Reclaiming indigenous languages – Leanne Hinton at ANU

good evening everybody so my name is Jackie Troy and I’m the director of research indigenous social and cultural well-being at the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies and it’s my particular pleasure to welcome you all to here professor Leanne Hinton speaking about reclaiming indigenous languages and particularly the master-apprentice language learning program which she has been a key mastermind in developing and is now helping us in Australia to understand and which will lead to a lot of important language work here further important language work and as the representative from my axis we’re and we’ve had the privilege of also being Co funders in this evening’s proceedings we also had the privilege of having Leanne give a wonderful seminar and I access on Monday so I’d like to thank her once again for that event it was terrific and a number of you here in the audience participated on the panel and as the I access representative and also as the person who’s descended from people whose traditional country came down into this area the Nara good people I would like to say that it is a great privilege to be here on the traditional country of a range of groups including nan awal now Marie while galoo Nara GU but particularly than honorable people and it’s at a time to acknowledge the elders past and present and the living community here which many of you who live here in Canberra participate with all the time so thank you for having us here this is about our languages and reclaiming them and I’d like to hand over now to Sarah dr. Sarah I go V or is it professor thank you very much and thank you for your welcome to country and to you and your colleagues at I access at the Centre for Aboriginal and Australian languages for the generous sponsorship of this lecture thanks to your sponsorship were able able to film it and therefore Aboriginal communities around Australia can can watch it and we’re also able to have a wine and cheese function after this and you are all welcome at that so good evening my name is Sarah Okabe and I’m the director of the Australian national dictionary Centre here at Anu and it’s a particular delight and honor that Professor Leon Hinton accepted our invitation to be a visiting fellow at the center for this month which has meant that we’ve all had the chance to enjoy her spending time with us here at Anu I must say she’s been a real hit at the centre and we’re very sad that that she’s leaving tomorrow at the Australian National Dictionary Center we’re always rightly concentrated on Australian English but we hope in the future to expand our remit to provide scope for work and collaborations on indigenous languages of our nation so professor Hinton’s presence with us is therefore an important indication of one of our future directions which we hope that the centre will take internationally known for her research on language loss of language revitalisation she has written numerous books and articles and consults with indigenous communities around the world as she has for the past two weeks in Alice Springs and Kununurra Leanne Hinton is a professor emeritus in the Linguistics department at the University of at the University of California Berkeley she is a founder and advisory board member of the advocates for indigenous California language Survival her books on language revitalization include flutes of fire the famous green book of language revitalization in practice how to keep your language alive which is the manual for the master apprentice program which we are going to hear more of tonight and her current book is bringing our languages home language revitalization for families professor Hinton’s work has been widely recognized as Brown breaking in the field of language revitalization in 2006 she won the cultural freedom award from the ylönen foundation and earlier this year in January the linguistic Society of America awarded her the language linguistics and the public award this

evening she’s going to speak to us on reclaiming indigenous languages using the master apprentice program in North America and here in Australia it’s a very great pleasure to welcome professor Leon Hinton thanks very much Sarah I I want to thank the three organizations that are hosting a lecture the Australian National Dictionary Center and to Sarah for all of the great hosting that she has given me my line here as well as to julia who’s here that when the staff have helped me become a visiting scholar and and i am going to miss the morning teas so much and also too i access to jackie and to others for the tours they gave me and for having me there monday for that wonderful panel and and thank you for the welcome to country and to jane Simpson and and other folks that are in charge of this seminar series bigger ideas on language thank you for that so I was here primarily to go spend two weeks out in Alice Springs in Kona Nara in a training the trainer’s seminar or two training the trainer’s workshops and for that I have to thank many people but especially Margaret Florrie and her staff at our NLD Reynold the Resource Network for linguistic diversity and I also want to thank Wallace McKittrick of the indigenous languages support program in the office for the Arts a program of the Australian federal government I’m going to lead up to the master Prentiss program in the workshops through a somewhat lengthy introduction and so bear with me what you’re seeing on the screen now is the first sentence in an influential set of articles written by Ken Hale Michael Krause and of their colleagues for the American Journal language in that 1992 it was subsumed under the title endangered languages and it sounded an alarm about the loss of linguistic diversity around the world and I think it was one of the key events that led to a new era of linguistic language documentation in linguistics it which is a venerable field but it had lost steam in the latter half of the 20th century and one of the quotes from it is from Kraus where he says obviously for scientific purposes it’s most urgent to document languages before they disappeared