Language Revitalization Working Group

The Language Revitalization Working Group critically examines theories, methodologies, and applications of language revitalization in a variety of world contexts. It provides a centralized venue for interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners of language revitalization to share, present, discuss, and improve their language revitalization efforts.

In Spring 2023, we will meet (roughly) every other week, on Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m. (PST) in a hybrid format: if you're on campus you can join us in-person, and if you're not, you can join via Zoom. Additional/alternative meeting times/dates are marked with an asterisk (*) below.

For more information, or to be added to our mailing list or bCourses site, please contact Måsi Santos ( or Tzintia Montano Ramirez ( If you'd like to attend any of our events but have questions/concerns about accessibility or other accommodations, please reach out via email!

Spring 2023 Meeting Schedule:

February 8: Maura Sullivan (Tulane University)

Maura Sullivan (she/her) is a tribal member from the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation in what is now called "southern California." She holds a master's degree in Linguistics from Tulane University and two bachelor's degrees in History of Art and Native American Studies from UC Berkeley. She is currently in a PhD program in Linguistics at Tulane University and is on a predoctoral writing fellowship in Philadelphia at the American Philosophical Society, where she is working on her dissertation "Redefining our Record: Chumash Inquiry in Smithsonian Archives."

Redefining our Record: Chumash Inquiry in Smithsonian Archives

Archives are not stagnant remnants of history. They are active sites of knowledge and, for Indigenous peoples, they are often places of living memory, where our ancestors put down oral history and knowledge for the current generations to learn from. As a linguist that works on language revitalization, Maura will present from her current research and dissertation, specifically talking about the ways that archives can be a rich source for creating innovative and interesting language resources for speakers. Of particular interest is the ways that tribes are utilizing the internet and technology in ways that feel safe and respectful of our knowledge and communities.

March 8: Hilaria Cruz, PhD (University of Louisville)

Hilaria Cruz, PhD, (she/her) is a linguist and a native speaker of the Chatino language spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico, and by members of the Chatino diaspora residing especially in the Southeastern United States, including North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. She teaches Native American religions and linguistics in the Comparative Humanities Department at the University of Louisville. Hilaria has been collaborating with computer scientists to further the study of indigenous and endangered languages and the cultural practices associated with these communities. She is also passionate about creating children’s books in indigenous languages of North America to fill the scarcity of materials in these languages. She is currently a board member of the Special Interest Group for Endangered Languages with the Association for Computational Linguistics. 

Crowdsourcing endangered language children’s books

An indigenous language with books and printed materials suggests comparability with dominant languages, elevating the status of these historically discriminated languages in the eyes of Native language speakers and dominant language speakers. For indigenous youth, printed materials in the language of their community increase their self-esteem, promote their intellectual development, and increase their reading level, as well as help preserve the language. In this talk, I will share my experience crowdsourcing stories, skill, and experiences from diverse communities to create, translate, and publish children’s books in Native American languages and other languages around the world, including the Chatino, Mixtec, Triqui, and Zapotec, as well as Ojibwe, Hupa, Greek, and Bisaya.

March 22: Mskwaankwad Rice (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

Mskwaankwad Rice (he/him) is a PhD student of Linguistics at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. As an L2 learner of his heritage language, he is interested in all things Ojibwe (endonymically known as Nishnaabemwin in his home dialect), and it is his work in language reclamation that has led him to study Linguistics formally. Outside of academia, his language work includes running a Nishnaabemwin immersion program for L2 adult learners called Eshki-nishnaabemjig, which he co-founded with two fellow learners. He also co-hosts a podcast called The Language, where he and his colleague Miigwanaabiikwe discuss anything and everything related to reclamation and the L2 experience. They hope to support others on their respective journeys in this movement.

Power and positionality: a case study of Linguistics’ relationship to Indigenous languages

In this talk, I will discuss the problematic history and relationship that Linguistics has with Indigenous peoples, taking the Ojibwe people and language as a case study. The earliest linguistic writings about the Ojibwe language were made by missionaries, motivated by the evangelical goal of assimilating Indigenous peoples based on a white supremacist belief in the inferiority of Indigenous peoples and cultures. It is not customary for linguists to address their positionality or the history of their sources and the discipline in their research, and I will suggest a blueprint for how this can be done. I will also talk about my experiences in language reclamation efforts.

April 5: Yan Garcia (California State University, Long Beach)

Yan Garcia (he/him) is a second language learner of Nahuatl, as well as a Nahuatl language teacher. He is involved in the promotion of the and revitalization of the Nahuatl language, as well as the creation of language learning tools and resources. He obtained his master's degree in Linguistics from California State University, Long Beach, and a master's degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Redlands. Today, he primarily works with children with disabilities in elementary schools

Community Nahuatl Teaching in Los Angeles

This talk will discuss the community-based approach of teaching the endangered Nahuatl language in Los Angeles, with a focus on language revitalization for people of indigenous and mixed-indigenous descent. The Nahuatl language is spoken by indigenous communities in Mexico and is considered to be endangered due to language shift and globalization. The community-based approach involves engaging the communities in the teaching and learning of the language, with an emphasis on fluency and pedagogical practices of second language acquisition. This approach aims to create a sense of community and cultural identity among people of mixed indigenous descent while preserving and revitalizing an endangered language. The success of this approach could have implications for other endangered languages and highlights the need for collaboration.

April 19: Anna Belew (Endangered Languages Project)

Anna Belew, PhD, (she/her) is the program manager at the Endangered Languages Project, a nonprofit organization that supports the revitalization and promotion of endangered languages worldwide. Her research focuses on language endangerment, revitalization, and sociolinguistics, especially in Iyasa, a language spoken by about 2,000 people on the coast of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. She applies her research to build networks of solidarity and support between Indigenous language communities, and help people access the knowledge they need to fight for their languages.

"I don't feel alone anymore": Building relationships of support and solidarity through language revitalization mentoring

In the years leading up to the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032, there has been a global blossoming of language revitalization, reclamation, and normalization. According to a global survey of revitalization efforts (Pérez Báez et al. 2019), each passing decade since the 1960s has seen a steep increase in language revitalization - which has been linked directly to improved mental, physical, and social well-being (Whalen et al. 2016). However, access to knowledge, training, and support in language revitalization is unequally distributed across global regions, with little or no formal infrastructure or funding to support revitalization in most parts of the world. Many revitalization practitioners (or those who wish to get started in revitalization) feel isolated, lack needed resources, and have no access to training or guidance in language revitalization. The ELP Language Revitalization Mentors program, which launched in February 2023, supports these practitioners by connecting them to a global community of practice, offering personalized guidance and encouragement, and providing free learning and capacity-building resources in revitalization. Anyone can make unlimited, free online appointments to talk in 11 languages with the ELP Revitalization Mentors - all of whom have deep expertise and experience in revitalizing their own languages, and who serve as accessible, supportive peer guides to revitalization practitioners anywhere in the world. This talk will discuss the global state of grassroots language revitalization, outline some of the needs and gaps in language revitalization infrastructure, present the ELP Language Revitalization Mentors program and upcoming Revitalization Helpdesk resource, and share lessons and stories from the first two months of the ELP Revitalization Mentors program.

May 3: Panel Discussion (UC Berkeley)

"Through their eyes: A panel discussion on fieldwork and revitalization at Berkeley"

The Berkeley Linguistics Department has a long history of fieldwork and documentation and has become one of the leading institutions for language revitalization, having designed a graduate degree Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization. In this panel discussion, we will have a conversation with members of the Berkeley Linguistics Department regarding their individual and shared experiences with fieldwork/documentation and/or revitalization during their time in the department. What did these fields look like during their time? Have the fields changed? If so, how? What is the next step or path for fieldwork and revitalization? These are just a few of the questions panelists will discuss, as well as questions from audience members. The event will feature the following panelists: 

  • Leanne Hinton, Professor Emerita, Linguistics Department, UC Berkeley
  • Zachary O'Hagan, Manager, California Language Archive, Linguistics Department, UC Berkeley
  • Tzintia Montaño-Ramírez, PhD student, Linguistics Department, UC Berkeley
  • Alexander Elias, PhD student, Linguistics Department, UC Berkeley

Fall 2022 Meeting Schedule:

September 14: Welcome Back & Orientation Meeting

The first meeting of the academic year is an opportunity to introduce the working group to current and new members and the new co-organizers, Måsi and Tzintia. We will briefly introduce ourselves, announce the schedule for the semester/academic year, and conclude with a brief activity in which we acknowledge language.

* September 28: Anna Macknick (UC Berkeley)

This meeting will be held in collaboration with FForum (Fieldwork Forum) during their meeting time from 3-4 p.m.

A discussion on relationships, positionality, and accountability in collaborative language work
As linguists, we are well-trained in technical and theoretical aspects of language work in communities (so-called “fieldwork”). However, the ethical considerations involved in this research are often glossed over. Even when unintentional, leaving ethical considerations unexamined can lead us to cause harm in the communities we work with. The goal for this discussion is to explore and reflect on our positionalities as linguists, how they impact the ways we engage in language work, and how we can more intentionally cultivate relationships within language communities. We will begin with a short presentation on different models of language work, and then hold space to reflect, share experiences, and offer thoughts and ideas on how to develop more accountable relationships in our work. 

* October 12: DEILR Welcome Back & Info Party

This meeting will be held in collaboration with the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization program.

We're looking forward to collaborating with the DE in Indigenous Language Revitalization program to introduce our working group members to current students in the program and learn about each other's respective research, as well as learn more about the program and meet the faculty. 

October 26: Emily Drummond (UC Berkeley)

Nukuoro stories: Resource design across time and space
In this talk, I share the process of designing language resources for Nukuoro, a Polynesian Outlier language spoken in Micronesia. The Nukuoro community faces two challenges for language maintenance and reclamation: first, the language community is divided across several widespread land masses with differing levels of access to print and digital materials; second, a large amount of cultural knowledge of interest to the community was recorded between 1880 and 1970, prior to widespread language shift from Nukuoro to Pohnpeian and English. For these reasons, creating accessible language materials requires us to consider the effects of time and space on resource design. After considering the guiding principles behind our process, I present a first pass of a bilingual Nukuoro-English storybook, which presents traditional oral narratives in two languages and provides relevant geographic, cultural, and linguistic context. My collaborator Johnny Rudolph and I welcome feedback on the stories, which we hope to print and make available online in early 2023. 

November 9: Roy McGrath and panel (University of Hawaii, Hilo)

Title and abstract coming soon!

November 16: CANCELED

November 30: CANCELED

* December 7: Game Night with Tea at Cafe Ohlone

This meeting will be held in collaboration with the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization program.

We're excited to once again to collaborate with the DEILR program for a much need moment of "Restoration" during RRR Week! Join us for fun games using Indigenous languages and Cafe Ohlone treats sponsored by the DE program! 

Spring 2022 Meeting Schedule:

January 26: Poetry and Language Revitalization

We're excited to kick off this semester with a celebration of poetry and language revitalization. During our first meeting, we will read, annotate, and discuss a series of poems or related artforms that draw on LR as a theme.
We have a few ideas up our sleeve, but we would welcome your input! If you would like, please share a LR-related poem/short text/etc. with us via email (; This can be your own work or a cited piece, in PDF, Word, or emailed-text format.  

* February 7: Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil (Ayutla Mixe / COLMIX)

Tequiologies: Indigenous Solutions Against Climate Catastrophe

Sponsored by the Berkeley Center for New Media, in partnership with the Center for Latin American Studies, Alianza UCMX, Spanish & Portuguese, the Arts Research Center, and and The American Indian Graduate Program.
Find out more here

February 9: Janet Chávez Santiago (Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec)

Enjoying the Zapotec language and culture: experiences in creating sources and teaching Dixza [view poster]

Zapotec is a broad language that varies by region, and as it changes from town to town, the ways of passing on the language are also different. In the very particular variant of my town, Teotitlán del Valle, Zapotec is acquired orally within the family and from the community, social, and political life. However, nowadays many families are speaking to their children only in Spanish, and youth are drawn towards Spanish-dominant language. In seeking to contribute with the creation of new alternatives to learn and enjoy the Zapotec language, culture, and traditions, I have worked on putting together the structure for a basic Zapotec course. In this talk, I would like to discuss some of the challenges that I have faced, such as not having an standardized orthography and the lack of content in the language, and most importantly, I would like to share the Zapotec achievements and enjoyments.

February 23: Mother Language Day Cooking Show Celebration

In celebration of International Mother Language Day, we're delighted to host a multilingual cooking show! Seven volunteer chefs will grace us with their culinary & language skills, in a variety of in-person, live-remote, and pre-recorded presentations. While Paul Hollywood may reserve his famous handshakes for a select few Great British Bakers, we'll be rewarding all participants with gift certificates to Cafe Ohlone, Birchbark Books, and Haipažaža Pȟežuta Medicine Soaps
Here are some of the fabulous chefs, languages spoken, and dishes prepared:
  • Tvetene CarlsonAhtna; Arctic blueberry pancakes
  • Annabel RabiyahIraqi Jewish dialect of Arabic; beidth bsamak (eggs with fish)
  • Muriel Ammon (Tsnungwe)Hupaqo:-nehwa:n mił k’iwe:whe’ (eggy rice)
  • Maura Adela Cruz and Sarah Orozco;Zapoteco de Santa Maria Jaltianguis; squash blossom quesadillas
  • Ataya CesspooochNoohahpahgup (Ute language); Ahpoos peeyavanna (apple crisp)
  • Tzintia Montaño; Mixtec of Puebla and Spanish; Mole family recipe
  • Irene YiMandarin; 鸡蛋西红柿 / ji dan xi hong shi (eggs and tomatoes)
Many thanks to our participants, to Beth Piatote for this idea, and to the Designated Emphasis in Language Revitalization for co-sponsorship.

March 9: Nubantood Khalil (Nubian Language Society)

Nobiin Revitalization, A desperate battle against time to restore a disappearing language [view poster]

This presentation discusses the revitalization of Nobiin, an endangered African language spoken in the historical region "Nubia," which extends through contemporary Sudan up to Aswan in Southern Egypt. Then, the paper briefly addresses the catastrophic crises and challenges which led to the gradual annihilation of the Nubian culture and forcible displacement of Nubians from the Nile Valley. Finally, the presentation explores the efforts and the activities performed by the Nubian Language Society to revitalize and develop the Nobiin language in Nubia and USA.

March 16: Ed Fields (Cherokee Nation)

The UC Berkeley Language Revitalization Working Group, Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization, History of Art Department, Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley, and the American Indian Graduate Program at UC Berkeley are proud to host a special conversation with Ed Fields, citizen of Cherokee Nation and Cherokee language instructor at Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah Oklahoma. Mr. Fields grew up speaking Cherokee and actively preserves the language by teaching Cherokee at all levels. His classes are full of traditional Cherokee folklore from his childhood. He is widely regarded as a Cherokee national treasure. 

Please register for the Zoom link here

April 13: Jenny Davis (Chickasaw Nation / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Indigenous language futurism and the temporalities of language reclamation

The revitalization or reclamation of Indigenous and endangered languages is often driven or shaped by what Erin Debenport (2015) calls ‘hopeful nostalgia,’ where if “read through the lens of nostalgia, language revitalization can be seen as both a symptom and a cure, a way to diagnose the amount of cultural loss and a way to reinstate what has gone missing, what has been taken, and what is seen to be vital to the health of the community” (111).  By definition then, language reclamation looks to the past in order to understand the present and to imagine radical linguistic futures. While the past is often privileged in discussions of language revitalization as an anchor of authenticity and cultural continuity, present day language use in revitalization contexts also utilizes comics, gaming, memes, and other creative and technological domains that position Native American languages as always simultaneously ‘once and future.’ In this talk, I consider the role of these Indigenous linguistic and cultural temporalities in understanding Indigenous language activism with particular interest in linguistic futurisms, or the imagining of Indigenous languages in Indigenous perspectives of the past, present, and future.

April 27: Gabriela Pérez Báez (Language Revitalization Lab, University of Oregon)

Increasing inclusion in academia in support of language

The Global Survey of Language Revitalization Efforts showed that out of 245 surveys collected from around the world, 29% of assets that facilitate the efforts and 45% of needs that hamper them, relate to support (Pérez Báez et al, 2019). Among these, an important type of support is that related to cooperation, including collaborations between language communities and academia. This presentation begins with some of these data as backdrop for examples of collaborations. The first is about efforts to document the lexicon of Diidxazá (zai, Otomanguean) which include the publication of a specialized ethnobotanical dictionary (Pérez Báez et al 2019). The second, is the long-standing National Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous languages which has now served 141 tribal representatives from 65 language communities (Baldwin et al 2018). The third is the recent launching of Living Languages-Lenguas Vivas-Línguas Vivas, the first international, multilingual journal dedicated to topics in language revitalization and sustainability. The journal has developed a novel structure for publication and peer-review that is inclusive of revitalization practitioners who are not in academia (Amaral et al 2022). While these projects are rather different from each other –documentation, capacity building and dissemination—they illustrate how academia can evolve to increase inclusion and be more collaborative in support of language revitalization.

Fall 2021 Meeting Schedule:

December 1: Ataya Cesspooch (Fort Peck Sioux / Assiniboine / UC Berkeley)

Revitalizing Noohahpahgup: healing through language, connecting to land  [view flyer here]
The Ute Land Trust is a non-profit formed by leaders of the Ute Tribe to facilitate the return of ancestral lands. Since its founding the land trust has focused on addressing community needs and reconnecting Noochew (Ute people) to Tooveweep (the land). To help fulfill this mission, the ULT began hosting virtual community-led language classes in August of 2020. The class continues to meet online three times a week for an hour and a half and has built a robust community of language learners and speakers who learn from one another, typically outside of a set lesson plan. This talk will discuss how the language class operates, collective writing decisions, and a recently created workbook that emerged out of the class. The workbook, "Noohahpahgap Tkahneetua," is based on Zalmai Zahir's language nest method and is designed to help class participants form language nests in the kitchen by teaching phrases associated with common actions in the kitchen.

November 17: David McLeod (Ojibway / Métis / Native Communications Incorporated) & Brian Wright-McLeod (Dakota / Anishnabe / York University)

Indigenous Music and Radio in Canada

November 3: Eva Garroutte (Cherokee Nation, Boston College)

First Contact! As Told by a Cherokee Historian of the Secret Nighthawk Keetoowah Society in 1905  [View recorded presentation here]

A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Dr. Eva Marie Garroutte taught in the Departments of Sociology and the Native American Studies program at the University of Tulsa (Oklahoma) and at Boston College (Massachusetts). She is a Research Association professor at Boston College and now lives on the Cherokee reservation in Oklahoma.

October 20: Prem Phyak (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Multilingual Policy, 'Mother Tongue' Education, and the Neoliberal Politics of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI)
Language policy creation and implementation are political acts, with multidimensional impacts on the educational, sociocultural, economic, and political life of citizens. While nation-states recognize linguistic diversity as pride and resource in their political statements, their language education policies rarely challenge the language ideologies that create and reinforce language hierarchies and the erasure of languages/language practices of racialized ethnic/Indigenous communities. In this presentation, I draw on the case of Nepal’s language policy to discuss how the efforts towards multilingual education policies are ideologically contested. I will review the historicity of language education policies in relation to ‘mother tongue’ education and discuss how they are (mis)interpreted by different actors and what ideologies shape these interpretations. Then, I will briefly discuss the role of community activism to create ideological and implementational space of ‘mother tongues’ in education. Finally, I analyze how the grassroots efforts to create space for Indigenous/minoritized languages in education are countered by the neoliberal politics in/of English as a medium of instruction (EMI) that reproduces a deficit ideology of education in local languages. I conclude by arguing that the efforts towards language revitalization through education policies should go beyond language-centric perspectives and pay attention to decolonizing language ideologies to create a sustainable and equitable space for minoritized languages in education and other public spheres. 

* October 13: Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization Mixer and Q&A
The Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization is hosting an informal get-together in 370 Dwinelle and you are warmly invited. We will hear about some current student projects and there will be information about the Designated Emphasis, including the application process. There will also be an opportunity to mingle. If you are interested in Language Revitalization this event is for you!

October 6: Claire Bowern, Sarah Babinski, Juhyae Kim, Jeremiah Jewell, Amelia Lake, Kassandra Haakman, Shayley Martin, Marisa Norzagaray, and Irene Yi (Yale)

Contemporary Digital Linguistics and the Archive: An Urgent Archival Audit [abstract here]

September 22: Language revitalization materials show-and-tell!

Bring any language revitalization materials that you've been working on, that you've used in the past, or that you are inspired by. We will have a round-robin-style show-and-tell along with time for discussion. We'll ask everyone to briefly describe their material, what they liked about it, and what they didn't particularly like or would like feedback on. So we can get a sense of how many people will have things to share, please email us if you'd like to share something! You can write to Martha Schwarz (, Allegra Roberson (, or Julia Nee (

September 1: Catching up

Come get to know your fellow LRWG-ers and share your hopes and goals for the upcoming semester!

Spring 2021 Meeting Schedule:

January 27: Discussion of "Toward racial justice in linguistics: Interdisciplinary insights into theorizing race in the discipline and diversifying the profession"

Join us for a discussion of the above article by Charity Hudley, Mallinson, and Bucholtz in the December 2020 volume of Languaeg, as well as the response articles in the same volume.

February 3: Ruth Rouvier & Julia Nee give practice talks for ICLDC7

February 17: *Please note special time, 3:40-5:00pm PST* Alex Chang, Ash Cornejo, Zaphiel K. Miller, Irene Yi, and Sharon Marcos, "Presentations from Language Revitalization in Fall 2020"

Ash Cornejo (3:40-3:55) - "Indigenous Plant Identification: An Interactive Mapping Project"

Alex Chang (3:55 - 4:10) - "Taiwanese Revitalization Through Song Annotation"

Irene Yi (4:10-4:25) - "Chumash Language Learning Through Storytelling, Illustration, and Body Reclamation"

Zaphiel K. Miller (4:25-4:40) - "Uchinaa Language Reclamation through Music"

Sharon Marcos (4:40 - 4:55) - "I AM HERE FOR MYSELF: Affirmations of Self Love in Q'anjob'al"

March 3: Víctor Cata and Rosemary Beam de Azcona, "Challenging the reader: la traducción de lenguas minoritarias a lenguas coloniales"

This talk will be held bilingually in English & Spanish / Se presenta de manera bilingüe español-inglés

A collection of short stories with themes of religion and gender, Nácasinu Diidxa, first published in a bilingual Isthmus Zapotec - Spanish edition, has been translated into English. In this conversation author Víctor Cata and translator Rosemary Beam de Azcona will discuss the significance of translating from Zapotec into colonial languages.
Una colección de relatos que exploran temas de la religión y la diversidad sexual, Nácasinu Diidxa, que primero fue publicada en una edición bilingüe diidxazá (zapoteco del Istmo) - español, ahora se ha traducido al inglés. En esta conversación el autor, Víctor Cata, y la traductora, Rosemary Beam de Azcona, hablarán sobre el significado de traducir de lenguas como el zapoteco, cuyos hablantes experimentan la discriminación, a lenguas coloniales como el español y el inglés.

