number: ED467414
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jul
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Navajo Language Program at Navajo Community College - Context and Collaboration.
Slate, Clay; Pfeiffer, Anita
Over the last 10 years, there has been considerable expansion of the Navajo Language Program at Navajo Community College (NCC). The guiding principle for this development has been that the seminal work be done by Navajos, in Navajo, for a Navajo audience, and for Navajo purposes. Navajos who speak Navajo have a richness of resource and an access to intuition about grammaticality and acceptability unmatched elsewhere. Navajo-speaking Navajos also have an understanding of the Navajo community, and an appreciation of the need for certain foci in research, curriculum writing, and composition. Besides being symbolically important, doing the work in Navajo forces constant coinage and circumlocution in the language. When the talk is in English, the group becomes more disjointed, in part because English speakers' discourse structure tends to constrain what is said. Giving the Navajo audience primacy forces authors to be more careful, because this audience is the most critical, has the most at stake, and is the most interested. Doing the work for Navajo purposes tends to prioritize activities of an applied and practical nature. With these efforts, and associated research projects, NCC has developed a forum of teachers, students, and other scholars who rigorously investigate and create in Navajo. Authority increasingly resides with Navajos, and the functions of promoting and perpetuating the language come to the forefront. Navajo Language Program goals, principles, and courses are described. (TD)
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