and he also talked about how the work was potentially of equal or greater importance for the communities who are being documented and indeed the the new documentation is it’s a wonderful trend there’s a lot going on now in Australia as well as the United States and South America just about everywhere it’s aided by great advances in technology and it focuses on frequently not always on massive documentation for many people and many genres including a new focus on everyday conversation which is enormous ly important for language revitalization and it allows for the new documentation allows for digital archiving and possibilities for immediate dissemination of materials even while people are still in the field and there’s a new ethics where community is partner and fellow decision maker along with some or total even sometimes intellectual property rights but and I was the seminar that we were in on Monday I was talking about how documentation is used for language revitalization and has been very important to some very successful people in revitalizing their languages but the idea that documentation saves languages is a view of linguists but it’s not necessarily shared by indigenous people who still have speakers especially as some language activists in California put it documentation is just pickling my

language so the most common goal in language revitalization is new speakers and what happens is that indigenous communities often feel that documentation should take second place to a focus on language teaching and language learning I’ll give you a quote from Richard grounds PhD in Princeton from the Theological Seminary there and project director for the new chi language project in Sapulpa Oklahoma he’s also a member of the youichi tribe and he and his two children are fluent second language learners of the ug language working with the elders so Graham’s viewpoint is as he says in an article in 2007 the climax came when the linguist offered the idea to the youichi’s that they would have a dictionary on their shelves a hundred years from now I countered that a hundred years from now I wanted you choose to have the language on their tongues in the end the dictionary option1 out he was very bitter about that the youichi language project had to divide the elders time with the dictionary project he was hoping the elders could spend full time with language teaching and learning so once again the goal of language revitalization is new speakers and documentation in itself does not bring new speakers sometimes people can use documentation to develop new speakers but the real problem is how to get new speakers when natural transmission in the home is no longer happening so what’s working and I’m going to just go through this fairly quickly one of the things that’s working really well is immersion schools and language nest in New Zealand and Hawaii those are the special models here’s some pictures from the school now a he Kalani Oh poo in Hilo Hawaii and there’s also some smaller programs we Maori and Hawaiian have large numbers now schools all over all over the state of Hawaii in the country of New Zealand there’s some smaller schools too on the mainland in the United States such as the cuts Woods School in Montana for Blackfeet and this picture is the entire student body of the single school that they have it goes from kindergarten through the eighth grade and then after that kids have to go to the english-language public school here’s another one the Aqua Sosthenes freedom school Mohawk sorry for the fuzzy picture there and that’s pre-k through ninth grade and then kids go to English language school so the larger tribes on the mainland can do immersion schools too although they’re smaller in scope but smaller groups with only a few speakers would find it almost impossible if not completely impossible to have such schools at least for the present language survival schools are as they’re often called are the most effective means of developing new speakers of endangered languages that are not being used at home and that’s because children learn language at a young age they become fully fluent in the language there’s relatively large numbers of new speakers that can be generated all at once it also allows the development of a culture and a community of language revitalisation so not only is the language being taught and the values and the culture within the schools but also language activism and over 20 years of survival schools in Hawaii and New Zealand show that at least in the good schools and now he is one of those that’s what I’m most familiar with that children are successful in school about 90% of the kids from Maui he go to college they’re fluent in Hawaiian are Maori as well as English and of those who have children so far many are committed to raising their their language as their children in the language so why are there so many language survival schools in Hawaii in New Zealand but not in Australia or mainland USA well the answer is pretty obvious Hawaii and New Zealand have only

one indigenous language each and that means there’s relatively large populations that allow a large pool of teachers to teach in the schools and because there’s only one language in each place both the government’s and the universities have large programs for teaching the language to young adults at the university level which are then the people that most often are the teachers in the school because there are not very many young adults who grew up using the language at home this is changing of course because the people that went to the school many of them are coming back as teachers now so in Hawaii for example you can actually go on to the University of Hawaii after graduating from a Hawaiian immersion school and you can major in Hawaiian studies if you are so inclined and all the courses that you take will be in Hawaiian language whether it’s courses in history Natural History or whatever you can now get a PhD in in indigenous language revitalisation studies in Hawaii still have almost all of your courses be in the Hawaiian language well so those are the riches of having only one language per state now