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Foundation for Endangered Languages

Conference themes

FEL XXVI (2022)

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 02-04 November 2022

Theme: Community ownership of language education for endangered language revitalization 

Indigenous and minority language communities have experienced many types and styles of external control and intentional manipulation of their language use. In order to reverse the language shift that has resulted from these practices, communities increasingly turn to different  approaches for language learning, looking both to indigenous or traditional methods and to innovative ideas. Making such choices demands community ownership, not just of methods of language learning, but also of the entire infrastructure of language education. In many cases this option is not freely available and is even hindered by those in control (governments, institutions); communities will, in addition, seek ways of successfully enacting their choices. 

This radical change will naturally lead to innovative descriptions of language, as well, and these will inevitably change linguistic description and theory. 

The conference will address community owned, and alternative forms of, language education and community initiatives which aim at, or have successfully reversed, language shift resulting from external control of educational methods and systems.

Related questions and sub-themes : 

  • Traditional learning methods and innovative approaches
  • Endangered language learning in state educational systems
  • Non-school learning  
    • Language nests
    • Master-apprentice schemes
    • Language in traditional  culture
    • Re-introducing indigenous languages into family life
    • Endangered languages in sports
    • Endangered languages in journalism
  • Critical periods / environments for language learning
  • Effective reference and data sources for languages not currently spoken
  • Endangered languages and mass media
  • Recent achievement and trends in reversing language shift, especially through alternative and innovative models and approaches
  • Case studies of endangered language community struggles and outcomes to change or own the language education process, methods and materials
  • Using arts and culture to support language maintenance
  • Traditional arts and culture as a means for language revitalization
  • Education/knowledge transfer through women’s work

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