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2016 Conference Workshops


Section 1A/2A: Language through Gestures – the Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM)

Presenter: Annette Dominik

The AIM (Accelerative Integrated Method) is an innovative second language teaching method developed by B.C. Educator, Wendy Maxwell and now in use in many schools and school boards throughout Canada and the U.S.  It employs codified gestures to support L2-only interaction in the beginner classroom.  In this workshop, participants with an interest in L2 teaching and learning can experience a theoretical and practical introduction to the AIM. The workshop will follow a theory-demonstration-practice format, The theory portion will include an overview of the method and its goals as well as some literature review (Mady, Arnott & Lapkin, 2009; Bourdages & Vignola, 2009, etc.). The demonstration will use an invented language, so that participants can experience the method authentically as beginning learners. In the practice portion, participants will learn a small inventory of gestures adapted to Secwepemctsin and have a chance to practice using them in small group role-playing to come away with some basic AIM skills.   

Session 1B/2B: Creating an indigenous oral language proficiency assessment tool

Presenter: Katarina Edmonds

In this interactive workshop the participants will work towards the development of a tool to assess the oral and/or written language proficiency of their learners based on their own indigenous language. The model is based on Kaiaka Reo a tool that has been determined reliable and valid for the assessment of the Māori language proficiency of students learning in Māori medium school contexts in Aotearoa New Zealand. The assessment tool draws on first, second, and foreign language learning theory and pedagogy, however, the proficiencies that would be established would be based on the indigenous language which is at the heart of the matter.

Session 1C/2C: Taking Back My Language

Presenter: Jane Juuso

Many people are often afraid of talking the Sámi language, because they think they won`t speak it well enough. I have made a course for those who can speak some Sámi, but do not dare to speak in public. The course in built on cognitive theory, giving the participants a way to think in a different way about their language skills.

Section 1D/2D: Land-Based Language Education

Presenter: Robert Matthew

Language and land go hand in hand. First Nations identity is based on the knowledge of traditional territory, place names and stories. In this workshop, the Chief Atahm School land based language project will be highlighted.  The presenter will share the process of land-based language teaching including oral history methods, field research, curriculum development and lesson planning.

Section 3A/4A: Restorying Our Languages: Stories that Teach

Presenter: Janice E. Billy

Coyote shares with us a world of transformational stories that teach us how to live upon this earth. This workshop will demonstrate how traditional oral stories can be used to teach language. Veteran immersion teacher Janice E. Billy will bring the exciting characters from Secwepemc stspteklwe to life in this action-filled workshop. She will show how she has integrated TPR-Storytelling techniques with traditional storytelling. This workshop shares a practitioner's perspective on storytelling for use in an immersion classroom. Participants will receive a sample unit with ideas for activities to enhance language classrooms of all ages.

Section 3B/4B: Language Games and Activities

Presenters: Tammy LeBourdais and Kathryn Michel

Games and fun-filled learning activities help keep language students energized. Chief Atahm School primary immersion teacher Tammy LeBourdais and curriculum developer Kathryn Michel will demonstrate a variety of activities to keep your classes moving! They will share some of the best games and activities that support language learning.

Section 3C/4C: Creating an Indigenous Social Studies Curriculum

Presenter: Hemi Dale

Curriculum development is inherently a political process.  Contestation and negotiation occurs during the curriculum writing process in regard to what content to include, which groups are to be addressed in the document as well as implied teaching and learning models (McKinley, 1995). Educational theorist, Michael Apple argues that the framing of knowledge for inclusion in school curricula is an exclusive exercise of power so that ‘important knowledge’ can be distinguished from ‘less important knowledge’. In this interactive workshop the participants will co-construct an indigenous localised social studies curriculum.  Matters to be considered will include a main aim, the place of indigenous knowledge and customary practices, the implications of teaching through an indigenous language, what is taught, how it is taught, community and/or tribal engagement as well as theoretical underpinnings.

Section 3D/4D: Raising Language Speakers: The language nest model

Presenters: Aliana Parker and Suzanne Gessner

Language Nests are language and culture immersion environments for pre-school aged children that support the development of new fluent speakers of First Nations languages. The Language Nest model, originally developed in New Zealand and now implemented worldwide, including at Chief Atahm School in B.C., has seen great success not only in revitalizing Indigenous languages but also in raising generations of confident, healthy and successful Indigenous youth. This workshop gives an overview of the language nest model, explains some language immersion approaches and shares strategies for overcoming common challenges. The workshop also highlights some of the recent research on child language development and bilingualism. This workshop will be of interest to all early childhood educators and kindergarten teachers, as well as to language teachers and language advocates across B.C.

