Archive for the ‘learning programs’ Category

Bodéwadmi, Keepers of the Fire

9 April 2011

Potawatomi (pot) is a language spoken in the Great Lakes region and Kansas in North America. It is spoken by the Potawatomi, who call themselves the Bodéwadmi, which means “Keepers of the Fire.”

According to the Ethnologue, there are 1250 speakers in Canada and 50 in the US. The APWAD blog says there are less than 20 in the US.

Along with the Algonquin, Nipissing, Oji-Cree and Odawa, the Potawatomi are an Ojibwe people, and one of the interesting aspects of Ojibwe culture is the use of birch bark scrolls, known as wiigwaasabak and mide-wiigwaas. These scrolls have complex glyphs (writing symbols), though according to Wikipedia, not much is known about them due to their secret nature.

Many resources are available for learning Potawatomi.

This post was inspired by “Endangered Language: Potawatomi” on the (sometimes outrageously funny) Languages Hell Yeah blog, and the many links in “Potawatomi language” on the Pokagon blog.

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Immersion Schools and Identity

11 March 2011

Two references on immersion schools, one from last fall and the other from 2008.

The Heritage Language Journal‘s fall 2010 edition has a special theme of identity. The articles are available free of charge online. Of the articles, at least two bear directly on endangered languages:

The other is “Can Schools Save Indigenous Languages?Policy and Practice on Four Continents,” edited by Nancy H. Hornberger. Published in hardback in 2008 and paperback last fall, this book looks at four cases of language revitalization around the world. Coverage includes of the communities where Māori (mri), Sámi (family), Hñähñö or Otomi (family), and various Latin American languages are spoken.

The book can be purchased from Palgrave for GBP 55.00 hardback or 19.99 paperback, and from Macmillan for USD 85.00 hardback. The book is reviewed in volume 31, issue 2 of “Applied Linguistics.” An excerpt of the review is available on their site, or the article can be accessed for one day for USD 25.

Table of Contents from the Macmillan page:

  • Introduction— by N.H. Hornberger
  • Out on the fells, I feel like a Sámi – Is There Linguistic and Cultural Quality in the Sámi School? — by V. Hirvonen
  • Different or Equal? Policy and Indigenous Perspectives on Bilingual Intercultural Education in Latin America — by L.E. Lopez
  • Maori-Medium Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Current Issues and Challenges — by S. May & R. Hill
  • Learning with Differences: Strengthening Hñähñö and Bilingual Teaching in an Elementary School in Mexico — by N.R. Recendiz
  • Commentary from a Saami and International Perspective — by L. Huss
  • Commentary from an African and International Perspective — by N.M. Kamwangamalu
  • Commentary from a Native American and International Perspective — by T.L. McCarty
  • Conclusion: Commentary from a Maori and International Perspective — by B. Spolsky

This blog entry inspired by Indigenous School Based Projects, an article by Gina Putt on eHow.com that highlights five programs.