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University of Oregon

Summer Institute 2016

NILI Summer Institute 2016

June 20-June 30, 2016

Summer Institute 2016 ad


Speaking Every Day, Everyday Speaking

The theme of the 2016 Institute, Speaking Every Day, Everyday Speaking, encourages us to use our languages in our daily lives, in whatever ways we can, whether that is a greeting, a song, a prayer, a conversation, or a full day of Native language only. We acknowledge and celebrate the journey of language revitalization — a journey that we take with different resources and possibilities.

2016 classes and events support the theme. The Advocacy class will focus on language nesting and use. The Endangered Languages Learning-Teaching Strategies and “Sleeping” language courses support communities who are restoring languages from older materials to use these languages daily. The Games and Activities teaching methods course highlights fun ways to incorporate language at home and in classrooms. The weekend workshop looks at what Native American stories and literature teach us about using our languages and then, to share our languages using technology. Language and linguistics classes provide the building blocks for Speaking Every Day, Everyday Speaking.

Registration for Summer Institute is now available!

Please complete the registration form by following this link: NILI Summer Institute 2016 Registration Form


Summer Institute 2016 Scholarship application available

The cost for this year’s Summer Institute is $1,900, plus room and board fees of $627-759. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please fill out the form here: NILI Summer Institute 2016 Scholarship application.

The deadline to submit an application is April 1, 2016. [For more information on scholarships please see section below.]


Summer Institute Teacher Training Program

At NILI’s 2-week teacher training Summer Institute Native language teachers and learners study linguistics, an indigenous language, teaching methods, and language activism, and apply teaching strategies and develop materials to take home to your classroom.


  • 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


Summer Institute Youth Program

High school students study language, linguistics and teaching methods, and design and create activities to support preschool learners. Guest speakers (UO faculty and Native students) present information and experiences introducing youth to college life and creating a bridge to higher education. Students are mentored in project brainstorming, planning, linguistic guidance, pedagogy, evaluation, tool support, and product delivery.


  • Gain skills in language learning
  • Take on leadership roles in language preservation and teaching while demonstrating a commitment to their Tribe’s values and traditions.
  • Become more technologically literate
  • Learn to manage their own projects
  • Contribute to language revitalization within their communities


See below for more detailed information on classes:

Morning Session:

Everyday Speaking in the Home
Instructor: Zalmai Zahir

The goal of this course is for students to learn actionable steps towards achieving language use on a daily basis.  They will learn what Reclaiming Domains is, and how to reclaim daily activities that they do in their homes.  They will learn how to self-narrate, as well as, how to use language with family and friends.  Reclaiming domains breaks the tasks of creating a language nest into actionable steps.  Language nests are essential in language revitalization. Students will learn what a language nest is, and how to implement one in their home.
(Note: all participants will join this course.)


Intro to Linguistics of Native Languages
Instructor: Janne Underriner

This class will help you discover more about the patterns and structure of your language. It will also help you with learning your language whether you are a language learner or language teacher. We will start by looking at the sound systems of your languages and how sounds have a pattern. We will practice pronunciation daily. We will look at how words are structured; this will lead us into discussing parts of speech in your language (and in English). We will talk some about meaning and also touch on issues of translation. Finally, we will look at how words are ordered, or not, to make sentences.

Intermediate Linguistics
Instructor: Scott Delancey

This course is intended for students who have taken the introductory linguistics class at NILI or have a similar background in linguistics. We will work with texts and sentences and address your particular questions. The class will be useful to anyone who is learning a language and trying to improve their skills and knowledge. The practice we will get in analyzing the words of a language and understanding how a grammar works will also be useful to anyone trying to write curriculum or materials for a language class.

Sahaptian Linguistics
Instructor: Joana Jansen

This class is designed for people working with the Ichishkíin (Sahaptin) and/or Nimipuutímt (Nez Perce) language, with a focus on how knowing about the patterns and structure of your language helps you as a language learner or teacher.  We’ll use materials from the language classes as resources to look at words and how words are formed, and also how words are put together to make sentences.

Applied Methods:

Teaching Methods: Games and Activities for Classroom and Home

We will talk about elements of a communicative lesson plan and demonstrate a variety of games and activities during our class that will help you plan for your own teaching. All levels of language learning will be represented from isolated words to full sentences.
Each participant will create a new game or activity to share with the class relevant to his or her teaching situation. Participants will be given a digital resource bank of many games and activities.

Methods for Sleeping Languages: Endangered Languages Learning-Teaching Strategies, Methodologies, and Materials Development

This class will be geared towards indigenous language learner-teachers who are working with written and/or recorded materials and where there may be no living fluent speakers of their ancestral language. Topics will include: strategies on researching and retrieving teachable language from linguistic materials; development and design of teaching plans; creation of curriculum/teachable lessons; introduction to and practice of methodologies; materials development; identifying challenges and creating solutions to address them; autonomous language learning-teaching approaches.

Applied Methods: Youth


Materials Development

Materials production in the 21st century classroom usually includes the use of computers, yet computers and programs are changing at an ever increasing pace. The goal of the NILI Materials Development course is thus not to teach participants to specifically use any one program or tool, but rather to improve their ability to problem solve and to increase their creativity using a computer. This course will integrate a variety of 21st century multimedia authoring skills useful for language teachers, such as video capture, image manipulation, design layout and content creation, as we create a common project.

Materials Development: Youth


Chinuk Wawa

Nez Perce



Tolowa Dee-ni’

Special studies in Native languages/sleeping languages

(Note: Language classes are tailored to enrollment and we will keep students updated as to which languages will be offered.)

Weekend Workshop:

more details coming soon!


NILI Summer Institute Costs for 2016

  • Tuition: $1,900 (4 university credits)
  • Elder registration: $150 (no university credits)
  • On Campus Housing (optional):
    • Single room: $759 (check in 6/19 – check out 6/30)
    • Double (shared) room: $627 (check in 6/19 – check out 6/30)
  • Optional on-site parking pass: $65

Limited scholarships are available. Scholarship information is below.

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



Please complete a scholarship application by April 1, 2016. Please be sure to apply early as the deadline will not be extended. The scholarship application can be found here: NILI 2016 Scholarship application.

Scholarship funds are targeted towards those who could not attend the Institute without support. If you are employed as a teacher or at a language program or school district, you must first seek funding from your program. We encourage all those in need of financial assistance to seek funding from other sources as well. Due to generous support, some years NILI is able to give at least some funding to those applying for scholarships. Other years we are challenged to do so. Scholarships are for partial tuition for the two-week Summer Institute only and do not cover housing, meals, or parking (if applicable).


Policy for Youth Participants Chaperones
(High School Students from Ages 14-18)

It is our experience in providing a youth component to NILI Summer Institute over the last two years that communities have wanted to provide their own chaperones for youth participants.

If you are bringing youth, someone must be designated in your group who will assume responsibility for chaperoning youth participants. If boys and girls are attending, then both male and female chaperones are needed. Youth and chaperones will attend all NILI events during the Institute. Chaperones need not be present in the classroom with youth, but must be responsible during out of class hours and at night. Chaperones will need to cover their own dorm expenses (room and board) in order to stay on the same floor with the participants.

All youth attending NILI must have consent forms signed by parents/guardians prior to the Institute.

If you are considering bringing youth to NILI, please contact our office at to make arrangements.