The Consortium endeavors to produce the best materials possible for teaching the Lakota and Dakota language, but even the best materials are not effective unless teachers are trained to use them successfully. To promote improved teaching, LLC will be expanding its training offerings in the coming year to encourage and facilitate more effective teaching habits. Beginning in June 2007, a three-week, three-hour accredited course will be taught at Sitting Bull College
, delving more deeply into both the linguistics associated with Lakota instruction and the second-language teaching techniques that can best be employed.
This course will be the primary introduction to skills basic to teaching Lakota effectively in the classroom and is divided into three parts: Lakota phonology, Lakota morphology and methods. The first section is an overview of the Lakota phonetic system and will focus on training teachers to be consistent in writing the language. The second week is aimed at developing an operational understanding of the underlying structure of Lakota inflectional morphology and some parts of derivational morphology. Week three of the course will prepare teachers to use techniques that create a positive learning environment and which help students feel secure in language learning.
As an intensive overview, this course begins by preparing teachers in the latest and most effective language teaching techniques currently in use around the world. Special emphasis will be on methods that work for teaching the four basic language competencies: understanding, speaking, reading, and writing. Teachers will also learn how to motivate students and young learners and how to structure language classes to keep the students interested.
Due to the high demand for this course (with Standing Rock
classes only able accommodate local teachers), we plan to see the offering extended to other reservations and tribal colleges, and involve new tribes in language recovery and revitalization.
In addition to the intensive three-week course option, LLC will continue to offer two- and three-day workshops in fall and winter 2007 for educators to learn some of the basic skills needed for instructing Lakota-Dakota language, including components such as pronunciation, use of orthography, and phonology. Lesson plan modeling and hands-on demonstrations will be central to these workshops, open to all teachers and other interested community members who wish to improve their language-teaching skills. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in finding out about trainings in you area .