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Learning through an Aboriginal language: The impact on students’ English and Aboriginal language skills

Learning through an Aboriginal language: The impact on students’ English and Aboriginal language skills

In addition, the results speak to the importance of revitalizing an Aboriginal language for connecting with one’s culture and identity. Beyond the transfer of specific language skills, researchers argue that education in a heritage language may be particularly important for students’ cultural identity (Cummins, 1983, 1986). Wright and Taylor (1995) found that Aboriginal students educated in their heritage language actually showed increased self- and collective-esteem compared to those educated in a second language (English or French). This is consistent with other research showing that understanding one’s cultural identity is important for psychological well-being (Usborne & Taylor, 2010), and that language learning is an excellent tool for connecting with one’s Indigenous cultural identity through education (Battiste, 2002).   The data presented here are a subset of data from a larger longitudinal project exploring the Mi’kmaq and English language skills of young children in classrooms where the Aboriginal language is used as a language of instruction. The present results are from a single year, meaning that they are a snapshot of one group of students in different grades. An interesting next step would be to follow the same set of students across grades in a longitudinal fashion in order to explore the development of students’ language skills in both the immersion and regular streams. Such a research program would shed more light on the extended impact of the two language programs on students’ language skills and would allow for a more thorough investigation into whether or not early skill in Mi’kmaq actually transfers to later skill in English. This may well be the next research goal of those affiliated with the Mi’kmaq Kina’matnewey research project in Cape Breton. Students in immersion programs pursue these programs only until Grade 2 or Grade 3, at which point they switch into a primarily English classroom. It would then also be important to examine the impact of this switch from the Mi’kmaq immersion to the mainstream language classroom on students’ abilities in both languages.
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An Inquiry into Two Aboriginal Language Immersion Programs

An Inquiry into Two Aboriginal Language Immersion Programs

Indigenous Language Immersion programs A key way to reverse language loss is to begin by introducing and/or reintroducing the language to the young people because, as Greymorning (1997) states “the future of any language lies in its ability to be passed on to successive generations” (p. 22). By design immersion programs “incorporate linguistic and cultural knowledge into curriculum in ways that democratize schooling for Indigenous students and support the retention of their languages and culture” (McCarty et al., 1997, p. 88). This ‘intergenerational transmission’ (Fishman, 2001) in which adults pass language on to young speakers is essential for language continuity. A key feature of language immersion programs is that all subjects are taught in that language, so students are immersed in the language all day in their classrooms. Immersion programs have been successfully used across a variety of contexts (Dick et al, 1994; Holm & Holm, 1995; McCarty & Dick, 1996; Murray-Orr, Orr & Tompkins, 2006; Paul-Gould, 2012; Russell & Glynn, 1998; Slaughter, 1997; Sock, 2012; Stiles, 1997; Taylor & Wright, 2003, Usborne, Peck, Smith, & Taylor, 2011). The Kahnawake Mohawk Immersion program was the first Aboriginal language immersion program in Canada established under the leadership of Dorothy Lazore (Freeman, 1995). Dorothy Lazore was instrumental in providing teacher training for both the Wolastoqi and Mi’kmaw language immersion programs. Encouragingly, McDonald (2011b) found that there is
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The. Aboriginal Language Program Planning. Workbook

The. Aboriginal Language Program Planning. Workbook

10.1 Teacher Training The First Nations Language Teacher Certificate only requires proficiency in the language and does not require a university degree in teacher education. However, many Aboriginal language teachers have realized that just being a fluent speaker of the language does not mean that you are a good teacher. To address this issue, a number of public and Aboriginal post-secondary institutes have initiated courses and programs to give Aboriginal language teachers skills to be effective in the classroom. Some of these programs are listed on the following pages. Please note: the current status of the programs must be confirmed with the institutes, as some changes may have taken place since the
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An Integrated Framework for Archiving, Processing and Developing Learning Materials for an Endangered Aboriginal Language in Taiwan

An Integrated Framework for Archiving, Processing and Developing Learning Materials for an Endangered Aboriginal Language in Taiwan

have been various discussions about how to use information technologies and the web to learn a different language. Gerbault (2002) showed that it is viable to set up a proper multimedia envi- ronment for leaning a language without a teacher’s participation. Fujii et al. (2000) dem- onstrated a project using the Internet as a tool for the teacher to post course materials and cre- ate an online learning environment. In addition, Lamb (2005) suggested rethinking pedagogical models for e-learning from the what, the why and the how. e-Learning consists of self-access, reference sources, discussion forum, and virtual learning classrooms. The main motives for in- troducing e-learning include improving student multimedia learning experience, enhancing learner autonomy and widening participation. Finally, e-learning can be controlled primarily by tutors or students, depending on objectives, contents, learning tasks, length/time/place of study, or choice of assessment activities.
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Using all the Pieces to Solve the Puzzle: the Importance of Aboriginal Language Assessment in Child Populations

