SURF

Cecelia Di Mino

Language Revitalization: Thinking By Design

Indigenous language revitalization (LR) work comes from the heart. Whether done by a documentary linguist or an indigenous community member, LR is a labor of love, usually done in someones spare time, with little to no financial compensation. While their linguistic and/or cultural knowledge may be vast, such individuals usually lack pedagogy training and experience. As the nature of LR work is already immense and taxing, providing its practitioners with a structured but adaptable program detailing how best to implement the pedagogical aspects of LR would be a major innovation. My SURF project develops one such program.
I am collaborating with a UCB documentary linguist/language revitalization expert as well as a UCB theatre professional. Through a series of workshops, we will use music, movement, games, and theatre to explore the language of Iquito. The project includes 25 LR teaching hours this summer with the Iquito heritage community in Peruvian Amazonia. Language Revitalization: Thinking by Design implements new strategies to support the goal that indigenous languages maintain a dignified place in our global world today.

Message to Sponsor

Dear L&S Leadership Fund, I sincerely appreciate having been gifted the opportunity to pursue my research project this summer. I learned more about research and the field of applied linguistics than I could have ever learned in a classroom. Aside from this, I was given the opportunity to learn strengths about myself I never knew where therefor example, apparently there is a certain type of person who can live and work in a remote jungle setting, and it turns out I am that sort of person! And I am not the only one to benefit from the fact that this project took placethe Iquito community the project served, the endangered language itself, and even other undergraduate students who are seeing what kind of research can be done in linguistics all benefit as well. This experience has verified my decision to pursue language revitalization as my career field. I plan to push hard for social change regarding indigenous communities and their language rights; this project gave me the confidence to do so. Thank you!
  • Major: Linguistics
  • Sponsor: Leadership L&S
  • Mentor: Christine Beier