ERIC Number: ED482033
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
Situational Navajo: A School-Based, Verb-Centered Way of Teaching Navajo.
Holm, Wayne; Silentman, Irene; Wallace, Laura
This paper describes situational Navajo language immersion programs, explaining that situational classrooms recreate a situation in which students need Navajo to communicate and noting that Navajo is a very verb centered language. Situational Navajo takes many of the recurring situations in the school and family setting and makes them the core of the language program. The paper presents sample noun-based and verb-based lessons and asserts that given the declining proportion of students now entering school with some ability to talk Navajo, immersion is the only type of program that will enable them to acquire enough Navajo to join the adult Navajo world. It also asserts that such programs will have to concentrate heavily on preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. Teachers of these immersion programs must know both Navajo and English to understand the kinds of problems that English speakers will likely have with Navajo. The paper discusses how formulae, gestures, meta-Navajo, survival Navajo, and background Navajo are needed in situational programs. It presents characteristics of situational Navajo (a focus on verbs, predictability, identifying verb content, and what is taught) and explains how to teach situationally (e.g., thinking/talking aloud, talking "verbfully," and reception/production). It describes how to organize for instruction, focusing on verb-based instruction and practice. Two appendixes present a teaching technique for situational Navajo and eliciting techniques. (SM)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, Culturally Relevant Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Immersion Programs, Native Language Instruction, Navajo, Nouns, Teaching Methods, Uncommonly Taught Languages, Verbs
For full text: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/NNL/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff.