|NWT Literacy Council||L a n g u a g e s o f t h e L a n d|
Due to the extreme pressures that exist on most Aboriginal languages, a one-dimensional approach to language maintenance and revitalization will not be effective. Developing school programs in isolation of community-based programs and activities can lead to frustration on the part of educators and limited success in terms of promoting or achieving fluency, particularly among children whose home-language is English.
Aboriginal language strategies must be wholistic and comprehensive if they are to succeed in reversing the trend of language shift. Effective language revitalization must involve a coordinated and cooperative approach that includes families, schools, and community organizations.
One linguist, James Bauman, has gone so far as to suggest that an effective mobilization strategy will tie language revival to the correction of some form of social problem. In other words, the direct goal is not to save the language, but to solve a problem or better people's lives through the revitalization of a traditional language and the cultural beliefs and practices that are attached to it.
A fundamental intent of any language retention strategy is to mobilize and inspire Aboriginal language communities to take ownership over their own language revival.
This language rating system is very useful for understanding the degree of language loss in a particular area (nation, region, or community) and can help to subsequently identify the types of strategies that might be used to maintain or revive that language.
As you review the language rating categories on the next pages, check off those things that apply to your community or region. You will quickly be able to determine the approximate status of your own traditional language.
|Previous||Table of Contents||Next|