Using all the Pieces to Solve the Puzzle: the Importance of Aboriginal Language Assessment in Child Populations

language use than of age, with five year olds sometimes proving more fluent speakers than teens (Morris & MacKenzie, 2012). Even within a single family, older and younger siblings can receive substantially different linguistic input and vary widely in their degree of mastery of the Aboriginal and majority language. Dialects also vary substantially from one community to the next and even within a single community (Mailhot et al., 2013). As will be seen below these variations necessitate painstaking work in each community to establish a range of acceptable answers for lexical tasks. The wide range of levels of fluency amongst child speakers also complicates the administration of all tasks which require that test-takers have achieved a certain level of phonological and lexical automaticity (Chevrie- Muller & Plaza, 2001). For instance, memory span is often assessed in Kindergarteners by having them repeat increasingly longer series of numbers, usually digits between 1 and 10. The assumption made by this task is that the five year olds have automatized low numbers to the point that they do not represent a lexical obstacle. In the case of child knowledge of a language undergoing attrition and spoken in a diglossic context, words like numbers, colours and body parts, typically overlearned in monolingual mother tongue contexts, may not be automatized at all. This has the effect of invalidating all tasks that assume basic word knowledge in all test takers (e.g. measures of memory, phonological awareness and morphosyntactic knowledge).
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An Integrated Framework for Archiving, Processing and Developing Learning Materials for an Endangered Aboriginal Language in Taiwan

An Integrated Framework for Archiving, Processing and Developing Learning Materials for an Endangered Aboriginal Language in Taiwan

have been various discussions about how to use information technologies and the web to learn a different language. Gerbault (2002) showed that it is viable to set up a proper multimedia envi- ronment for leaning a language without a teacher’s participation. Fujii et al. (2000) dem- onstrated a project using the Internet as a tool for the teacher to post course materials and cre- ate an online learning environment. In addition, Lamb (2005) suggested rethinking pedagogical models for e-learning from the what, the why and the how. e-Learning consists of self-access, reference sources, discussion forum, and virtual learning classrooms. The main motives for in- troducing e-learning include improving student multimedia learning experience, enhancing learner autonomy and widening participation. Finally, e-learning can be controlled primarily by tutors or students, depending on objectives, contents, learning tasks, length/time/place of study, or choice of assessment activities.
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Linking Culture and Language to Aboriginal Children’s Outcomes: Lessons from Canadian Data

Linking Culture and Language to Aboriginal Children’s Outcomes: Lessons from Canadian Data

Given the impact that time in child care can have on development, being in an environment that is accepting of your heritage, customs, and background is likely to be associated with behaviour. According to results from the ACS (Findlay & Kohen, 2010), off-reserve First Nations children who engaged in traditional and cultural activities and customs in child care were rated by their parents as better behaved, notably, being more pro- social (that is, getting along with other children or readily sharing with other children), compared with children in child care that did not include traditional activities. This difference remained significant when socio-demographic characteristics (for example, parental education and household income) were taken into account. For Inuit children, speaking an Aboriginal language in the child care environment was important, as those who spoke an Inuit language were rated by their parents as more pro-social. The results therefore demonstrate that child care arrangements that promote traditional and cultural values and customs are associated with verbal and behavioural competencies in the preschool period.
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Aboriginal Performance Cultures and Language Revitalization:  Foundations, Discontinuities, and Possibilities

Aboriginal Performance Cultures and Language Revitalization: Foundations, Discontinuities, and Possibilities

the first and second clusters, notably in the transition away from an approach that distinguishes between language and culture, to one that binds them both the logic of land claims. At the level of Canadian and Aboriginal government policy, this discursive shift has left even less room for performance and theatre within the wider project of language revitalization. As the academic study of language revitalization matures, however, scholars have become increasingly interested in the potential offered by performance theory, and the use of performance in pedagogy. Carr and Meek’s excellent research in the Yukon Territory, for instance, strongly suggests that integrating performance, especially theatrical productions and storytelling, into language pedagogy can contribute immensely to the success of language revitalization programs. Considering the ongoing tragedy of Aboriginal language loss, further research into the potential symbiosis between Aboriginal theatre and language revitalization is both promising, and necessary.
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Aboriginal science symposium: enabling Aboriginal student success in post-secondary institutions

Aboriginal science symposium: enabling Aboriginal student success in post-secondary institutions

