Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

Trilingual education in Bolivia

1 May 2013

With the start of the school year in February, schools are teaching indigenous languages for the first time in Bolivia. This is required by the 2010 Avelino Siñani-Elizardo Pérez Law (Spanish), which covers the “traditional knowledge” of students’ communities.

Students will be taught Spanish, plus a foreign language (English, French or Portuguese) and a local language.

See “Bolivia: Indigenous languages taught in school” for more.

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A call to put local languages back in education in Nigeria

1 May 2013

English is used as the official language of Nigeria to tie together communication among the ethnic groups who speak hundreds of languages (522 living languages by Ethnologue’s count).

Victoria Ipe of Ajayi Crowther University has written a letter to the Nigerian Tribune calling for local languages to be used in schools so the children are familiar with their local culture. Read the letter at “The neglect of our indigenous languages.”

Program for the nomadic Penan

31 May 2012

The Penan are one of the last nomadic hunter-gathering peoples of the world. Inhabiting both the Malaysian and Brunei parts of the island of Brunei, about only 200 of 16,000 Penan remain nomadic.

They speak Eastern Penan (pez) and Western Penan (pne), which puts youngsters at a disadvantage in Malaysian schools where the national Malay (zsm) tongue is spoken.

To bring literacy to the Penan so they are adequately prepared to deal with the society they find themselves in, the Borneo Project is working on a series of books in Penan and has a bilingual preschool program for the Penan.

To learn more about the Penan, read “The Borneo Project,” in the Earth Island Journal.

Finding the Words

10 May 2012

CBC recently ran a fourteen-part series on languages in southern Alberta. Called “Finding the Words,” the audio broadcasts cover languages such as Blackfoot (bla), Tsuu T’ina or Sarcee (srs) and Stoney (sto).

Topics include why languages are falling silent, how native language use correlates to lower suicide rates, and three- and four-year-olds who have begun responding in Blackfoot after being taught by elder Beverly Hungry Wolf in a preschool program.

Salish language immersion graduation party

5 May 2012

According to The Salish Language, there are 47 fluent Salish (fla) speakers with an average age of 74. To revitalize the language, the Nkwusm Salish Language School provides immersion classes.

According to “Empowering our youth through the Salish language,” a graduation powwow and barbecue will be held on May 26, celebrating the graduation of eighth grader Coral Sherman from the program. It is an exciting event for the community and language revitalists everywhere!

Penticton Indian Band expands education options

4 May 2011

The Penticton Indian Band is part of the Okanagan Nation Alliance, an eight-member tribal council composed of tribes located in eastern British Columbia, Canada, and eastern Washington, US. The language of the Okanagan peoples is Colville-Okanagan (oka), though perhaps only 150 people are fluent today.

Steady progress has been made in widening language options:

In 1998, the En’Owkin Centre was moved to the Penticton Indian Reserve, where it began offering language classes. The center serves families and community members in addition to students.

In June 2008, the Paul Creek Language Association received a grant for a project that the Penticton Indian Reserve worked on, among others. The project was to create science and mathematics workbooks for grades kindergarten to four.

In July 2010, the Penticton Indian Band celebrated the opening of a child care center whose activities include language classes.

And last month, the Penticton Indian Band opened the Outma Squil’xw Cultural School, a kindergarten to eighth grade school offering language classes.

This is a lot of progress to be proud of!

Wyandot Classes Reawakening Language

11 April 2011

As reported in “Fighting to keep threatened Indigenous language alive” on APTN, the Huron-Wendat Nation is now holding Wyandot (wya) classes to reawaken their language.

The area occupied by the Wyandot Confederation once spanned from Quebec in Canada to Oklahoma in the US, and today the language Wyandot is located in each of those locations. In Quebec, there have been no native speakers for about a century, and while there were 24 speakers in Oklahoma as of 2000, Native Languages reports there are no native speakers of Wyandot today.

In Quebec, the Huron-Wendat Nation has launched the Yawenda Project (Facebook) to change that. According to a notice on the Huron-Wendat Nation’s site, Wyandot workshops began at Ts8taïe Elementary School on March 30. A community meeting is scheduled on Wednesday concerning the program.

FPHLCC & First Voices!

28 March 2011

The First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council administers the First Voices program, a wonderful array of learning tools for Canadian languages (in English and French). Their glossary pages include:

Each First Nations people has a welcome page, a portal and links to a glossary, art, and much more information. With more than 60 communities documenting their languages, 35 are currently available online. The pages even include matching games and quizzes to assist in the learning process.

For kids, check out First Voices Kids, for a more graphic-oriented approach.

The FPHLCC site itself has great resources, too. Check out their news releases page, for example. In December, free iPod, iPad and iPhone apps were announced for Saanich (str), or SENĆOŦEN, and Halkomelem (hur), or Halq’eméylem. Another excellent page is their revitalization page, a place to begin if interested in developing a language revitalization program.