March 17: Yuliana Kenfield (Western Oregon University), "Decoloniality & Coloniality within Sociolinguistics Ideological Practices in Higher Education"

Andean college students in Cusco, Peru, struggle to overcome sociolinguistic discrimination against Quechua-Spanish bilingualism during their pursuit of higher education. To examine this situation and possibilities for change, I employed a participatory method, photovoice (Wang & Burris, 1994) within a community-based participatory research framework, to facilitate bilingual college students’ exploration of Quechuan practices in their university. Findings of this participatory study explain how bilingual participants contributed to community critical awareness of Quechua-Spanish bilingual ideologies in Cusco when presenting their visual metaphors during photo interventions. Participants shared personal experiences to maintaining their Quechua language(s) and shared their proposals for encouraging their university to create a fertile terrain for bilingualism, rooting out ideologies of deficits toward Quechua, and promoting Quechua practices in college.

In sum, this presentation shares concepts arising from voices within the data.  It illustrates the ways students’ efforts and visions create spaces for their Quechua practices to flourish despite hindrances from their university. The chapters respond to the following questions: What issues do the photovoice participants, Andean college students, raise related to opportunities to use their Quechua at college? What do they propose to transform this reality? 

March 31: Screening of Guardians of the Forest

April 14: No meeting

April 28: Kahtehrón:ni Stacey (Kahnawà:ke Education Center)

May 5: Melissa Campobasso, Hearts Gathered Waterfall School: A Salish Montessori Immersion School

Fall 2020 Meeting Schedule:

August 26: Welcome back! 

During this meeting, we'll take some time to share a bit about ourselves, our interests, and what we're hoping to learn over the course of the semester.

September 2: Henry Sales (This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies)

My name is Henry Sales, I am from Guatemala, a native Mam speaker, from the town of San Juan Atitán, I currently live in Oakland, CA. I speak Mam, Spanish and English, and I have a passion for preserving Mayan language and traditions, as well as providing for the underserved Mayan populations in the U.S. I used to work as a Mam language interpreter, co-founder of the Mayan dance and performance group, I lead the Mayan soccer team, teach a Mam language class at Laney College and Oakland High with Mam speakers, worked at the San Francisco public library, and coordinate volunteer, outreach, and service events for and with various Mayan communities. Above all I take pride in celebrating the Mayan language and culture and I invite you to do the same. I am an activist, a teacher, a volunteer, and an advocate for mistreated and underrepresented Mayan populations. I am an Administrative Assistant Trilingual III at the Rudsdale Newcomer High School. 

*September 10: Wes Leonard (Miama Tribe of Oklahoma & UC Riverside)

Note: this talk takes place Thursday, September 10 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen ( for a Zoom link.

*September 23: Vincent Medina (Muwekma Ohlone) & Louis Trevino (Rumsen Ohlone) on "Recovering Ohlone"

Note: this talk takes place Thursday, September 23 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen ( for a Zoom link.

September 30: Sumittra Suraratdecha (This event is co-sponsored by the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at Berkeley)

*October 8: Angel Sobotta (Nez Perce Language Program) on "Story Work and Star Work"

Note: this talk takes place Thursday, October 8 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen ( for a Zoom link.

October 14: Ideological Clarification

Discussion of Roche (2019) "Does Ideological Clarification Help Language Maintenance?" (reading available on bCourses or via email

*October 15: Trisha Moquino and a Virtual Field trip to Keres Children's Learning Center

Note: this talk takes place Thursday, October 15 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen ( for a Zoom link.

*October 22: Zalmai Zahir (Lushootseed Language Program)

Note: this talk takes place Thursday, October 22 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen ( for a Zoom link.

*October 27: Cheryl Tuttle (Round Valley Schools) on "Games and Language Play"

Note: this talk takes place Tuesday, October 27 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Beth Piatote ( for a Zoom link.

*November 5: Isaac Bleaman (UC Berkeley) on "Revitalizing Hebrew and Maintaining Yiddish"

Note: this talk takes place Thursday, November 5 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen ( for a Zoom link.

*November 17: Greg Sutterlict (Yakima Language Program) on "COVID and Language Revitalizaiton"

Note: this talk takes place Tuesday, November 17 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Beth Piatote ( for a Zoom link.

December 9: Discussion of Saiakwatsirón:ni - We Are Reigniting the Fire: Regeneration of Kanien’kéha Silent Speakers by Kahentéhtha Angela Elijah

Spring 2020 Meeting Schedule:

January 29: When a community isn't asking for language revitalization, what's next?

A discussion of ethics around how/whether to talk about language endangerment in communities where the language isn't seen as endangered, guided by two readings:

Henze, Rosemary and Kathryn Davis. 1999. “Authenticity and Identity: Lessons from Indigenous Language Education.” Anthropology & Education 30(1): 3-21.

