Maintaining and renewing native languages

Jon Reyhner, Edward Tennant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This article reviews research on maintaining and renewing American Indian languages. A rationale is given for the importance of maintaining tribal languages in terms of Native students’ cross-cultural understanding. Then Joshua Fishman’s theoretical paradigm for reversing language shift is summarized and tribal and national language policies are reviewed. Early childhood, elementaiy, secondary, and tribal college native language efforts are described along with Navajo and Yup’ik examples of school-based native-language maintenance/renewal efforts. Based on the research of tribal native- language renewal efforts and current research on second language teaching, specific suggestions are given for maintaining and renewing native languages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-304
Number of pages26
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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