|NWT Literacy Council||L a n g u a g e s o f t h e L a n d|
In order to maintain or facilitate the effective revival of an Aboriginal language, experts agree that inter-generational transmission must occur. This process is most likely to occur within families, but requires the support and reinforcement of other groups and agencies with a community, including First Nation organizations, schools, policy makers, and funding agencies.
In the Northwest Territories, many schools have taken on, or have been delegated, a primary (and sometimes exclusive) role in promoting and maintaining Aboriginal languages within the community. If the language goal within the community is cultural awareness rather than a serious attempt at fluency, this approach is workable. But if the underlying expectation is the development of a working level of fluency by children, then this approach is unrealistic.
The strategy that a community develops must reflect and be consistent with the overall language and cultural goals of the community. And these goals must be realistic in terms of the current state of the language.
For each of the five language goals identified, examples of the general strategies employed to address them are provided on the following page. If you check off those strategies that are already being applied in your community or region, you will be able to identify the language goal(s) being pursued at the present time.
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