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‘Teaching, not preaching’: Crow language instructors learn teaching methods

There’s a big difference between being able to speak the Crow language and being able to teach it. But, for a language used by a dwindling number of people in the roughly 13,000 member tribe, there aren’t many teaching resources.

The Crow Summer Institute helps fill that void.

“I’ve learned more from this than I have from anything else,” said Roanne Hill, a Crow language and culture teacher at St. Labre High School. “The techniques that we use here, I feel like are much more efficient.”

The institute, organized by the Crow Language Consortium, Little Bighorn College and The Language Conservancy, a nonprofit that works to save endangered languages, is in its fourth year.

Hill grew up speaking Crow and didn’t learn English until age 5. That’s not typical for today’s Crow youth; a 2012 study commissioned by the tribe showed that only 3 percent of preschoolers were fluent, while 14 percent had limited fluency…

Check out the full length article on the Billings Gazette website.


June 23, 2016