Revitalizing languages through place-based language curriculum
This paper discusses the components of Identity Through Learning (ITL), language learning and curriculum development that is community centered, experiential, and collaborative. It discusses three examples of culture- and place-based curriculum projects developed at the Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI) at the University of Oregon. We propose that place-based curriculum grounds student learning in their experiences in local events and places, and fosters community connection to traditional lifeways. As such, it can strengthen student self-esteem and identity. The paper addresses how place-based curriculum reinforces Native educators’ goals for student learning, and how ITL is a promising strategy for supporting students in the classroom and beyond.