Oklahoma Schools Working to Protect Native Languages

According the Indian Country Today Media Network, many Oklahoma schools are joining an ongoing movement to protect Native languages.

There are fourteen Native languages in Oklahoma that are endangered, and six that have disappeared. Efforts made by Oklahoma public schools and universities to preserve Native American languages are helping to keep the languages alive.

According to Desa Dawson, director of World Language Education for the Oklahoma State Department of Education, there are currently 1,355 elementary and high school students taking Native language classes to fulfill their language requirement.

Dawson stated that the biggest issue facing inclusion of Native languages in the classroom is the shortage of fluent language teachers. The Oklahoma Native Language Association is working to increase the amount of language teachers. Several tribes within the state have formed language departments of their own.

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