Pérez-Báez, G. (2014.) Addressing the gap between community beliefs and priorities and researchers’ language maintenance interests. In G. Pérez-Báez, C. Rogers, & J. E. Rosés Labrada (Eds.) Language Documentation and Revitalization in Latin American Contexts (pp. 165-194). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

For access to these readings, please email Julia at

February 12: A discussion with Mary Hermes (University of Minnesota)

In anticipation of Mary Hermes's talk at Fieldwork Forum at 4pm, we'll be reading and discussing selected papers from Hermes, and she will join us for a discussion of that work. We will read "Designing Indigenous Language Revitalization" (Hermes, Bang, and Marin 2012) and "New Domain for Indigenous Language Acquisition and Use in the USA and Canada" (Hermes, Cash Cash, Donaghy, Erb, and Penfield 2016). For access to the readings, consult our bCourses page or write to

February 26: Language revitalization in contexts where English isn't the matrix language: How do you prioritize multilingual language learning when access to English isn't guaranteed?

Next Wednesday, Feb. 26th 2-3pm in Dwinelle 1303, we will be talking about language revitalization in contexts where the matrix language is not English. How do you prioritize multilingual education when proficiency in a globally-dominant language is a commodity that is not accessible to everyone? How are language ideologies different in places not colonized by English-speaking powers? In preparation for the meeting, we hope that you will read two papers:
Kosonen, Kimmo. 2008. "Literacy in Local Languages in Thailand: Language Maintenance in a Globalised World" International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 11:2, 170-188
Sharma, Bal Krishna & Prem Phyak. 2017. "Neoliberalism, linguistic commodification, and ethnolinguistic identity in multilingual Nepal." Language in Society. 46: 231-256.
For anyone interested in further reading on this topic, we also recommend Mohanty (2010) "Languages, inequality, and marginalization: Implications of the double divide in Indian multilingualism." 
The readings are available on our bCourses site, but email if you are having trouble accessing them.

March 4: Participatory Action Research in Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec Language Revitalization (Julia Nee, UC Berkeley) (note: talk from 2-3, questions until 3:30)

One common barrier to language revitalization is the presence of an “ideology of contempt” towards a language as a result of colonial and racist practices (Dorian, 1998). But the role of language ideologies in shaping language use is profound (Silverstein, 1979; Wollard & Schieffelin, 1994; Irvine & Gal, 2000; Kroskrity, 2006; among others), and language revitalization projects will not be successful in the long run if the negative language attitudes that supported language loss are not addressed (Dauenhauer & Dauenhauer, 1998; Hinton, 2001; Bradley, 2002; Beier & Michael, 2018). In strategizing ways to revitalize Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec use through Participatory Action Research, or PAR (White et al., 1991; Czaykowska-Higgins, 2009; Tuck, 2009; Martin et al., 2018), involving interviews, focus groups, and photovoice (Wang & Burris, 1997) with language activists, parents, and children, one common theme that emerged was the importance not only of teaching linguistic forms and structures, but also of building a supportive community of language learners and users. In this talk, I explore how PAR was implemented in Teotitlán, and how insights gained through using this methodology have allowed for improvements to the Zapotec language camps for kids that have been hosted since 2017.  Specifically, I consider speaker-learner interactions and student-generated work (such as creative storybooks) to better understand the ways in which community-building activities such as field trips to archaeological sites increase learner investment (Pavlenko, 2001; Riestenberg & Sherris, 2018) and lead to greater acquisition and use of Zapotec among children. Additionally, I respond to previous calls in the literature to expand the range of genres studied in language documentation (Meek, 2011; Vallejos, 2016), and I argue for the importance of documenting the language revitalization process itself as a way to better understand how language is (or is not) being transmitted intergenerationally.  

March 18: Radical/non-uniform/multiliterate approaches to orthography development

This week, we will read and discuss the following two articles, available on bCourses. The discussion will take place virtually via Zoom, and a link will be sent out at 2 on Wednesday. 

Lillehaugen, B. D. (2016.) Why write in a language that (almost) no one can read? Twitter and the development of written literature. Language Documentation & Conservation 10:356-393.
Essegbey, James. 2015. "Is this my language? Developing a writing system for an endangered-language community. In James Essegbey, Brent Henderson, and Fiona McLaughlin (eds) Language Documentation and Endangerment in Africa. John Benjamins. p. 153-176.

April 1: Using historical documents with language learners in revitalization

This discussion, led by Edwin Ko, focuses on ways in which historical documents can be used with learners as part of language revitalization. As part of this discussion, it's recommended that you read "Ethics and Revitalization of Dormant Languages: The Mutsun Language" (Warner, Luna, & Butler 2007 in Language Documentation & Conservation) and "Teaching Wailaki: Archives, Interpretation, and Collaboration" (Begay, Spence, & Tuttle, Manuscript - not for circulation). Both articles are available at our bCourses page.