here’s Australia each one of those little colors is a different language and the United States this isn’t a good comparison map the United States is just as diverse as Australia is it’s just that these colors represent language stocks instead of single languages so here’s a little better map for showing just part of the United States it’s California and even this has some language families that are melted together like pomo is actually seven languages rather than just one but you can also see in California and this is typical of what’s going on in both the United States and Australia if you look at this this is a map that was the result of a study I did in 1992 of the number of speakers of California Indian languages and so each number represents how many speakers there are and you can see a whole lot of zeroes so out of almost a hundred languages that were originally in California at least a third of them have no speakers left alive and and of course this was done in 1992 and so the the situation has changed a good deal Yurok for example which in 1992 had 20 or 30 speakers now has two or three speakers and none and none of those two or three are really as fluent as the best speakers were twenty years ago so you can you can look at every single language and see the same thing going on so immersion schools in these linguistically diverse situations with very small numbers of speakers and often very small tribes are difficult or impossible to develop and maintain and and universities can’t provide the teachers to the schools either when you’ve got a hundred languages or 250 languages or in order to to try to people so what are the smaller groups doing they’re still doing a lot so they have immersion camps a lot of immersion camps summer camps daily or weekly language classes in the schools or outside the schools people that have been able to learn their language as a second language are sometimes using it at home this is a Miami child from Oklahoma she was at the time being homeschooled in the Miami language and her family all speaks Miami and I should say that the idea of an immersion school or language nest is not impossible it’s just really hard I had an email that I saw just five minutes before coming here from a friend of mine who’s been working for 18 years with the Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico and they’ve been doing summer camps and intensive summer camps for the kids for 18 years and they said she wrote saying it’s all coming to fruition now we are opening a preschool immersion

school and she wanted money but so who’s going to teach the children in in in these small groups that are trying to revitalize their language and who is going to run these immersion camps if if all of the speakers are very elderly who is going to at what how are the parents going to learn the language that want to use the language at home how is all this going to happen who’s going to teach those language classes in the schools well the smaller endangered languages have few if any adult speakers who are of parent age or professional age these are the missing generations those are the ones who didn’t learn the language when they were the children so right now most of these languages at least in California that are deeply endangered have people only have like the great grandparent age however these generations the missing generations are they’re not missing from action they’re only missing from knowing the language they’re the language activists they’re the people who know what it means not to have their heritage language and they want it for their children the challenge then is for these adults that have a way to learn their language and so we finally get back to the master-apprentice language learning program which is one way that people can learn their language adults can learn their language so the master-apprentice language learning program and and that is the book that Sara mentioned the manual for it how to keep your language of life was developed by the advocates for indigenous California language survival around 1992 and these are us the advocates for indigenous California language survival everybody here is a tribal member of some California Indian group except for marina drummer who’s the financial administrator and I’m on and I’m the advisory board so the master Prentiss language learning program is a is a kind of an informal method for adults that’s designed for people to do it more or less by themselves most of the time so they don’t have an actual teacher but it’s a speaker and a learner that are supposed to spend if possible 10 to 20 hours a week together or more it’s aimed at helping people learn how to learn from a fluent speaker who’s not necessarily a trained language teacher and it’s aimed at helping learners gain conversational proficiency in their heritage language through through language immersion practices and doing activities that are relevant to their daily life so that they’re learning language in situations where they can use it in their daily lives this is just a picture of one training we’ve done we’ve trained about a hundred teens now in California and some in somewhere around 30 languages and we also are giving trainings elsewhere in the US and Canada and it’s as it gets more popular it’s also there’s a that our manual has been translated into Portuguese for distribution to the tribes in Brazil and there’s also a group working on translation into Japanese for for use by the I know and there’s also an MA program going on in Australia just one in Kona Nara so this is the first master apprentice training in Australia in 2010 and it’s itself ranked one of the members of the board and crystal Richardson who was an apprentice in the master apprentice program and has now become one of our trainers so Margaret Florrie has been working with the marijuana on other language revitalization and documentation project projects in a seen it in action as well as hearing about it elsewhere including hearing a paper by Newt illowsky who’s one of the linguists at the miramar Language Center where the mirror logs are and got the excellent idea of developing some groups here in Australia who would do the training of master apprentice teams around the country so when she asked me if if we would mind I

