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No linguist, no problem: How one tribe uses technology to preserve and promote Luiseño language among all Luiseño people

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Title: No linguist, no problem: How one tribe uses technology to preserve and promote Luiseño language among all Luiseño people
Authors: Proudfit, Joely
Issue Date: 01 Mar 2013
Description: This paper should be of service and inspiration to others that even with no fluent speakers left and limited resources if there is the will there is a way.

Acting as lead organizer the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) whose mission is to foster collaborative research and community service relationships between the faculty, staff, and students of CSU San Marcos and members of local Tribal communities, for the purpose of developing and conducting research projects which support the maintenance of sovereignty and culture within those communities. With 18 reservations in the San Diego County, we have the unique opportunity of working with tribal communities on a daily basis in the preservation and promotion on tribal culture and sovereignty and language preservation is a fundamental component in our efforts.

A group of dedicated people worked together without a linguist to use technology to preserve and teach the language. This partnership resulted in the development Phase One of the Luiseño Language Preservation Project and contains a Luiseño language curriculum designed to teach new learners the language up to the level of a three year old speaker. Language curriculum was designed using Language Pal Software for use with Nintendo DS lite, DSi, and DSi XL units.

We took an Intergenerational teaching and learning approach with the project.
There are 27 categories, More than 500 entries including vowel sounds, consonant sounds, prayers, adjectives, verbs, songs, quizzes, commands, and even children’s stories illustrated by Luiseño children. This effort also allowed for intergenerational learning and participation. Voices recorded range from the very young to adult male and female speakers.

“The resurgence of fluent Luiseño speakers in the Pauma community is the goal of this project” stated Pauma Language Preservation Project Coordinator Yolanda Espinoza. “Currently, all fluent Luiseño speaking Pauma tribal elders have passed on, leaving tribal members without the vital resource so important to language preservation and immersion. Language is the cornerstone of Native heritage. The loss of it means the loss of customs and traditions so important to keeping cultural identity alive. We want tribal members to be excited about learning Luiseño. Using technology popular across age groups like the Nintendo DSi is the key element to true revitalization of Luiseño among the Pauma people”.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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