- South Hall 3605
Speaker: Geneva Becenti (UCSB)
Topic: "Native American Language Teachers Going Beyond Their Classrooms to Teach Our Native Youths’ Their Heritage Language"
Reception: All are invited to a reception following the talk
Native American Language Teachers Going Beyond Their Classrooms
to Teach Our Native Youths’ Their Heritage Language
Geneva Becenti, Ph.D.
University of California, Santa Barbara
American Indian and Indigenous Collective/Religious Studies, Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Linguistics, Lecturer
I will share some positive work that the New Mexico Native American language teachers are doing in the classroom and beyond their public schools. A collective narrative of these native language teachers (caretakers of our heritage language) includes why our youth do not speak their heritage language and challenges that language revitalization programs face because of state and federal curriculum policies. These stories emerged from my dissertation analysis of the New Mexico Indian Education Act1 (NMIEA) of 2003, which focused on the “maintenance” of Native American languages in New Mexico throughout public schools. I developed a two-part method to first survey the Native American language teachers’ familiarity with the NMIEA. The survey focused on the awareness of the New Mexico Indian Act of 2003. The second part of the study was individual interviews, which focused on three areas: their knowledge of NMIEA, challenges in teaching the heritage language in public schools, and their recommendations.