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Indigenous Language Revitalization, Promotion, and Education: Function of Digital Technology

Computer Assisted Language Learning Volume 29, Number 7, ISSN 0958-8221


Within the last two decades, there has been increased interest in how technology supports Indigenous language revitalization and reclamation efforts. This paper considers the effect technology has on Indigenous language learning and teaching, while conceptualizing how language educators, speakers, learners, and technology users holistically understand, skillfully apply and communicate creative and balanced technological solutions that are based on understanding of contextual factors. A total of 80 participants representing at least 47 Indigenous languages completed a survey in 2009 representing individuals, organizations, and institutions that serve one or more Indigenous language communities across the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Guatemala, Peru, Greenland, Mexico, Bolivia, French Polynesia (Marquesas Islands and Tuamotu Islands), and Russia. The data reveal the functions digital technology has in Indigenous language revitalization, which include (1) positive and supportive roles (2) concerns, constraints, and tensions, and (3) Indigenous language education. Regardless of the size of the community, opportunities for using technology in Indigenous language revitalization efforts are shaped by linguistic, cultural, social, economic, environmental, and technological factors as expressed in the technacy framework for language revitalization. Findings indicate that technology has wide and mostly positive applications in language learning and teaching, that the benefits of those applications remain consistent across communities regardless of size and geographic location, and that new and innovative uses of technology are being adopted to support language revitalization efforts. Overall, the study underscores the importance of context in making grounded decisions about technology as a component of contemporary language revitalization efforts.


Galla, C.K. (2016). Indigenous Language Revitalization, Promotion, and Education: Function of Digital Technology. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29(7), 1137-1151. Retrieved February 26, 2020 from .

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