December 05, 2012

Language Nest in Yukon First Nations

Yukon First Nations learn new language teaching approach

Language Nest program touts early immersion for preschoolersAboriginal language teachers in the Yukon will soon have a new tool to teach kids First Nation languages.

The Council of Yukon First Nations held workshops in Whitehorse this week, explaining the Language Nest program. The program has been successful in reviving languages in places like New Zealand and Australia, along with other parts of Canada.

In the program, fluent speakers become involved in early childhood education, creating immersion-style learning for children ages one to four.

Sean Smith of the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Secretariat said they hope to identify master speakers and potential apprentices who will eventually work with children from preschool and through their school years.
Below:  "Bessie Cooley, a Tlingit language instructor in Teslin, plans on retiring in a few years. The number of fluent speakers of Yukon's First Nations languages is dwindling, but some hope an early childhood immersion program may change that." (Leonard Linklater/CBC)

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