Project Themes

Theme 1: NILLA

We are documenting significant sites of language work across Canada, with a focus on the creation of new speakers. Information gathered will allow participating Indigenous communities to learn from each other and combine efforts across Indigenous language revitalization and maintenance projects in Canada. Join NILLA.

Theme 2: Assessment

As more adult Indigenous people learn their languages, we need context‐relevant assessment tools to document and evaluate language learning progress. We continue developing the NEȾOLṈEW̱ assessment tool while several Partners are exploring assessment within the context of their community.

Theme 3: Sites of Adult Indigenous Language Learning and Teaching

An central goal for communities is to advance proficiency among adult language learners and speakers to further their efforts in building new speakers across generations. We aim to better understand the effectiveness and challenges of adult Indigenous language learning through various models, such as Mentor‐Apprentice style programs, other adult immersion programs (e.g. “language houses”), and language‐focused teacher training (both certified and professional‐development) programs.

Theme 4: Sites of Contribution

Adult Indigenous language learners are consistently called upon to pass on the language to others while continuing to learn their language themselves. They inherit this responsibility (relatively) early in their own learning process. Our research considers the language learning and teaching effects of Indigenous adult language learners as teachers, through their role as parents and grandparents, and other important kinship and community roles.

Theme 5: Language and Health & Well‐Being

Studies suggest language use directly correlates with particular health outcomes for Indigenous people. Together we explore the ways adult learners’ health is affected by their involvement in language learning and teaching, as well as the ways their efforts contribute to the health and well‐being of the communities with which we work. In addition, we seek to explore the links between trauma and those in our communities who have the language locked inside them, often referred to as latent (or silent) speakers.