said well no not at all but I also told her that I happened to be coming to Australia in March with my husband Gary Scott and that I’d be willing to do it the trainers workshop well it was here and this led to something bigger so it ended up with three advocates myself and two of my colleagues from the advocates coming over here for these two workshops training some 40 people representing 28 different Australian languages so and we’ve just more or less finished them less than a week ago so here’s the group photo of the Alice Springs training workshop and the group photo of the Kona Nara workshop and this is our team training team me with Nancy Steele who’s carrucan Stan Rodriguez who me I here’s some nice portraits of them that Reynold took our NLD and Nancy is a both of them are long-term educators and both of them have learned to speak their language primarily through the master apprentice program and they’re both really talented teachers so Stan lives in San Diego and teaches Kumi I and Nancy lives she’s caught up in that she lives way up in the very top of the state so the Alice Springs participants this is a list of them 21 participants representing 14 different languages and the con Inara participants 19 participants also representing 14 languages and the also the marijuana master apprentice teams were present along with Francisco vote who is their other long-term linguist and the linguistic support staff included some of my favorite linguists in the world Margaret Florrie John Hobson Margaret Carew no talansky cath dubrovsky Susan pooch Francisco folks and Jenny Bell dropped in occasionally so these are the in Margaret organize all this over a period of about four months I don’t know how she managed but it was a marvelous feat so these are the principles of the master apprentice program one is leaving leaves behind that’s what immersion is you don’t speak the language that you’re trying to get away from you speak the language that you’re moving toward that you’re trying to learn and in order to leave English behind how are people going to understand each other you make yourself understood through nonverbal communication this is not master Prentiss this is much more general immersion practice and so it nonverbal communication includes gestures and facial expressions and actions and objects in pictures and activities all of which communicate the meaning while the words are being said we focus in the master apprentice program on aura learning not on reading and writing so people learn to speak through listening and speaking the language and we try to get people to somewhat minimize the use of writing because it actually interrupts the the hearing and the speaking process one of the most important aspects of it is that the apprentice is a pro active learner that is that he’s what we have recently started to call a language hunter this is a term that Evan Gardner developed for another program in language learning for endangered languages called where are your keys and and what that means is that the apprentice is going after language he’s not sitting there waiting to be taught and we’ll I’ll be explaining all of these and showing you how some of this takes place and people learn through activities and they learn language that they can use so and they use what they learn and then finally they need to

teach others as they learn teach teach their children teach their teacher class teach other friends so the beginning of the workshops Nancy ran a grief and growl session as she calls it so grief and growl is it’s related to what’s been happening to endangered languages one of the things that’s been happening in Australia and the United States is that for many generations now people have been told not to speak their language they’ve been told that there’s something wrong with their language and they’ve been told there’s something wrong with them and there’s a lot of internalized anger and a lot of internalized shame that kind of has to be dealt with before people can open themselves up fully to the language again and so Nancy runs a session the grief and growl session and then and this actually can take all morning of the first day sometimes but then we can get down to the principles so the principles that I was talking about each one of those has to be justified to our master Prentiss team has to be exemplified and it has to be practiced and and so we ran that these training the trainer workshops in that way to try to justify and practice these principles so the first two principles then are leave English behind and make yourself understood through nonverbal communication so our first exercise is – it’s an exercise that’s also an icebreaker we have a bunch of cards and each card has on it a task that somebody has to get somebody else to do so the task would be something like get someone to give you a dollar or get someone to sit on someone else’s lap there’s something like that and so the person who gets the card has to hide it from everybody else and he has to get somebody to do that task and he can do it silently he doesn’t have to use language at all or he can use the the language the indigenous language he knows so long as he tries to get someone who doesn’t know that language to do the task because the idea is to get people is to buy into the idea that you can make somebody understand you even if you don’t have language in common so here’s Phil Brown getting someone to take off her glasses and to put them on and to give him to somebody else to put on Glennis a marijuana her cup this is Glynnis right here her card was get two people to dance with each other I don’t know whose card this was but it was get someone to tie someone else’s shoelaces together so this is a fun activity and it certainly gets people out of whatever Depression was caused by the grief and growl so each exercise we do adds one principle so the second the second exercise is to focus on oral learning but you’re doing it by leaving angles behind and making yourself understood through nonverbal communication and that is an exercise to read wordless books we have a whole collection of books that are stories without words where everything’s told in pictures and it’s a very comfortable first immersion exercise because it’s clear that the apprentice can understand by looking at the pictures what’s what the master is talking about even if they don’t understand the every word so this is Greg Pascoe and his mother going through a wordless book together in in the cuckoo Yahoo language and you’ll have to forgive me if if I pronounced things wrong here and with John Hobson looking on and learning some Pocoyo at the same time here’s Jackie Allen and others at her table going through a wordless book and her language is our Buckeye that’s another fun exercise everybody has a good time with it so we’ve gone through leave English behind make yourself

