Current Projects

Information Sessions

YDLI is offering information sessions on on topics in linguistics and language learning, aimed at providing information for policy-makers, language teachers, and other community members. Details are being arranged. This project is funded by the education component of the federal Gathering Strength initiative. Topics available include:

Language Maintenance and Revival
Why are native languages endangered? What is involved in maintaining or reviving a language? What do we know about what works and what doesn't?

Language Documentation
What does a good description of a language consist of? Why is documentation important? What is involved in documenting a language? What skills are necessary for the people involved? What funds are available?

One reason for the decline of native languages is that many people think that in order for their children to get a good education and a good job they have to learn English well, and that in order to learn English well, they must give up their own language. In fact, it is normal for people to speak at least two languages. This presentation reviews the many situations throughout history around the world in which people have been bilingual. It also reviews research showing that growing up bilingual is not harmful to children; if anything, it is an advantage.

Language Teacher Training and Certification
What kind of training do language teachers need? What opportunities are there for obtaining it? What kinds of certification are available for language teachers? What are the requirements?

Native Language Immersion Programmes
How effective are immersion programmes as a tool for language maintenance? What is involved in setting up an immersion program?

Developing Language Curriculum
What is a good language curriculum like? How do you create one?

Approaches to Second Language Teaching
A survey of different approaches to second language teaching and what we know about how they compare.

Linguistics Courses

In cooperation with the University of British Columbia, YDLI offered Linguistics 100 "Introduction to Language and Linguistics" in the Winter term of 2000-2001. A course on lexicography (dictionary-making) will be offered in June. For more information, click here We hope that this will be the first of a series of courses useful to people who wish to learn to do linguistic research and formulate and implement language policy, as well as to language teachers. This project is funded by the education component of the federal Gathering Strength initiative.

Carrier Language Integrated Resource Package

We are creating an Integrated Resource Package (IRP) for the Carrier language. "Integrated Resource Package" is the name used by the provincial Ministry of Education for a curriculum. IRPs are so-called because they are supposed to integrate four kinds of information:

A curriculum in the narrowest sense would only contain learning outcomes.

This project represents a resumption of the curriculum development project suspended in the Fall of 1998. This project is funded under a contract with the provincial Ministry of Education.

Archiving of Audio Tapes

YDLI has in its archives hundreds of cassette tapes containing valuable linguistic and historical information. Many of these are the only copy in existence. In addition, there are many similar tapes in band offices, treaty offices, and individual homes. All of these recordings are at risk due to aging of the tapes, fire, flood, being recorded over, or being misplaced. In order to ensure that this material is not lost, we plan to digitize as many of them as possible and to copy the material onto CD-ROMS, of which several copies will be made and stored in different places. The initial project is funded by the federal Aboriginal Languages Initiative through the First People's Cultural Foundation.


Yinka Déné Language Institute © 2006