Zapotec Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Zapotec Language Revitalization: What can be accomplished with a two-week Summer School

Humanity is facing a language endangerment crisis on a global level, as indigenous languages are increasingly being replaced by widely spoken languages like English and Spanish. In response, communities around the world have initiated efforts to encourage the use of endangered languages. However, little empirical research on what makes these language revitalization efforts most successful…

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Creating Books for Use in Language Revitalization Classrooms: Considerations and Outcomes

Teachers' Forum In this paper, I examine the development, implementation, and results of utilizing three types of storybooks in a language revitalization classroom for students ages 5-12 learning Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec, an indigenous language of southern Mexico. Although each method used for creating books in Zapotec generated a positive reaction from students and parents, I consider the ways in which each method facilitates student learning while also problematizing the cultural authenticity of the classroom. Based on classroom observations, a parent focus group, and student interviews, I conclude that the most effective method for storybook creation involved students creating their own book modeled on a pre-existing book written in the non-indigenous language. This student-created book generated sustained interest in the language and allowed for students to shape the materials into something that was culturally relevant for them personally.