Registration is now open online for the 2014 Lakota Summer Institute, well-known as a “boot camp” for the Lakota language. The Institute (LSI) was opened in 2006, sponsored by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Lakota Language Consortium. Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, ND, Standing Rock, hosts LSI June 2-20, 2014.
The primary focus of LSI courses are methods for teaching Lakota in immersion environments and as a second language, using Total Physical Response techniques. Changes to the course offerings show how Lakota teachers and students have advanced since 2006. This year, Intensive Lakota classes are offered at the Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate levels, taking forward the materials in Intensive Lakota for Beginners and Intensive Lakota for Upper Beginners.
Intensive Lakota for Beginners will be offered in the evenings as well, for non-teachers and families.
Teaching Lakota Grammar combines previous courses in Morphology and Syntax, and adds new material developed for the Consortium’s upcoming Lakota Grammar Handbook, planned for publication in early 2015. Thus this course series will be much more user-friendly because the examples and activities are geared towards the interests of a student in Lakota, rather than a linguist.
Four courses will explore use of the language from other perspectives. Ben Black Bear will lead a class in Neologism Development, tracking ways Lakota has changed over time and how it can be consciously adapted to modern situations like going to a hospital or playing basketball. Kevin Locke returns with Teaching Traditional Lakota Flute, expanding on the introductory class given last year, which had participants build and play their own Plains-style flute in the traditional tuning. Dr. Lanny Real Bird will return with the Northern Plains Sign Language course he taught in 2013.
Lakota Drama and Performance will rehearse and perform a short Lakota-language play about the Spider-trickster Iktomi. This course was brought back after the success of a Lakota-language Iktomi play in 2012.
LSI has proven to be a great community-builder for teachers, and for families across generations.