Section 5A/6A: TPR: Build comprehension fast through action

Presenter: Stacey Michel

This is an introductory workshop to James Asher’s Total Physical Response approach (TPR) to beginner language teaching. Master TPR teacher Stacey Michel will engage participants in this active teaching technique. This program based on physical movement develops comprehension of sentences that utilize everyday classroom objects and vocabulary. Come and experience how Chief Atahm School has used this method with great success to teach beginners of all ages.

Section 5B/6B: Using a Flipped Learning Model to teach mathematics language and content/concepts in a second-language

Presenter: Piata Allen

This workshop explores the design and implementation of a flipped learning model in a Māori-medium Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) programme at the University of Auckland that can be duplicated in other indigenous language contexts. The students in this programme are preparing to enter primary schools where they will teach the curriculum through the medium of te reo Māori (the indigenous language of Aotearoa/New Zealand). Te reo Māori is a minority language and most students and teachers accessing Maori-medium education are L2 learners of Maori.

This workshop will also discuss some of the issues and tensions associated with use of L1 or L2. For example, international L2 acquisition research suggests that judicious use of the first language can encourage the acquisition of the L2. However, some Māori-medium programmes adhere to a strict language separation policy. A flipped learning model was designed and used in this initial teacher education programme as a method of providing dual language instruction while adhering to the language separation policy. Bilingual content/concept webcasts were created for students to watch in their own time in preparation for face-to-face lessons. Workshop participants will be able to trial the flipped learning model and participate in mathematics activities with a focus on language acquisition for use in their own classrooms and schools.

Section 5C/6C: Three Language iPad App: Collaborating to create digital language tools

Presenters: Kathryn Michel

Five Salishan-speaking communities representing three languages have come together to create digital language education apps. In this workshop the partner communities will share the collaborative process leading to creating language apps in three different languages. Participants will have the opportunity to test the programs using iPads. This project is part of a larger BC-wide research grant that encourages knowledge mobilization through new technologies for language learning.

Section 5D/6D: Nsyilxcen Language Teaching

Presenter: Michele Johnson

Nsyilxcn (Okanagan) is critically endangered and in urgent need of parent-aged speakers. The Syilx Language House Association, based in Penticton, was formed to meet the needs of training new adult speakers and documenting remaining Elders. We opened our doors September 2015 and have sixteen students and five co-teachers representing six of the eight Syilx communities. Our leadership overcame the doubts and delay tactics that often beset our programs and adopted a proven curriculum by the Salish School of Spokane (Paul Creek) as our best hope for creating new speakers. The six textbooks of sequenced curriculum are designed for learners to raise each other up while teaching. The class meets two days per week for four years and will complete 2,000 hours of lessons. After 200 hours, each student narrated a Captíkʷł story in Nsyilxcn, five minutes long, from memory. After 300 hours each student will learn to transcribe—a skill desperately needed in our Nation. We are recording Elder narratives, transcribing, and developing and evaluating procedures for learning while documenting. This presentation describes and demonstrates our “direct acquisition” teaching methods, specifically a story-based teaching technique designed to be taught by intermediate learners to high-beginner students, filmed assessments, and the personal experience of language learning and community activism.

Section 7A: Silly Songs for Language Learning

Presenters: Janice E. Billy and Kathryn Michel

Music can bring so much life to language classrooms. In this workshop, participants will work collaborately on creating classroom songs based on both contemporary tunes and traditional tunes. Come and explore how the gift of music can enhance your language program.

Section 7B: The genesis of tribal curricula: creating successful partnerships with universities

Presenter: Ella Newbold

In many indigenous education contexts, how curricula are developed both at the local and national levels are determined by state education imperatives, rather than local tribal needs. This workshop will focus on the how the development of a graduate profile, can guide the development of a tribal based curriculum founded on the aspiration to develop successful learners, who will grow as competent and confident learners, effective communicators in the tribal and wider world, healthy of mind, body and soul and secure in their identity, and sense of belonging. This interactive workshop, will assist participants to

  1. Develop your graduate profile and tribal based curriculum based on local needs
  2. Discuss challenges and issues encountered during this process
  3. Ask questions and share your experience and perspectives with others