History of Indigenous Peoples

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Re: language nest alternatives

Marion GUNN (mgunn@irlearn.ucd.ie)
Tue, 10 Jan 1995 21:54:33 +0000

On Sun, 8 Jan 1995 14:39:59 +0100 you said:

> ...passage of new legislation, but in the past, some of those who
> could teach didn't know the ancestral language well, while many
> of those who knew the language were not allowed to teach.

Exactly the same conditions militated against the revival of our own
language in Ireland, but now we have pre-school playgroups, where love
of children and love of the language have combined to turn the tide,
and the language in such groups is thriving, to such an extent that
we can already see their benefits moving up through the system.
Unfortunately, the restrictive conditions still stifle university
education, where native speakers are often turned off by having
to "qualify" as teachers of their own language by attending courses
devised for learners by learners, and passing examinations set for
learners by learners. Happily, all this is changing, as more and more
people are becoming more proud of their traditional knowledge,
less easily intimidated by paper qualifications.

> ...will become true bilinguals. moreover, young working mothers
> would get much needed, competent day care and elders would get
> much needed employment -- employment that only they can perform.
> perhaps this kind of program already exists. if it does, i'd
> appreciate hearing about it.
> russ bernard

Grandmothers, grandfathers make wonderful teachers of culture for
young children, as they have attained freedom from the treadwheel
of employment, and relish the enjoyment of work for work's sake,
whether shaping a story or a piece of art. Same thing.
I'd love to receive a few samples of outline programmes actually
being used by some of the groups you mention, Russ, so I could pass
them on to friends involved in pre-school playgroups here.
Marion Gunn

PS. Please use the e-mail address at end of this msg, so as not to
clutter up NAT-LANG with details not all would wish to read, or
use the attached snailmail address. I'll reciprocate, if anyone wants,
by sending some information on pre-school playgroups in Ireland, which
may give the organisers of American groups some new ideas. mg
Marion Gunn
Da/mh an Le/inn Cheiltigh
An Cola/iste Ollscoile
Baile A/tha Cliath 4
E/ire (Ireland)
(That "/" represents an acute accent over the preceding vowel.)

MGUNN@IRLEARN.UCD.IE

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