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Heritage Languages in America

Welcome to the Alliance NewsFlash

The Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages appreciates that you have profiled your program with us and have advanced the work of the Alliance. To thank you for your assistance, and to facilitate our communication, we have set up an electronic newsletter called "Alliance News Flash." We have subscribed you to this announcement-only news flash. We will send messages out on a periodic basis alerting you to resources and information that we feel would be of interest to you and to people working in your field. If you do not wish to receive these messages, you may unsubscribe any time using the links at the bottom of each message (including this one).

We would love to hear from you! Do you enjoy receiving this newsletter? Are there topics you would like to hear about? Can we help you in any way? If so, write to Jacqueline López at jlopez@cal.org.

Articles and Resources about Indigenous Heritage Language Education

The focus of this issue is indigenous language education and resources. We feature the Indigenous Language Institute; an article on language education of the Hoopa Valley, Karuk, and Yurok tribes; the indigenous language programs profiled with the Alliance; an indigenous language annotated bibliography; an online resource guide to Native American authors; and a video on the last eight people to speak the language of Ixcatec in Mexico.

This third NewsFlash spotlights the important work of the Indigenous Language Institute (ILI) ILI was founded in 1992 to assist the language revitalization efforts of all indigenous tribes and to create new generations of speakers through community-based initiatives.  ILI facilitates innovative initiatives including the development of vital language-related services to native communities seeking to preserve and revitalize their unique languages, technologically advanced language training programs, and creative development of language materials. The organization also facilitates communication on issues of indigenous language preservation between different programs and organizations across the country, public awareness and education, and research into language revival. ILI’s vision is to see the endangered indigenous languages spoken by people of all ages in everyday life within the next ten years.

Click here to view the profile of the Indigenous Language Institute with the Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages.

Article on the Experiences of the Hoopa Valley, Karuk, and Yurok Tribes

Rescuing Languages From Extinction, by Daniel Newberry. March 21, 2008. Jefferson Public Radio, Oregon.

"Rescuing Languages from Extinction: The Experience of the Hoopa Valley, Karuk, and Yurok Tribes," is an insightful article that describes the experiences of 3 native tribes in northern California. The article describes the origins of the three tribes and how the Tribal Language Program that incorporates these three languages in Hoopa Valley High School came about. The tribal language program enrolls 65 high school students. Four of the five elementary schools in the area also offer one or more native languages. While the program experiences challenges such as reluctance from the state of California to certify native languages, the program is meeting its goals to use best practices in language instruction, and to assist both students and native language teachers to reconnect with their culture through language. Read the full article online.

Indigenous Language Programs

The Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages (the Alliance), dedicated to preserving heritage languages, has profiled six indigenous language programs. These programs offer invaluable resources to heritage language speakers. To view the profiles click here.

If you are involved in a heritage language program for indigenous language speakers, you can complete a program online profile by clicking here

Online Resources on Indigenous Languages

Click here to find out about contemporary and historical Native North American authors through an informative Web site that provides information of their published works. This Web site also contains biographical information, links to online resources, interviews, online texts, tribal Web sites, and Native American children and young adult literature.

View an annotated bibliography of approximately 20 books on indigenous languages.


On February 22, 2008, the last eight people to speak the language of Ixcatec were recorded by an American linguist in Mexico. Click here to view the video.

CAL News

An electronic newsletter published by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, DC., CAL News provides periodic updates about CAL projects, research, programs, and information about new products and services. (View a sample issue.) To subscribe CAL News click on the "Subscribe to CAL News" button on this page.  

Please Write To Us

If you would like these messages sent to another address, please send an email to me, Jacqueline Lopez, at jlopez@cal.org, and in the subject line write: Different email for the Alliance-News-Flash. We appreciate your active collaboration with the Alliance and your commitment to heritage language development. As you know, we are seeking to develop community among professionals working in heritage language education and research by periodically sending articles and other resources to this community. If you have announcements that you think should be sent out, please send them to jlopez@cal.org and in the subject line write "Alliance NewsFlash." Email me directly at the email above (rather than replying to this message) if you have any suggestions regarding information or materials that you would like others to receive from the Alliance.

Thank you very much for working with us and providing heritage language resources to the field.

Jacqueline Lopez
Research Associate
Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages
Headquartered at the Center for Applied Linguistics
Washington, DC