understood focus on oral learning and the fourth principle is the apprentice is a proactive learner or language hunter now one of the ways that we help a person empower himself to be a language hunter is to have to learn survival questions and phrases as we call them and so these are questions like what is this so you have to learn how to say it in the language you’re learning or the only time you can use English is with the how do you say question where you can have a in that blank you can say an English word or what is he doing that something is good for wordless books for example to point to people or animals in the book and ask what they’re doing more advanced would be something like what is he thinking looking at expressions on somebody’s face you can get people during activities the activities we want to say a beginning learner and would do an activity where the master is telling him what to do giving orders as to what to do and sometimes you have to elicit the language the master might just say set the table well you want more language than that you know so you might just say what’ll I do you know and then they say put the plate on the table and then you put them in a pile say what do I do and so you’re listening more language you’re also that’s some things like say it again say it slower to help in the learning or – you have to have something to overcome frustration like I forget how to say it if the if the teacher is sitting there waiting for you to say something and you can’t remember or maybe you just need some time out and so how do you say that also the master and apprentice learn both learned to have reminder phrases if they catch themselves speaking in English one of them says please say that in our language or let’s talk in our language so the next exercise in any master apprentice training is to learn a few of these sentences we just say learn – and we usually suggest what is he doing and what is this end I actually learned three and what do I do next because they all feed into the other exercises so here’s Dwayne and Knut Duane his talk conduct how to say what is this and so he is asking Duane what is this and Duane’s telling him the word for Cup in the language back to the wordless book exercise these two are asking questions about what’s going on in the book what is he doing what is that okay so that was the third exercise so we’ve gone through these principles learning through activities so almost everything would take place through activities and so first one one popular activity and in the workshops is making finger puppets so we first demo that and here’s a whole bunch of felt and glue and scissors and things feathers all kinds of things like that and we so stan is telling us in Kumi i how to make the finger puppets and we’re asking questions like what is this in order to learn languages like they’re in order to learn words like feather and then everybody else starts doing it so here’s Jango and Leone making finger puppets in Ningaloo you hears marijuana making finger puppets in marijuana and in cuckoo yeah finished products so we’ve gone through all these learn through activities and the next principle is learn language you can use well of course making finger puppets it’s sort of not in everyday activity we’d really like people to be learning through the activities of daily life which is harder to do in a classroom but we manage a few so here’s people getting instructions on making up the swag making up the swag in we’re on goo

Estelle and Leonard are doing this and Estelle is doing a good thing for an apprentice to do which is being reluctant to make the bed so that so that Leonard has to tell her every single step or she won’t do it so she’s getting more language here is making up the swag in Pike County these two are laughing so hard they can hardly finish and then another thing we did as a daily exercise for daily living was what do you do when you get up in the morning and you have to wash up and so so Stan got all of these toiletries actually the staff got them and brought them in for him so there’s a deodorant lipstick a brush toilet paper hairdryer there’s all kinds of things that people might use in the morning ablutions and of course when a language hasn’t been used for a long time people don’t have words for most of these things so one of the issues is well how are people going to talk about modern life and we always have a lot of discussions in these training seminars about new words but we’ve learned not to say people are using that people should make up new words because people might feel that they don’t have the authority to make up a new word or some people feel like new words shouldn’t we shouldn’t be making new words anyway we should only be using the old words so what we say is if there’s not a word for something use a descriptive phrase for it and so the deodorant might be you might say something like the the thing that makes you smell good or toilet paper well you can imagine and so people really get off on it when they’re not feeling like they’re they’re making a new word but are instead making a descriptive phrase and it also gives them the freedom then to talk about things that people didn’t talk about fifty or hundred years ago and and to not be stymied by what’s