The symposium had 3 objectives: (i) to generate an understanding of traditional scientific knowledge; (ii) to bridge Aboriginal and Western scientific thought; and (iii) to work toward applying this knowledge and understanding to teaching within all educational settings; kindergarten to grade 12 and post-secondary. To achieve these objectives, the symposium program consisted of key-note speakers, panel group discussions, breakout sessions and 2 summative speakers who provided comments to wrap up the event and highlight main points (Table 1). Both morning and afternoon sessions began with a keynote speaker, followed by an open- floor discussion. After this participants were divided among the breakout sessions to discuss themes identified that address the issue of the lack of Aboriginal people in the sciences. Each breakout session was led by a discussant and the results of the various groups were then summarized in the closing session. To set the tone the symposium opened with a traditional processional entry consisting of drumming, singing and a procession of officials with appropriate flags, followed by traditional prayers conducted by an Elder.
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Aboriginal Education Services

Aboriginal Education Services

While providing opportunities for Aboriginal students to participate in the off campus Cultural Education Program, Connecting Community, Country & Culture, programs have been documented in photographs and/or film. As a result, a number of early year’s resources have been developed in line with the Early Years Learning

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Aboriginal and non-aboriginal Australian former prisoners’ patterns of morbidity and risk of hospitalisation

Aboriginal and non-aboriginal Australian former prisoners’ patterns of morbidity and risk of hospitalisation

If patients are not adequately followed up and managed by primary health care providers then their conditions are unlikely to be adequately controlled, resulting in readmis- sion to hospital. More vigorous support and referral on re- lease from prison might assist to link Aboriginal ex- prisoners better to primary health care systems and reduce hospitalisations in the first place. Active follow-up and communication post discharge from hospital is required both with patients and their pri- mary care provider to ensure that the provider is aware of the patient’s health status and is able to make a plan for the patient’s follow-up and ongoing care. A study of presentations to Emergency Departments in Victoria found that Aboriginal Australians were less likely to nominate a general practitioner [21], therefore if pa- tients do not regularly see a provider, this needs to be suggested and arranged if the person so wishes.
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Aboriginal Children in Care

Aboriginal Children in Care

PAX GBG is a childhood mental health promotion strategy, delivered daily in first grade classrooms, that teaches students self-regulation and collaboration so that children learn they have control over themselves and their environment. About 40% of participating students are Aboriginal. Over 40 years of rigorous research and evaluation has shown that GBG results in less smoking, alcohol, and drug use; less violent crime; fewer suicidal thoughts and attempts; and more high school completion, post-secondary and labour force participation. Initial results for PAX GBG in Manitoba (including in First Nations) indicates it has positive effects in preventing early emotional, conduct, hyperactivity, and peer relationship problems, and promoting early pro-social behavior. New (unpublished) results suggest that PAX is up to two times as effective for participating Aboriginal children in improving early mental health outcomes. By lowering demands and stress on parents/caregivers, PAX may reduce the risk of children being placed into care, as well as contribute to the child’s lifelong physical and mental health, and education and economic success.
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Developing a comorbidity index for comparing cancer outcomes in Aboriginal and non Aboriginal Australians

Developing a comorbidity index for comparing cancer outcomes in Aboriginal and non Aboriginal Australians

Although Aboriginal people had a higher prevalence of comorbidity, the weights assigned to comorbid condi- tions were generally lower indicating that their impact on mortality was less severe than for non-Aboriginal cases. Also, weights assigned to comorbid conditions in the customised index of this study differed with those in three comparison indices, for the same comorbid condi- tions, potentially due to these conditions having a differ- ent mortality impact. Given the advances in treatment and management of chronic conditions, their contribu- tion to the risk of mortality could have changed. This is consistent with a study by Quan et al. [30] which found reduced weights for some Charlson comorbid condi- tions. Furthermore, only 12 conditions were still predict- ive of mortality compared to 17 from the original CCI.
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Aboriginal health in Victoria

Aboriginal health in Victoria

of Aboriginal people living in non-remote areas who undertook moderate or high levels of exercise dropped significantly, from 30.3 per cent to 24.3 per cent (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision 2009). Structural barriers such as limited access to facilities and high costs associated with transport, membership and uniforms can decrease participation in sport. Racism can also exclude participation of Aboriginal people in community-based activities (Thorpe & Browne 2009).

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What Explains the Educational Attainment Gap between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Youth?

What Explains the Educational Attainment Gap between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Youth?

The YITS contains detailed background information on youth, information on the high schools that they attend, and, most importantly, academic performance measures not usually available in other data sources. Most general population surveys contain very small sample sizes of Aboriginal people, thus impeding meaningful analysis. Fortunately, the YITS is somewhat larger than most surveys and includes several-hundred Aboriginal youth. Aboriginal people who live on-reserve or in the North are excluded from the YITS and, thus, from the analysis. As a result, no inferences should be made to those populations on the basis of the results of this study. The purpose of this study is to identify how much of a gap in educational attainment one might expect, given the observed differences in academic and socio-economic characteristics between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth and to determine the extent to which these characteristics are correlated with educational attainment. Specifically, the study employs a standard Oaxaca decomposition approach where the gap in the mean educational outcome in question can be expressed as the sum of an ‘explained’ component and an ‘unexplained’ component. The explained component is simply the sum of the differences in mean characteristics (i.e., the factors that are believed to be important correlates of educational attainment, according to previous studies), each weighted by its ‘importance’ in terms of its correlation with the outcome in question. The remainder is the unexplained component. The weights used are regression coefficients in a model of educational attainment as a function of the various socio-economic characteristics. Of course, the results should not necessarily be interpreted in a causal manner. The term ‘explained’ should be interpreted in an accounting sense only. Furthermore, some factors may influence the outcome directly, while others may do so indirectly through other factors. For example, parental income may influence educational attainment directly (by helping children pay for higher education) or indirectly (by influencing academic performance).
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Two Spirited Aboriginal People: Continuing Cultural Appropriation by Non Aboriginal Society

Two Spirited Aboriginal People: Continuing Cultural Appropriation by Non Aboriginal Society

Two Spirited Aboriginal People Continuing Cu Appropriation by Non Aborigina Society Voici l'histoire desfemmes autochtones bi spirituelles qui ont connu des op pressionsdansleurcommunaute'h cause a% l[.]

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Ready for Business: Canada s Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Businesses as Equal Partners

Ready for Business: Canada s Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Businesses as Equal Partners

Equal economic partnership brings more to an Aboriginal com- munity than money. It brings employment, better housing, health care and infrastructure. Being able to employ workers who live near a project benefi ts the non-Aboriginal business through reduced transportations costs, on-site housing expenses, etc. Full economic partnership—and a healthy economic future for Canada—depends upon an educated, skilled workforce for all businesses. Canada faces a skills shortage primarily as a result of an aging population and a shrinking number of people of prime working age (15 to 64 years). 20 In Ontario alone, “… the projected shortfall in the availability of workers is shown to rise to at least 200,000 and to as high as 1.8 million by 2031, depending on our levels of population growth. Even in the midst of a recession, we have to understand that a labour shortage looms.” 21
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Improving the accuracy of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal disease notification rates using data linkage

Improving the accuracy of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal disease notification rates using data linkage

In practice, cases for which there is no information on Aboriginality are often excluded from calculations of dis- ease rates by Aboriginality. As such, the reported disease rates may be inaccurate, particularly if Aboriginality is unknown in a substantial proportion of cases. As an alter- native to excluding cases with missing data in the estima- tion of disease notification rates, health authorities have also estimated rates by apportioning notifications with unknown Aboriginality to the Aboriginal and non-Abo- riginal categories according to the proportions observed among the non-missing data. This method assumes that cases with unknown Aboriginality have a comparable dis- tribution of Aboriginality to cases with known Aboriginal- ity. However, there is little evidence to suggest that the available data are an unbiased indicator of disease rates by Aboriginality.
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Diversity of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Strains Colonizing Australian Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal Children

Diversity of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Strains Colonizing Australian Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal Children

than 2 isolates per nasopharyngeal aspirate and conducted more frequent swabbing, then it is likely that the strain richness would have been greater and strains present in low density might have been detected. However, a modeling study of acquisition and loss of carriage of H. influenzae strains in Aboriginal children esti- mated that each NTHI strain was carried for 137 days but only detected on 37% of occasions. Furthermore, the study determined that an average of 1.5 strains was identified by routine typing of four colonies per nasopharyngeal swab (31).

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Taking the Research Journey Together: The Insider and Outsider Experiences of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Researchers

Taking the Research Journey Together: The Insider and Outsider Experiences of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Researchers

Abstract: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia are among the most researched in the world. Indigenous research methodologies reframe a historical colonial-centric and often exploitative research paradigm, to instead privilege the voices and perspectives of Indigenous peoples within a social justice framework. In this article, we describe the lessons learnt in a research partnership between an Aboriginal and two Anglo-Australian researchers conducting an arts-based action research project in collaboration with five Aboriginal communities in New South Wales, Australia. We identify the importance of reflexivity to shed light on the impact of insider and outsider status in order to design and conduct culturally and ethically informed research with Aboriginal communities. Reflexivity, and a collaborative, adaptive approach to research processes also operates to ensure cultural and professional integrity are embedded into such research projects.
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