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University of Oregon

Past Summer Institutes

NILI Summer Institute 2013
Learning by Doing

June 17-28, 2013

This year’s focus on Learning by Doing will explore how you can take a culturally significant activity – gathering roots, carving, weaving, skinning an animal – or everyday activity – making a peanut butter sandwich or cleaning the house – and use it to teach your language.

Week 3 Teaching Practicum

June 28-July 2, 2013

For those participants wishing additional time to work on learning by doing lessons and units and to practice teaching them, the Summer Institute is offering an extended week of structured teaching practice.  During this time participants will use the lesson plans and materials they have created to teach fellow participants on a daily basis.  As a group, language teachers will provide support and feedback to each other about their teaching. Time will be available to make any additional materials needed for teaching.

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Forms for the Summer Institute can be found by following the link on the black menu bar at the top of this page or by following the link below.

Summer Institute Forms *Registration Deadline May 31 2013*

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At NILI Summer Institute we:

  • Learn how to teach whole language (moving from words to sentences)
  • Have guided teaching opportunities
  • Create needed language materials for your community
  • Learn more about the structure, vocabulary and pronunciation of your language
  • Experience language learning from a student point of view
  • Become more familiar with a variety of teaching practices and methods
  • Speak in your language with your team members and classmates

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Class Offerings

Linguistics Classes

Participants will choose from three linguistics classes: Introduction to Linguistics; Intermediate Linguistics; and Introduction to Ichishkíin Linguistics. In these classes you will learn more about the patterns and the structure of your language. The Introduction to Linguistics course will introduce you to pronunciation and grammar of your language. The Intermediate Linguistics course will prepare you to use grammars and dictionaries in learning and teaching your language. The Introduction to Ichishkíin Linguistics is designed for people working with the Ichishkíin language and its dialects.

Language Classes

Language classes are offered at Summer Institute depending on enrollment; five students must sign up for a language to be offered. For 2013 we anticipate offering the following: Chinuk Wawa; Choctaw; Ichishkíin; Lushootseed; Nez Perce; and Tolowa Dee-ni’.

Survey of Teaching Methods

This class will offer an overview of recent language teaching methods and apply them to language revitalization environments. We will present various language teaching strategies followed by discussions led by individuals teaching and learning Indigenous languages. The discussion will examine how these methods have been adapted to home and language classroom use.

Teaching Focus Class

As a starting point, we will take a sample process, in this case making cordage (string or twine) and demonstrate how we can use the process to develop language and language lessons. You will go home with sample language teaching material and you will learn and take home the skills to be able to create your own language teaching units based on whatever processes you would like to teach.

Materials Development

The goal of the materials class is to aid in the process of teaching and learning language by doing. We will be focused on creating materials that will foster the ability to teach language while making or doing something.  Students will create an original, activity based teaching tool.  This may be a static combination of illustrations and written words, a digital tool that combines pictures and audio, a simple video, or an interactive video instrument.

During the first week, participants will be introduced to various software and internet applications for creating materials. Participants will spend the second week building individual projects with instructor support.

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NILI Summer Institute Week 3

Teaching Practicum

For those participants wishing additional time to work on learning by doing lessons and units and to practice teaching them, the Summer Institute is offering an extended week of structured teaching practice.  During this time participants will use the lesson plans and materials they have created to teach fellow participants on a daily basis.  As a group, language teachers will provide support and feedback to each other about their teaching. Time will be available to make any additional materials needed for teaching.

Important Note:

The Practicum is limited to 12 people.  Please register as soon as possible to ensure a place in this class.  Also, please bring a laptop with you for this week.  We have a limited number of laptops that can be borrowed on a first-come-first-served basis.  Thank you.

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NILI Saturday morning class (June 22, 9-12:30) led by Zalmai Zahir:

This class will focus on how to achieve language use, and not just language learning.  It will define the terms ‘language revitalization’ and ‘language nest’, and explain four-steps to achieve a successful language nest.  It will specifically focus on how to do this in the home.  The steps that will be covered are:

1.     Motivation and its role in language learning and using.

2.     Teaching methods and how they can enhance our learning experience. This includes teaching domains that lead to immediate language use.

3.     Reclaiming domains for an eventual language nest.

4.     Establishing language nests in our homes.

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If you have questions or need further information, please email us.