Native Languages of the Southwest at UT Arlington
From the 2012 Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop; the Alabama group, with UT Arlington Linguistics &Student Lori McLain Pierce

Department of Linguistics & TESOL | The University of Texas at Arlington


Indigenous Languages Documentation and Revitalization Seminar

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This seminar is part of the 42nd Annual Symposium on the American Indian held at Northeastern State University, April 16-17, 2015.

Documenting and Teaching Verbs in Indigenous Languages



All sessions are on the Morgan Room, located on the 3rd Floor of the University Center at Northeastern State University, located at 612 N. Grand Avenue, Tahlequah, OK 74464-2301.

To register or for questions, email us at; registration is not required for this FREE workshop but it is encouraged.

Free conversation card packets to take home to your language programs to registered participants, as part of our workshop for setting you up for success in teaching communicative language and immersion approaches for Native American Languages.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015, 6 pm to 7:30 pm

Friday, April 17, 2015, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Morning session

(Lunch break: 12 pm to 1 pm)

Afternoon session

Additional details:

The indigenous languages of Oklahoma and elsewhere in Native America are known for having highly complex verbs. In this seminar, we will outline the Oklahoma language context, and then present models of documenting, revitalizing and teaching. For example, methods such as collecting stories serve two goals, documenting both language and culture, giving them usefulness in language preservation and revitalization. In the Thursday evening session, we will cover issues of language endangerment and talk about Oklahoma languages. We will see examples of how some language programs are seeking to revitalize and document verbs in their languages. The Friday session will go all day, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (we may end earlier). We will cover several topics relating to verbs in indigenous languages, including the properties of verbs in Native American languages, how to work with elder speakers to learn more about the verbs in that language, to consider meaning and word structure, to analyze indigenous verbs and verbal elements (quite different than English verbal elements), and decoding the structure of verbs. In the afternoon portion of Friday, we will work with participants to create a lesson plan to take home to their own language communities.

Special Note: Joshua Hinson's presentation will focus on Total Physical Response (TPR) approaches, as developed by Dr. James J Asher, professor emeritus at San Jose State University, as a teaching methodology for second language acquisition. It has proven highly successful in the indigenous language classroom, including Chickasaw. It is the approach used by Leanne Hinton and California Native languages in Master-Apprentice Programs. Hinson's talk will address some of the theoretical and practical concerns of TPR and includes a demonstration of the method. This is a great opportunity to see and speak with a seasoned professional in this method used by many Native American language programs.

For more information, visit the NSU Center For Tribal Studies Indigenous Language Documentation and Revitalization Seminar page for the 2015 NSU Symposium.