A View on Sámi Language Teaching
Vitality of indigenous languages is directly proportional to the vitality of biolog- ical diversity. “The disappearance of species of plants, animals, or insects and the destruction of an ecosystem means the disappearance of related languages and knowledge” (Tauli-Corpuz, 2009, p. 6). Linguistic diversity is being threat- ened around the world and this threat is acutely felt by indigenous peoples. The survival and development of indigenous languages will require the will and ef- forts of indigenous peoples as well as the implementation of supportive policy, especially in the field of education (United Nations Permanent Forum on Indig- enous Issues, 2008). Therefore it is important to scientifically discuss the posi- tion of indigenous languages in teaching. Language is the way to a profound cultural understanding: it is a central part of teaching and provides valuable cultural information and a world-view that pupils can find significant (Hall, 2003). The purpose of this chapter is to de- scribe the North Sámi language instruction at the Sámi School of Norway and Sámi classes in Finland through these questions: what is the state of Sámi lan- guage instruction in compulsory education?; what kinds of teaching methods and learning materials are used to teach the Sámi language?; and how is pupils’ background taken into consideration in compulsory education in Norway and in Finland? The Realization of Teaching in the Sámi Language The state of Sámi language instruction in compulsory education It seems that language teaching has area- and country-specific differences...
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