This paper describes 3 language learning approaches common in many urban and rural Ojibwe communities, as well as the ideologies of endangerment that drive and sustain them. Drawing from collaborative language revitalization work with teachers, learners, and community leaders, we analyze some of the teaching and learning practices that lead to the common mismatch between language learner goals and expectations, on the one hand, and the outcomes of language learning, on the other. We outline how these 3 approaches to language learning relate to cultural identities and place-based notions of authenticity as well as to current findings in the field of second language acquisition. We then profile 2 speakers who have learned Ojibwe successfully as adults to illustrate how their success was possible largely because they were able to engage with the Ojibwe language in interactive ways that run counter to common language learning approaches. We suggest that for language revitalization efforts, and individual learners, to experience higher levels of success, greater attention needs to be paid to how ideologies of endangerment impact language learning approaches.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- Native American
- language revitalization
- reversing language shift