Download Can Schools Save Indigenous Languages?: Policy and Practice by Nancy H. Hornberger (eds.) PDF

By Nancy H. Hornberger (eds.)

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Additional info for Can Schools Save Indigenous Languages?: Policy and Practice on Four Continents

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There are seven schools where Sámi is only an optional subject (Leavdnja lower secondary school, Bokcá, Juovlavuotna, Ruoššanjárga, Sieiddá, Trollvik and Dálošvággi). The level of instruction is very low, 3–4 hours per week, and children do not hear the Sámi language outside the classroom. According to Leanne Hinton, it is not easy to revitalize the language through the language-as-a-subject program, because there is rarely enough time or it is not possible to put the language to practical use.

According to Leena Linguistic and Cultural Equality in the Sámi School 33 Huss and many others, language revitalization means ‘a conscious effort to curtail the assimilative development of a language which has been steadily decreasing in use and to give it a new life and vigour’ (1999: 24). In the coastal Sámi area, this kind of revitalization is very obvious and remarkable when looking at individual persons and schools. According to the O97S curriculum, pupils can choose Sámi as their second language, which has functional bilingualism as its goal.

The board worked under the auspices of the Ministry of Education until the end of 1999. Since then, Sámi educational issues have been administered by the Sámi Parliament (established in 1989), and the Sámi Educational Board is now called the Sámi Parliament’s Department of Education. Sámi education is emphasized much more strongly in the 1987 Model Plan (M87) for compulsory education than in the earlier plans. It contains the general objectives for the teaching of Sámi students (Chapter 5), the allocation of lessons for students studying Sámi, and three different language plans for students who are taught Sámi or learn through Sámi.

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