going on in in modern life which is most of what their daily life is nowadays so here’s Denise taking a shower we drew a shower on the board so that was part of the morning ablutions and so on so but then what we do is we go through a brainstorming on language learning activities or activities daily activities what are activities that that each of the participants do on a daily basis what are the activities that what are the traditional activities that you do or might like to do what are some things that one of you might like to learn from the other do you like to go fishing you like to go hunting would you like to learn to make baskets what are these things that you’d like to do and those are the activities that a master Prentice teams would be doing and if there’s a program going where the where the master apprentice team actually is being paid you can be paid to do anything you want right so long as you’re doing language in the process okay the last one is induced what you learn now if you’re only going to talk about fishing when you’re fishing there’s not too much you can say some new newcleus Duke was saying our master pristine so I like to go fishing so much but everybody already knows the words for all the names of the fish you know and so what can you do and what you can do is what do people do when they’re doing fishing or making a basket they’re really talking about something else most of the time they’re just gossiping or talking about what they’ve been doing and that’s what we really want master apprentice seems to be doing is to just be talking about whatever there is to talk about so our last main exercise is conversation practice and so Stan lined everybody up so that there were couples talking to each other and they were like 10 or 12 couples talking to each other at any given time and then we have a set of what we call conversation cards for people that need the stimulation of a topic of a special topic and people can just draw a card and talk about that but what we did in this case was we’ve said okay the first thing is that everybody

is each pair is going to talk to each other all at once there is talking to each other about your houses describe your houses and in for two minutes no English and most of these people are not fluent speakers that came to this conference and so they were using gestures they were often using individual words without sentences but what we’re really after in master-apprentice program is communication rather than perfection we think you can think of a learner as being starting out like a baby might be starting out with just single words and and having to use a lot of nonverbal communication to make himself understood and he’ll get better as time goes on especially if his master’s talking to him a lot and he’s getting the input he needs so we want people to feel free to make errors and so everybody as you can see pretty much having a good time doing this they wanted to keep on we did probably ten topics at two minutes each leading up to five minutes each then one of the things that took place then in the workshops was Knut talking about an assessment that he had done on the Kununurra master-apprentice teams and he had given he had various tasks for each level of reach kind of proficiency for understanding single sentences understanding stories what saying what kind of vocabulary you might know producing sentences and being able to translate full sentences from English all or of this olive oil and let’s just go to this one so what he found was that on a score of 10 on the 8th of February art not be February so these are each one of these is it’s one of the people that got a test and this person scored scored high right from the beginning for comprehension 8.5 but it was nine point five by you know six months later he scored on text comprehension stories he scored eight and then ten full full comprehension six and then seven and so just about everything they got and on the average they improved over the six month period and improved mightily with sentence production and sentence translation from English this lack or – score was the only thing and and I think it was not a fair test because what they did the first time was they gave twenty sentences and then the second time they gave those same 20 sentences plus 20 more sentences that were more complicated and so they they tended to score lower but if they had tested just those 20 sentences they were they were testing higher and so they should have just had sort of separate scores for the old sentences and the new sentences and the last part of the workshop was people getting together with the linguists and with each other in groups and talking about where they were going to take this from from here what are people going to be doing what use could people make out of the master Prentiss concepts in their own localities and many of them are ready to start master apprentice teams there were a number of people there though that had no speakers to their languages so they would not be able to do master Prentiss exactly but they could also use the concepts for teaching the language then everybody gets you get certificates oh great each person has a photo of this then after that we got to have a day off in Kona Nara so Gary and I went to bird-watching and had a real Outback adventure got bogged down had to abandon the car so I want to especially thank Margaret in Wallace who I thanked at the beginning and and as you can see they were active participants in the conference all the way through and just

to end I’ll talk a little bit about one family in the United States this is the this is a car traveling and they’ve been involved in the master apprentice program for quite a while and have have well they were for a while and now they’re on their own but they met in college they’re both Carrick and she got pregnant unexpectedly while they were in college and it was sort of a stressful time because they were still in college and didn’t have any money and so on and so when she told Phil that she was pregnant he looked at her with as she writes with wide eyes and said we have nine months to get fluent so they use the language at home with their now three children and the and Phil is now a teacher in the kind of a class at the school and and and both of them are active in summer workshops so to me this is this is the goal for master apprentice program is is being able to actually use the language hopefully with your family or with whoever thank you very much thanks so much Leah I’m Nick Evans from the linguistics department in a new college of Asia in the Pacific and Sarah asked me to take your questions and lead the discussion now the first thing I have to say is that because this is being recorded for media we want you to be a little patient if you’ve got a question just wait till the microphone gets to you which may give you a few welcome seconds to rehearse exactly how you’re going to ask so let’s just open the floor now and see who wants to go first okay yet please so that Mike’s coming um I guess I’m curious as to the potential you have for this program once these people learn the language there aren’t I guess resources developed in that languages yet so the apart from where you have in Hawaii and New Zealand using these languages in the schools in places like the US and Australia where there are so many languages and so few speakers what potential development could happen with it now you mean for language materials mmm I guess I better get to that well as as far as master Prentiss program goes the the goal is not of course materials but putting the language back into use again and that can happen hopefully in within the community within families in particular but everybody that is that has learned through the master apprentice program is also teaching somebody in there you know they will make materials for the teaching if and the other thing is that documentation should not despite the Richard Graham’s documentation should not cease because people are using oral methods to learn the language that documentation through through the development of grammars dictionaries materials of all sorts teaching materials and so on should be occurring a side by side with master Prentiss program and the master apprentice program is never by itself well oh well sometimes it is but it’s usually a part of what people are doing for language revitalization very often for example for example the Blackfeet who have who I mentioned as having an immersion school are using master apprentice program to train teachers in the language because they need because they the potential teachers are usually not fluent and so they learn by being in the classroom and outside the classroom with

the fluent speakers there’s there’s another group in Oklahoma that is making materials getting ready for teaching the school and using the master apprentice program in preparation for that so I don’t know am i answering your question kind of I guess because there’s so many different language groups around I guess you can have the resources to continue this so are you looking to jump or piggyback with with governments get into schools I guess what kind of resources do you need to continue from here it might be 18 years like it is with Cochiti before before some of the groups would even start with with creating their own schools or longer but funding is always an issue that comes up and it’s and it’s always problematic here you really actually have a lot more government funding than we do in the United States in the United States we have more philanthropy than you have in Australia so we have these sort of different ways of finding funding and I think that you know from outside we think about all these languages and how can all of them ever ever do anything well it’s primarily up to the communities and so each community is thinking of its own community and hopefully each community can find a way to get things done not every community will and not every community in the United States is doing the language revitalisation some groups are some groups aren’t and it’s really up to them hello I was wondering what your thoughts were and also the thoughts of the some of the people that you were working with for example a soldier murmur I’m David newry up there in the cannon arrow workshop about the use of this in communities where people might be living in a community where language is spoken all the time but you know different forms of language are being used by the old and the young people so young people are not necessary using Creole but they’re using a different perhaps most complex language so we’re hearing older people saying we might be doing ceremony with people but they don’t understand the word so the living in communities where people are effectively having an immersion experience but different languages are happening between different different ages even where the emerge you mean where the immersion experiences with Creole rather than with well the emotion experience is daily life where you know in a community like our occurred where you know like Moncton has just spoken all the time but old people speak a different form than the young people and the you know young people might be speaking of Creole but they might be speaking a different form of the language it’s the you know the language the language is going to change and people that are speaking the language are not you know they’re not speaking the same way that the elders are speaking and this is this is of course a I mean it’s it’s not necessarily a problem it’s it’s a problem for the elders the elders hate it it’s a problem for linguist linguist hate it but very often for the younger people what’s important to them is just being able to use it in whatever form they can and I’ve heard a lot of people say things like what I what I just said about communication not perfection was something that that a arach man who’s learning his language said said I’m not interested in perfection I’m interested in communicating in my language and so these are these are issues that every community is going to grapple with and I would say they’ll have to work it out for themselves except that what’s going to happen as the language will work it out somehow respective of what people decide should happen so that’s sort of a general answer I know in in Hawaii where Creole is also a factor hmm they don’t use Creole in the schools and but they

