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.
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
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.
Professor Emerita, University of California, Berkeley
The UN has issued alarming declarations about the state of learning for disadvantaged linguistic minorities. UNICEF documentation shows how even increasing school participation rates does not necessarily achieve commensurate learning gains for ethnic minority and indigenous students, with the most disadvantaged students gaining the least benefit. The cause of this dispiriting conclusion is often because of language policies, especially language of instruction, tied to persisting negative attitudes toward children’s mother tongues. This volume is a magnificent contribution to this critical area. Addressing the role of writing in intergenerationally endangered Indigenous language communities, it bridges the gap between language revitalization literature, research on writing pedagogy, and the global agenda of a more equal and fair education. The chapters are expertly written by individual authors and intelligently integrated by the editors, Ari Sherris and Joy Kreeft Peyton, to highlight a range of instructional writing practices connected to social and economic outcomes for Indigenous populations in such diverse environments as Finland, Ghana, Hawaii, Mexico, Papua New Guinea. The authors ‘rise above’ narrowly conceived literacy debates and narrowly conceiving theories of literacy. Here we find complexity theory, biliteracy, and genre and critical approaches enriching functional understandings of pedagogy and literacy learning, tied to a strong focus on the cultural rights of communities whose lives are subjected to control and domination.
Joseph Lo Bianco
Professor of Language and Literacy Education
Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne
A very valuable collection. Although the continued life of threatened languages depends finally on the willingness of parents to speak them to their children, the support provided by schooling is critical, and only with literacy in indigenous languages can the school find a place for the language. This pioneering collection shows a number of significant examples of success.
Professor Emeritus, Bar-Ilan University
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
4 Early Childhood Safaliba Literacy in Ghana
5 Emergent Writing in Notsi in Papua New Guinea
6 Emergent Writing in Numanggang in Papua New Guinea
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
Ryan Wahde Mackey
9 Writing Instruction in Xitsonga in South Africa
Tinswalo V. Manyike
10 Early Writing in Nungon in Papua New Guinea
Hannah S. Sarvasy
11 Mother Tongue Instruction and Biliteracy Development in P’urhepecha in Central Mexico
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
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