A World of Indigenous Languages Politics, Pedagogies and Prospects for Language Reclamation Edited by: Teresa L. McCarty, Sheilah E. Nicholas, Gillian Wigglesworth

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13 Mar 2019
Linguistic Diversity and Language Rights
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


Spanning Indigenous settings in Africa, the Americas, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia, Central Asia and the Nordic countries, this book examines the multifaceted language reclamation work underway by Indigenous peoples throughout the world. Exploring political, historical, ideological, and pedagogical issues, the book foregrounds the decolonizing aims of contemporary Indigenous language movements inside and outside of schools. Many authors explore language reclamation in their own communities. Together, the authors call for expanded discourses on language planning and policy that embrace Indigenous ways of knowing and forefront grassroots language reclamation efforts as a force for Indigenous sovereignty, social justice, and self-determination. This volume will be of interest to scholars, educators and students in applied linguistics, Ethnic/Indigenous Studies, education, second language acquisition, and comparative-international education, and to a broader audience of language educators, revitalizers and policymakers.


This collection of international voices and perspectives – speaking about and in Maori, Ojibwe, Aanaar Saami, Hopi, Limbu, Ngaanyatjarra, Quechua, and Nahuatl, among others – powerfully works for the reclamation of Indigenous languages and the resilience of Indigenous peoples. The authors and editors provide transformative visions of Indigenous futures for Indigenous languages.

- K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Arizona State University, USA

It is utterly refreshing to read a book exclusively dedicated to Indigenous world languages with each chapter written or co-written by an Indigenous author. Equally invigorating is the authors' common value for and focus on language reclamation movements as they are situated in policies and politics, pedagogy, and Indigenous futures.

- Tiffany S. Lee, University of New Mexico, USA

This work is a remarkable source of inspiration and encouragement to anyone engaged in Indigenous language reclamation efforts, showing ways to tackle some of the most challenging problems in this context. The book ought to be disseminated through university libraries, community centers and other spaces where Indigenous community members, activists, scholars and others can access it easily.

- Leena Huss, Uppsala University, Sweden

This volume is international in scope and includes and impressive range of voices and perspectives on Indigenous language reclamation...[it] contains many examples of strength-based research. Indigenous knowledges and systems are not over-explained; instead they are positioned as legitimate and valuable. 

- Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education 8:1 - Belinda Daniels, University of Saskatchewan, Canada and Andrea Sterzuk, University of Regina, Canada

Author Biography:

Teresa L. McCarty is G.F. Kneller Chair in Education and Anthropology and Faculty in American Indian Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Her research focuses on Indigenous education, language planning and policy, language revitalization/reclamation, critical ethnography, and educational and linguistic anthropology.

Sheilah E. Nicholas is a member of the Hopi Tribe and an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies, and American Indian Studies, University of Arizona, USA. Her research interests include Indigenous/Hopi language reclamation and maintenance, Indigenous language ideologies and epistemologies, the intersection of language, culture and identity, and Indigenous language teacher education.

Gillian Wigglesworth is Distinguished Professor of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, Australia and chief investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Her research interests include the languages of Indigenous children growing up in remote communities in Australia, the complexity of their language ecology, and how these interact with English once they enter the formal school system.   

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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