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Variations in goals and methods of linguistic education: A comparison of academic and community-based approaches to linguistics

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Title: Variations in goals and methods of linguistic education: A comparison of academic and community-based approaches to linguistics
Authors: Jerry, Maeghan
Harrigan, Atticus
Bontogon, Megan
Casavant, Taylor
Issue Date: 12 Mar 2015
Description: Over the last three decades there has been a concerted effort by linguists to increase involvement of members of endangered language communities in efforts to revitalize their languages. This inclusion has taken various forms. Here, we describe the development of university-run programs intended to train community members in the science of linguistics and language education planning. As undergraduate students in linguistics, we compare and contrast our own experiences in linguistics education with those observed in community members. Having taken many of the same courses offered to community members, we offer a comparison between the classic western university teaching style and the more focused and condensed community-targeted approach. As students of linguistics and as tutors, we occupy a unique space that bridges the gap between instructors and tutees. Educational styles, classroom dynamics, and discrepancies between programs’ and students’ goals are discussed. Additionally, we question the value of teaching linguistics as an academic science, including the use of esoteric, discipline-specific jargon in both the classroom and the community. Finally, the topic of academic ranks and designations, and their ability to bolster and hinder the development of community members’ identities as “language activists” is explored. We investigate these roles and designations, and discuss how they affect the relationships between students, tutors, and instructors. Though primarily focused on North American Indigenous languages, this paper takes a global approach in discussions.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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