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ERIC Number: EJ822419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
Assessing the Language Proficiency of Tribal Heritage Language Learners: Issues and Concerns for American Indian Pueblo Languages
Sims, Christine
Current Issues in Language Planning, v9 n3 p327-343 Aug 2008
Among American Indian Pueblo tribes, community-based language revitalisation initiatives have been established in response to a growing language shift towards English. This has been most prominent among school age children, prompting some tribes to extend tribal language programmes into local public schools. For centuries, the transmission of Pueblo Indian languages has depended solely on oral language traditions. This continues to be the foundation for tribal language initiatives with the primary goal being that of maintaining language and culture. The socio-cultural aspects of language use in family and community provide the context for language instruction in these programmes. Several of these programmes, recently established in schools, receive supplemental funding provided through state bilingual education funds. However, this has also ushered in new requirements for assessing the native language proficiency of students participating in these programmes, thereby creating new challenges for Pueblo communities who have focused their efforts on oral language maintenance. One issue this has raised concerns the purpose for language proficiency assessments and how such practices differ with respect to tribal goals for language instruction. This paper describes several of these issues from the perspective of Pueblo language communities and the potential social impact of language assessment practices on tribal language programmes. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A