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Language and Culture

Resources

Various samples of language and cultural programs used within Native America today. Selected to inspire different teaching methodologies.

A Model for Indigenous Language Revival

The data on language endangerment indicates that many Native American languages are moving from a language revitalization scenario to a language revival scenario. It is therefore time to discuss the distinct methods and processes involved in language revival. This paper will offer such a model.

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Aboriginal diabetes epidemic linked to loss of mother tongue: Study

A University of Alberta researcher has found the diabetes epidemic among First Nations is linked to the declining knowledge of their indigenous languages.

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Babies Can Learn Their First Lullabies in the Womb

An infant can recognize a lullaby heard in the womb for several months after birth, potentially supporting later speech development. This is indicated in a new study at the University of Helsinki.

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Babies Who Hear Two Languages at Home Develop Advantages in Attention

In the study, infants who are exposed to more than one language show better attentional control than infants who are exposed to only one language. This means that exposure to bilingual environments should be considered a significant factor in the early development of attention in infancy, the researchers say, and could set the stage for lifelong cognitive benefits.

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Benefits of Indigenous Language Learning

A scholarly article from the University of Oregon, reflecting upon the benefits of indigenous language learning for Native Americans and all other individuals. This article provides researched backed statements that prove indigenous language learning increases academic success, and also an individuals health & well-being.

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Bilingual Preschoolers Show Stronger Inhibitory Control

For students in preschool, speaking two languages may be better than one, especially for developing inhibitory control. That idea isn’t new, but a new study took a longitudinal approach to examine the bilingual advantage hypothesis, which suggests that the demands associated with managing two languages confer cognitive advantages that extend beyond the language domain.

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Cultural Continuity as a Determinant of Indigenous Peoples’ Health

A metasynthesis of qualitative research in Canada and the United States: As a strengths-based alternative to Western notions of enculturation and acculturation theory, cultural
continuity describes the integration of people within their culture and the methods through which traditional knowledge is maintained and transmitted.

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Cultural Continuity as a Hedge Against Suicide in Canada’s First Nations

This research report examines self-continuity and its role as a protective factor against suicide.

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Cultural Continuity, Traditional Indigenous language, and Diabetes in Alberta First Nations: a mixed methods study

An exploratory sequential mixed methods approach to study the association between cultural continuity, self-determination, and diabetes prevalence in First Nations in Alberta, Canada.

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Culture and Language Revitalization for Native American Students, An Annotated Bibliography

This annotated bibliography, with an extensive reference section, provides examples of how some Native communities are approaching teaching languages and cultural traditions to youth while preparing students for life in the technological age.

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Early Childhood Educators Hold Key to Children’s Communication Skills

Researchers have completed a new examination of peer-reviewed science that reveals how early childhood educators can ignite the growth of language and communication skills in infants and toddlers. Their conclusion: it takes more than baby talk.

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Early Learning and the Developing Brain – Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl (Video)

A YouTube video describing education within childhood and the development of the brain. The video is titled: ECE Water Cooler Conference 2016 “Early Learning and the Developing Brain” Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl

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Healing Through Language: Positive Physical Health Effects of Indigenous Language Use

This article summarizes existing work that indicates language maintenance and revitalization efforts result in health-related benefits for Native Americans and other indigenous populations.

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Identifying Protective Factors to Promote Health in American Indian and Alaska Native Adolescents

Exposure to protective factors, conditions that protect against the occurrence of an undesirable outcome or promote the occurrence of a desirable outcome within an adolescent’s environment, can foster healthy adolescent behaviors and reduce adult morbidity and mortality.

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Indigenous Speakers Share their Languages on Google Earth

Of the 7,000 languages spoken around the globe, 2,680 Indigenous languages—more than one third of the world’s languages—are in danger of disappearing. The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages to raise awareness about these languages and their contribution to global diversity. To help preserve them, our new Google Earth tour, Celebrating Indigenous Languages, shares audio recordings from more than 50 Indigenous language speakers.

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Information on Indigenous Australian Communities

On Monday 17 September 2012, the Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs tabled its report on the inquiry into language learning in Indigenous communities entitled Our Land Our Languages.

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Language Development Starts in the Womb

A month before they are born, fetuses carried by American mothers-to-be can distinguish between someone speaking to them in English and Japanese. Using non-invasive sensing technology for the first time for this purpose, a group of researchers has shown this in-utero language discrimination. Their study has implications for fetal research in other fields.

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Learning Languages is a Workout for Brains, Both Young and Old

A short research article by Victoria M. Indivero and supported by the National Science Foundation, discussing the numerous positive benefits of learning a second language has upon the brain.

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National Science Foundation Website

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” NSF is vital because we support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.

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Native Language Immersion

A research project of the American Indian College Fund, which delves into Native American language immersion schools and projects. This piece focuses on successful indigenous language immersion elements and strategies. This resource also discusses many proven community benefits that are associated with Native American language programs.

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Neurobiology of Spirituality

A group of studies that show how the brain responds to spirituality.

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Physical Health Tied to Native Language Use

An academic review of research from Miami University displaying a link between an indigenous community’s language vitality and its members’ health.

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Practice Makes Perfect: Switching Between Languages Pays Off

The results of a study recently published by the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology show that bilingual children are better than monolinguals at a certain type of mental control and that those children with more practice switching between languages have even greater skills.

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Premature Infants Benefit From Adult Talk

Medical School of Brown University has been published in the February 10, 2014 online edition of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The research indicates that premature babies benefit from being exposed to adult talk as early as possible.

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Self-esteem and Cultural Identity in Aboriginal Language Immersion Kindergarteners

This article describes the impact of Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) immersion education on the personal and collective self-esteem of kindergarteners and discusses their concept of ethno-cultural identity. The results give important insights into not only the self-esteem of children in this immersion school as part of a measure of its overall success, but also the school experiences of Aboriginal children in different cultural, geographic, and educational contexts.

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Self-esteem and Cultural Identity in Aboriginal Language Immersion Kindergarteners

In gauging the success of Aboriginal language immersion education, the focus is often placed on measuring language acquisition and academic achievement. Although useful, these metrics only tell part of the story; to achieve real school success, it is also vital to develop high personal self-esteem that results in a positive concept of oneself as a learner, and high collective self-esteem, or attitude toward one’s heritage, family, community, and school. This article describes the impact of Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) immersion education on the personal and collective self-esteem of kindergarteners, and discusses their concept of ethno-cultural identity, as compared to previously studied cohorts of Inuit learners in immersion and mainstream language schools. The results give important insights into not only the self-esteem of children in this immersion school as part of a measure of its overall success, but also the school experiences of Aboriginal children in different cultural, geographic, and educational contexts.

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Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices Initiative

The Smithsonian’s recovering voices initiative promotes the documentation and revitalization of the world’s endangered languages and the knowledge preserved in them.

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Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices Initiative

The Smithsonian’s recovering voices initiative promotes the documentation and revitalization of the world’s endangered languages and the knowledge preserved in them.

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Speech and the Brain

This article reviews the two areas of the brain that process language for speech and comprehension. It will provide a deeper understanding of the sophisticated elements and processes of language learning.

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The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines 2012

The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines are descriptions of what individuals can do with language in terms of speaking, writing, listening, and reading in real-world situations in a spontaneous and non-rehearsedcontext.

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What Research Shows About the Benefits of Language Learning

This document will identify some of the major correlation studies that highlight how language learners benefit from their experiences.

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