Beginning in January 2011, the University of South Dakota School of Education in Vermillion, S.D. and the Sitting Bull College Education Department, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, in Fort Yates, N.D. will each offer a two-year Lakota Language Teaching and Learning curriculum, as a degree major for a Bachelor of Arts in Education at USD or Bachelor of Science in Education at SBC.
This two-year curriculum will be taught, administered, and evaluated over the four-year grant period by LLEAP, the Lakota Language Education Action Program, developed by the Lakota Language Consortium to coordinate this effort by USD and SBC. This coordinated program systematically addresses the problem of how to generate high-quality teachers of an important Native American language--teachers who have deepened their own fluency in the language through college-level study, and who understand how a second language is taught and learned.
Grant aims to help develop teachers, cultivate students
By Steve Young
The two schools have been awarded a four-year, $2.4 million grant by the Department of Education to institute the programs beginning next year and, within the initial four years, to educate 30 new Lakota language teachers.
The grant will pay for one instructor at each school--a Lakota linguistics expert for USD and, at Sitting Bull, an instructor specializing in second language methodology. The schools will be able to share the instructors, either through distance learning or possibly some travel, officials say.
The grant also will allow 16 Native American students at USD and 14 at Sitting Bull College to receive $2,000 a month for two years to pay their tuition, fees and living expenses.