Last summer, eight Crow language teachers traveled from Crow Agency, MT to the Lakota Summer Institute at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, ND, to begin a coordinated effort to create new fluent speakers and give the tribe’s language teachers consistent and effective skills in second-language education. They held in their hands a new Level 1 textbook and learned together how to best teach the lessons – a shared experience that had been rare in years past.
In 2014, Crow teachers and speakers return to Fort Yates in greater numbers to initiate the Crow Summer Institute, a two-week session running June 2-13 (concurrent with the Lakota event) as an extension session of Little Big Horn College’s teacher-training program. In 2015, CSI will move permanently to Little Big Horn College and offer course credit to teachers.
The 2014 courses include teaching methods for the Crow Level 1 textbook and Crow phonology. One goal for the Crow Nation is to inspire more Crow to become language teachers; lack of teachers is an immediate obstacle to effective language learning. Another obstacle has been wide differences in learning materials and teaching methods from school to school.
The CSI is a project of the newly-founded Crow Language Consortium (CLC), in partnership with the Language Conservancy. Over the next year, TLC and CLC will produce the Level 1 Crow Audio CD, posters, alphabet strips and flash cards. For more information about the Crow Language Consortium and Crow Summer Institute, contact John P. Boyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.