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Ethical Responsibilities of the Non-Heritage Learner of Lingít

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Title:Ethical Responsibilities of the Non-Heritage Learner of Lingít
Authors:Burge, Heather
Story, Mallory
Contributors:Burge, Heather (speaker)
Story, Mallory (speaker)
Date Issued:03 Mar 2017
Description:Creating fluent second language speakers is a fundamental component of a successful language revitalization movement. While the methods for second language acquisition require critical discourse, equally important to consider are the attitudes and responsibilities of individual learners. In their article “Technical, emotional, and ideological issues in reversing language shift: examples from Southeast Alaska,” the Dauenhauers do the difficult introspective work of recognizing existing language ideologies for Lingít, an indigenous and endangered language of Southeast Alaska. They write “we have contributed to the failures as well as the successes in the general language-restoration effort of the last quarter century” (1998). This kind of honest reflection is necessary in the work to create more Lingít speakers especially as language learning pathways continue to be sculpted. This paper comes from the perspective of two second language learners of Lingít who began studying Lingít at the university level. As one author is from Mohawk descent and the other identifying as non-native, we will discuss how responsibilities materialize from learning Lingít with these identities. As universities increase access to endangered indigenous language courses, populations of non-heritage speakers grow. Previous work done by language researchers such as Weinberg argue that analyzing the involvement of these learners may reveal motivations for continued language learning (2016). This is an attempt to consider the ethical dimensions of learning an indigenous language as an adult non-heritage learner as well as the role of the universities that study and teach these languages. Dauenhauer, Nora Marks, and Richard Dauenhauer. "Technical, Emotional, and Ideological Issues in Reversing Language Shift: Examples from Southeast Alaska." Endangered Languages Language Loss and Community Response (1998): 57-98. Web. Weinberg, Miranda. "Putting The Fourth Crow In The Sky: Using Narrative To Understand The Experiences Of One Non-Heritage Learner Of An Endangered Language." Linguistics And Education 30.(2015): 125-136. ScienceDirect. Web. 1 Sept, 2016.
Appears in Collections: 5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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