The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will host indigenous language scholars from around the world for the Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (SILS), January 15–19. The 2014 symposium will focus on the use of schooling for language revitalization.
For more than three decades now, much effort has been put into moving indigenous language revitalization forward through the use of language nests (for preschool-aged children), immersion schools (focused on second language speakers) and indigenous language medium schools (focused on first language speakers), as well as support from indigenous language college programs. Hawaiian examples will serve to ground group discussions on similarities and differences found in schools in symposium participants’ respective home areas.
The agenda includes visits to language immersion programs and post-visitation discussion groups, with special focus on issues such as government testing, developing curricula and parental involvement.
“Events like SILS provide the college a great opportunity to raise its international profile by bringing important players from around the world to UH Hilo to discuss both the challenges that exist and the successes we’ve had in revitalizing indigenous language,” said Hiapo Perreira, associate professor, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani. “With Haleʻōlelo, we now have an ideal venue to showcase our programs and further advance the position of Hilo as ‘an international go-to destination’ for indigenous language revitalization.”
Go to the Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium’s website or read the West Hawaiʻi Today article “UH-Hilo College of Hawaiian Language hosting symposium” for more information.