April 15: Developing pedagogical materials

In this discussion, led by Emily Drummond, we'll consider how education, language documentation, and pedagogical materials creation intersect and interact. Our discussion will be grounded by "Integrating Documentation and Formal Teaching of Kari'nja: Documentardy Materials as Pedagogical Materials" (Yamada 2011) and "Is Revitalization Through Education Possible?" (Hornberger & De Korne 2018, in the Routledge Handbook of Language Revitalization). 

April 29: Reflection on how we will incorporate what we've talked about this semester into our upcoming projects

During this meeting, we'll reflect on what we've learned throughout the year's discussions that might be applicable to our ongoing LR work, and to the creation of new and evolving LR and other community-centered projects especially in light of Covid-19. Some questions to reflect on before/during our discussion include:
1) What expertise do others involved in the community where I work have? What expertise can I bring to the communities where I work? What expertise is needed? What expertise do I lack? What expertise could I gain? How could I gain that expertise?
2) How has my relationship with the community where I work shifted or stayed the same over the past few months? What new needs have emerged? What new barriers have emerged or been dismantled?
3) What projects can I work on now? In the near future? In the distant future? What's one new concrete thing/activity I can bring into my work?

Fall 2019 Meeting Schedule:

September 05: Welcome! 

At our first meeting, we'll all introduce ourselves and discuss our interests in this group. We'll go over some proposed readings/speakers for this semester. As a way to frame the discussion, we invite you to read Hinton_2018_Introduction_What_is_Language_Revitalization.pdfPreview the document in order to frame your ideas about what language revitalization is in relation to others' ideas.

September 19: The role of universities in language revitalization

This week, we'll discuss the past, current, and future role(s) that Universities play in language revitalization. To ground our discussion, we invite you to read  this article by Little et al. about a community-university partnership in Canada, alongside the McGill Vision Statement"Bridging communities and universities through language engagement." Closer to home here at UC Berkeley, we also encourage you to consider the chapter by Baldwin, Hinton, and Perez-Baezon Breath of Life from the Routledge Handbook of Language Revitalization alongside the report on Native American collections in archives on the UC Berkeley campus. Some questions we'll likely discuss include: (1) what barriers to collaboration exist and how can we in our (multiple) roles work to address them? (2) how do the goals of different individuals, groups, and institutions work together or challenge one another? (3) what alternatives to the current model could we propose?

October 3: Decolonizing methodologies

Join us for a discussion of decolonizing methodologies, facilitated by Lissett Bastidas. It is recommended to read the works listed below, and to conder the following questions: 

1. Why is an Indigenous creation story that may or may not have a chronology usually considered in academia a myth and not part of history nor religious studies?

2. Can that change? How?

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 2012.  Decolonizing Methodologies. Pp. 26-41

Kovach, Margaret. 2010. Ch 4 "Applying a Decolonizing Lens within Indigenous Research Frameworks." In Indigenous Methodologies. Pp. 75-93

Optional: Teaiwa, Teresia. 2014. "The Ancestors We Get to Choose: White Influences I Won't Deny." In Theorizing Native Studies edited by Audra Simpson and Andrea Smith. Pp. 43-53.

October 17: Ways to assess

Join us for a presention and discussion of assessment strategies for indigenous languages, led by David Sul. He writes:

I will be focusing my presentation entitled “Indigenous Language Assessment Development” toward those of you who are looking for practical assessment development advice. I will include some important definitions as well as a nuts and bolts description of the instrument development process undertaken to construct the Dibishgaademgak Anishinaabemowin (Measuring Anishinaabemowin) assessment that is the focus of my dissertation. At the conclusion of the presentation, I hope to draw contrasts between the approaches taken within the seven articles and the one undertaken by our assessment development team.

October 31: Technology and language revitalization

Join us for a presentation and discussion of the relatinship between technology and language revitalization led by Edwin Ko. Edwin has shared an annotated bibliography of twelve selected articles involving digital technology within language revitalization which can be downloaded so that you may read articles you find relevant. Last month, Edwin was invited to participate at a two-day meeting at Carleton University where the topic was "Digital Tools for Endangered Languages: Listening, Learning and Looking Ahead." He will share some of the highly stimulating discussions from the meeting. Open discussions are highly encouraged.

November 14: Visit by Margaret Noodin at 4:00pm; discussion of Noodin's articles from 1-2

In anticipation of Margaret Noodin's talk at 4pm today, we'll be reading and discussing two of her papers: Waasechibiiwaabikoonsing Nd'anami'aami, "Praying through a Wired Window": Using Technology to Teach Anishinaabemowin (2011; in Studies in American Indian Literatures 23(2):3-24; and chapter 8 from Bringing Our Languages Home (2001) "Anishinaabemowin: Language, Family, and Community". Come ready to discuss, ask questions, and get excited about Noodin's talk!

December 5: Project update