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Showing posts from June, 2011

Ear to the ground: Community-based language instruction

Published in Indian Country Today in July 2003.

Santa Fe, NM — The Indigenous Language Institute (ILI), an 11-year-old nonprofit, is getting ready to send to the printer a set of 18- to 32-page how-to handbooks for tribal language instruction. Topics in the 10-volume series include doing an initial community language survey, teacher training, and evaluating an existing curriculum. Funding for the project came from the Ford Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, and the John B. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“The handbooks will be available by November 2003,” said ILI’s executive director, InĂ©e Yang Slaughter. “They’re designed for ease of use. You can pull out the one you need, rather than deal with a bulky book.” The series is self-contained and can be put to use immediately — a boon to those without time to travel to training sessions.

Dr. Ofelia Zepeda, a Tohono O’odham professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona, noted that the information in the booklet…