but they accept Creole as a there’s a on the nohe website for example there’s a section about Creole being a real language and you know we respect it and so forth so it’s again it’s something that that has to play a role in in the language revitalization and language use forever like this just while we’re passing to the next question I wanted to follow on something from that because while you went through the steps in your in your program I didn’t see anything where you have that sort of consciousness-raising on the part of the masters the teachers about being tolerant of deviation and the experience I’ve had I guess in a different sort of apprentice that is being a linguist but people vary wildly and I’ve certainly heard it from a lot of people in communities where the language is very shaky that one of the things that really put them off even trying to learn the language was cutting sarcastic criticism from older people in the community making fun of the way they speak not that everyone does it but it’s common enough and it doesn’t have to have happened too many times before you give up so I think having that unconsciousness raising among people who are going to become masters in this program to say look you know if you do that people aren’t going to learn how do you deal with it languages change it’s not just your language it’s not it’s any language that’s doing it is that built into the program somehow yeah it was even built into my notes but I forgot to say it yeah we have long discussions about about tolerance on the part of the masters and also about getting a strong back as they put it on the part of the apprentices being able to take that criticism maybe respond to that criticism if they get it and I agree that’s often the last gasp of a dying language is the person who stops speaking it because he was criticized I was just going to say thank you for that because with the work that we’re doing with interpreters across the Kimberley and the Northern Territory that’s one of the major issues that younger interpreters talk for exactly talked about for example at the I X’s conference the younger interpreters did the presentation called widget you’re just a kid from the younger generation which is a phrase which is just often used to put people down that you know they’re not speaking in the proper way in the proper context and you know it’s a really hard job you know that this sort of teasing and that goes on so thank you so Jackie we swing as you were saying the language about the previous questions in comment that maybe one of the things that I see perhaps missing from the program as it is as the children every immersion situation I’ve ever been in myself and I’ve most recently been in one with Gillard thank you for a month of Hebrew only useful it but anyway what I was as I was sitting listening to all of this the word that keeps coming into my mind is Martha Martha what what and that was one of Gillard’s little children I think I like more Ebola from Giovanni and euro of 98 Julio that’s Julia spendin ideas perhaps from all the adults I heard so I think you know again to mitigate against this heavy criticism that adults lobby at each other in language learning environments the children don’t do that and what you know people say children are much better languages learners than adults are because there’s some mysterious brain processes that shut down you know I mean I’ve read the literature and I’m interested in child language acquisition but I still remember a very experienced applied linguist saying to me many years ago that the problem for adults is not that their brains have changed if anything our brains are better learning brains it’s just that we don’t explore an experiment and practice in the way children do so I guess my addition perhaps I’d look I mean interested in your comment because often children are kept out of these sort of or learning programs where they’re where programs are targeted adults mm-hm and I think it’s to the detriment often of those programs and whenever I’ve engaged children in any kind of teaching exercise or learning program where it’s really learning from scratch adults tend to you know channel their inner child

and behave much more freely and so maybe there’s a seventh or ninth part but might they bring in the kids so channel your inner child I don’t know yeah that’s a really nice comment the the master apprentice program is pretty flexible it’s usually just two people working together in whatever way they want to work together and learning whatever they want to learn and teach each other and some of the most successful teams are people where the apprentice has children and the children can often be part of it they may or may not be with the master apprentice team while the while the team is working together they will definitely be the subject of much of the learning so people who have children and whose goal is to have their children be learning the language well will be trying to learn things like how to put pajamas on a child and talk to them well while you’re getting them ready for bed or how to change diapers or you know all of these things that that involve interaction between parent and child and yeah I mean I also agree that not only are children better learners but in some ways they’re better teachers too and in in every language learning program I know of that involves children the children go home and teach the parents who then come to the teachers in the program I said I need to learn my language so they very often also the generator of of the desire and the parents to learn the language now I’m very sorry I know there are other people with questions we have to finish the all part of the proceedings now but there’s a small compensation we are having drinks of nibblies outside so you just to come together and talking and talk to them as well and you’re all very cordially invited to that in a moment but before doo-doo week so please join me in thanking them for making us you you