Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/25386

Pedagogy or practice? Indigenous youth and language maintenance in out of school settings

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Title: Pedagogy or practice? Indigenous youth and language maintenance in out of school settings
Issue Date: 12 Mar 2015
Description: Pedagogical approaches to language learning in indigenous First Language Acquisition contexts mostly focus on instructional methods in bilingual school settings. This paper addresses the L1 literacy learning needs of Indigenous youth in out-of-school settings where the motivation to use the Indigenous mother tongue in written self-expression is high, but pedagogical support virtually non-existent.

Indigenous youth in remote Australia are navigating changing social relations and practices of cultural production and reproduction in endangered language settings that simultaneously intersect with processes of heritage language acquisition and shift and rapid sociolinguistic transformations. Hybrid and creative language practices are becoming the norm as youth find new ways to mediate new technologies and localise media and popular youth culture forms for specific social and cultural purposes. This paper draws on studies of Indigenous youth language practices (Wyman 2012;Wyman et al. 2014), language shift in new media settings (Kral 2012;Vandeputte-Tavo 2013) and youth language in globalising contexts (Alim et al. 2009;Higgins 2011).

In this remote Central Australian case study context the intergenerational transmission of multimodal communication forms remains strong. Many young people have witnessed their elders engaging in Christian vernacular literacy practices. Despite having participated in an English-only school program, the motivation for youth to use L1 in written self-expression through narratives and in songs, personal diaries and on Facebook is high. We see that it is in the practice of social and cultural activity that vernacular language learning is happening. While this process of learning through social interaction is enabling linguistic creativity it also fostering the emergence of hybrid forms and non-standard structures. Rather than focus on formal instructional approaches, this paper suggests that a new perspective on language learning is needed, one that creates and supports an environment that invigorates L1 language activity for Indigenous youth who have minimal access to L1 language and literacy learning resources.

References
Alim, H. S., Ibrahim, A. and Pennycook, A. (2009) Global linguistic flows: hip hop cultures, youth identities, and the politics of language. New York and Abingdon UK: Routledge.
Higgins, C. (Ed.) (2011) Identity formation in globalizing contexts: Language learning in the new millennium, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Kral, I. (2012) Talk, Text & Technology: Literacy and Social Practice in a Remote Indigenous Community. Bristol, Buffalo, Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
Vandeputte-Tavo, L. (2013) 'New technologies and language shifting in Vanuatu'. Pragmatics, Vol.23, No.1, pp. 169-179.
Wyman, L. T. (2012) Youth culture, language endangerment and linguistic survivance. Bristol, Buffalo, Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
Wyman, L. T., McCarty, T. L. and Nicholas, S. E. (Eds.) (2014) Indigenous Youth and Multilingualism: Language identity, ideology and practice in dynamic cultural worlds, Abingdon, UK and New York NY: Routledge.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/25386
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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