Creating Books for Use in Language Revitalization Classrooms: Considerations and Outcomes
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5070/L20042838
In this paper, I examine the development, implementation, and results of utilizing three types of storybooks in a language revitalization classroom for students ages 5-12 learning Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec, an indigenous language of southern Mexico. Although each method used for creating books in Zapotec generated a positive reaction from students and parents, I consider the ways in which each method facilitates student learning while also problematizing the cultural authenticity of the classroom. Based on classroom observations, a parent focus group, and student interviews, I conclude that the most effective method for storybook creation involved students creating their own book modeled on a pre-existing book written in the non-indigenous language. This student-created book generated sustained interest in the language and allowed for students to shape the materials into something that was culturally relevant for them personally.