Crossing Mountains: Native American Language Education in Public Schools (Contemporary Native American Communities)

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Collaboration among contemporary Native American communities and local public schools is vital for nurturing Native languages. Although public schools cannot bear the entire burden, Native-language education will remain on the margins without their support. Using case studies of school districts on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, Crossing Mountains provides important insights about integrating Native-language learning into public education. Phyllis Ngai argues that carefully designed and inclusive Native-language programs can benefit communities and students regardless of ethnic identity by providing for language-revitalization and promoting intercultural competence.

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About the Author:

Phyllis Ngai teaches in the Department of Communication Studies at The University of Montana-Missoula. She co-directed primary-school and middle-school Indian Education for All (IEFA) programs in Missoula, Montana.

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Phyllis Ngai carefully and thoughtfully captures the voices of stakeholders in Salish language education. Crossing Mountains demonstrates how an understanding of the relationships between Native and non-Native communities is needed to establish indigenous languages as a vital part of public education. This text is a 'must read' for those interested in indigenous language advocacy. (Dolores Maria Calderon, University of Utah)

From the foreword: In this volume, Phyllis Ngai addresses an important question: have educators, Native American community members, and their non-Native neighbors living on this reservation agreed to accept and nurture Native American–language education programs in the public-school system? Phyllis’s research is groundbreaking in the sense that she seeks out the grassroots voices of both Indian and White stakeholders of public education on the reservation. Her study helps bridge the communication gap among groups of people concerning Native-language education issues. The recommendations emerging from Ngai’s synthesis of diverse perspectives hold promise for Native-language education programs in reservation public schools. (Joyce Silverthorne, director, Office of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education)

When English is chosen as the language of instruction in schools, it invariably replaces home languages within a generation or two. Crossing Mountains deals with the political and institutional difficulties public schools face in attempting to teach minority languages. Ngai interviews parents, tribal members, teachers, politicians, and administrators in several Montana schools with mixed populations. The clear, practical advice she offers is crucial to anyone involved in minority language education and, if heeded, could avoid years of frustration and bickering. (Jack Martin, University of Florida)

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Book Description AltaMira Press,U.S., United States, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Collaboration among contemporary Native American communities and local public schools is vital for nurturing Native languages. Although public schools cannot bear the entire burden, Native-language education will remain on the margins without their support. Using case studies of school districts on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, Crossing Mountains provides important insights about integrating Native-language learning into public education. Phyllis Ngai argues that carefully designed and inclusive Native-language programs can benefit communities and students regardless of ethnic identity by providing for language-revitalization and promoting intercultural competence. Seller Inventory # BTE9780759121225

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