saač ̓ inkin huuḥtakšiiḥ (We are Always Learning Together): Advancing nuučaan̓uł Adult Learners Through Peer-Support




Foxcroft, Dawn (Taaʔisumqa)

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A constant decline of nuučaan̓uł fluent speakers indicates an urgency to develop effective tools to support adults to gain proficiency in the nuučaan̓uł language. The goals of this project were: to identify principles of peer-support for adult nuučaan̓uł learners; to outline implications of this research for learners, instructors, and program coordinators; and to create an online resource outlining the principles identified. The research was grounded in a Nuu-chah-nulth worldview, and was specifically conducted using the Theory of Tsawalk, provided by Umeek (Richard Atleo) (Atleo, 2004). With a Nuu-chah-nulth theory guiding the inquiry, the values of interdependence, respect, and generosity framed both the methods and analysis of this work. Methods were rooted in the practice of storytelling, using a narrative inquiry approach through interview and reflection. Chapter 3 provides a review of the literature and highlights the necessity for adult learners of a second language to spend thousands of hours on language learning in order to gain proficiency. The role that peers have in learning Indigenous languages is absent in the existing literature. Chapter 4 provides a peer-support evening session plan that was developed, along with the ten principles of peer-support that emerged from the research. The outcomes described in this inquiry contribute to the vital efforts of Indigenous communities to strengthen their languages by offering peer support as an important tool in the Indigenous language revitalization toolbox.



fluent speakers, peer support, Nuu-chah-nulth, Indigenous languages, Indigenous language revitalization