Teaching Writing to Children in Indigenous Languages : Instructional Practices from Global Contexts book cover
1st Edition

Teaching Writing to Children in Indigenous Languages
Instructional Practices from Global Contexts

ISBN 9780367661755
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
312 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This volume brings together studies of instructional writing practices and the products of those practices from diverse Indigenous languages and cultures. By analyzing a rich diversity of contexts—Finland, Ghana, Hawaii, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, and more—through biliteracy, complexity, and genre theories, this book explores and demonstrates critical components of writing pedagogy and development. Because the volume focuses on Indigenous languages, it questions center-margin perspectives on schooling and national language ideologies, which often limit the number of Indigenous languages taught, the domains of study, and the age groups included.

Table of Contents

1 Teaching Writing to Children in Indigenous Languages: Introduction

Ari Sherris & Joy Kreeft Peyton


2 Early and Emergent Literacy Practices as a Foundation for Hawaiian Language Medium Education

Candace Kaleimamoowahinekapu Galla

William "Pila" H. Wilson


3 Early Writing in Torwali in Pakistan

Zubair Torwali


4 Early Childhood Safaliba Literacy in Ghana

Ari Sherris


5 Emergent Writing in Notsi in Papua New Guinea

Gertrude Nicholas


6 Emergent Writing in Numanggang in Papua New Guinea

Samuel Saleng

Gertrude Nicholas


7 Teaching Task-based Writing in Zapotec in Oaxaca, Mexico

Katherine J. Riestenberg

Raquel Eufemia Cruz Manzano


8 Cherokee Writing in an Elementary Immersion School

Lizette Peter

Tracy Hirata-Edds

Ryan Wahde Mackey


9 Writing Instruction in Xitsonga in South Africa

Tinswalo V. Manyike

Nkidi Phatudi


10 Early Writing in Nungon in Papua New Guinea

Hannah S. Sarvasy

Eni Ögate


11 Mother Tongue Instruction and Biliteracy Development in P’urhepecha in Central Mexico

Kate Bellamy

Cynthia Groff


12 Ngäbere: An Orthography of Language Revitalization in Western Panama

Ginés Alberto Sánchez Arias

Manolo Miranda (Tido Bangama)

Mary Jill Brody


13 The Global in the Local: Young Multilingual Language Learners Write in North Sámi (Finland, Norway, Sweden)

Kirk P. H. Sullivan

Kristina Belancic

Eva Lindgren

Hanna Outakoski

Mikael Vinka


14 Re-centering Pedagogy on Oral Traditions: Examples from Southwest Indigenous Languages

Christine P. Sims


15 What Matters for Indigenous Language Writing

Kendall A. King

View More



Ari Sherris is an Associate Professor of Bilingual Education at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, USA.

Joy Kreeft Peyton is a former Vice President and currently Senior Fellow at the Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC, USA.


As the world cascades toward sameness in languages, this volume puts up a huge stop sign. With convincing historical accounts and a wide range of instructional practices, this book is an absolute must-read for any social scientist or linguist. Dedicated to language revitalization, the experts represented here stress the vitality of entry into the social and cognitive worlds of children from different cultures through a substantial dedication to writing and reading.

Shirley Brice Heath

Margery Bailey Professor of English and Dramatic Literature; Professor of Linguistics, Emerita

Stanford University

This exciting book focuses on an under-researched topic that fills a hole in the fields of both literacy education and language revitalization – teaching the writing of Indigenous languages to children. Centering on the role of literacy education in language revitalization, the chapters range the world, with chapters on languages with millions of speakers, to a handful from revitalizing writing systems that have a past history of literacy, to new orthographies developed for the first time for re-awakening languages. Importantly, attention is paid to debates over possible negatives of putting oral languages to paper, but shows the importance of writing for the survival of endangered languages, for many reasons including (re)valorization, revival of genres, increased functions of the language, and present-day communicative needs. While both written documentation and orthographic development have been topics of research and activism in language revitalization, this volume is a very welcome first, with its emphasis on the pedagogy of writing.

Leanne Hinton

Professor Emerita, University of California, Berkeley

The UN has issued alarming declarations about the state of learning for disadvantaged linguistic minorities. UNICEF[1]<