Shifting teacher/learner roles in language reclamation efforts relying on digital technology

Date
2022-09
Authors
Edwin Ko
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University of Hawaii Press
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16
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259
Ending Page
289
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Abstract
This paper examines social interactions between caregivers and youths at two language revitalization camps of Northern Pomo, a dormant language of Northern California. Drawing from video- and audio-recorded interactions at the two camps, I examine the discursive strategies caregivers use while collaborating with youths in joint language-learning activities. Because some of the activities rely on the use of digital tools, I also investigate whether the use of digital technology has any effect on these strategies and on social interactions more generally. By employing discourse analytic techniques, I find that youths often position themselves in the more powerful role of teacher while positioning caregivers in the role of student regardless of whether digital technology is used. The key insight is that caregivers, who act as agents of primary socialization, acquiesce in the roles that are imposed on them. They do this by surrendering some of their own authority to create a space that helps to promote youth empowerment. Thus, inversions of positions – and power – may be seen as a welcoming and, perhaps, important aspect of the language revitalization endeavor.
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Ko, Edwin. 2022. Shifting teacher/learner roles in language reclamation efforts relying on digital technology. Language Documentation & Conservation 16: 259-289.
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31
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Article
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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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