ERIC Number: ED482042
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
Mothertongue: Incorporating Theatre of the Oppressed into Language Restoration Movements.
This paper describes the use of Theatre of the Oppressed (TO), a movement of radical theater and popular education designed for communities sharing common oppression, to help First Nations people return to and stabilize their mother tongues. It suggests that for many First Nations people, relearning their languages involves confronting histories of shame and fear surrounding their mother tongues. TO enables participants to tell their stories to one another in an aesthetic and visceral manner that cuts through over-intellectualization and strikes at their emotions and spirits. It can help create social change, as it challenges assumptions of the possible and helps people imagine non-oppressive realities. The paper suggests that collectively, Native people suffer from severe posttraumatic stress disorder, which makes the use of TO very important. It concludes that because of the high population of Native people living away from their homelands, language restoration must be able to provide language resources for as many native languages as possible. Because U.S. society does not encourage multilingualism, Native Americans tend to believe they cannot learn their heritage languages (an attitude not found in other areas of the world where people pick up new languages throughout their lives). Ten tips for teaching in Navajo immersion programs are included. (Contains 11 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: American Indian Languages, Creative Teaching, Cultural Awareness, Culturally Relevant Education, Drama, Elementary Secondary Education, Immersion Programs, Language Maintenance, Native Language Instruction, Navajo, Teaching Methods, Uncommonly Taught Languages
For full text: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/NNL/.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff.