May 18, 2008

Salish Language Revitalization Institute

Speaking SalishIn a language immersion school, every object has a label to remind students how to describe the world around them.

So in a sense, the expansion project going on at Nkwusm Salish Language Revitalization Institute here is adding to its dictionary. From a single classroom and hallway kitchen six years ago, Nkwusm now is filling a former bowling alley with white boards, desks, student art and recording equipment.

From that time just six years ago when only a couple children showed up for class, Nkwusm now has 39 regular students in preschool through high school grades. It's divided into three multi-age classes, each with a certified teacher, a fluent Salish speaker and a teacher's aide.
And:[T]he Salish language is everywhere, from the gathering songs the children sing in the morning to the labels on every counter, fixture and picture in the building. When Salish elders and language specialists Pat Pierre and Stephen Small Salmon lead a call-and-response exercise, the children yell with gusto.

1 comment:

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