Fostering the Literacy of indigenous Elementary School-Age Children Purpose: In this article, we describe the existing literacy research with school-age children who are indigenous. The lack of data for this group of children requires speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to use expert opinion from indigenous and non-indigenous people to develop culturally sensitive methods for fostering literacy skills. Method: We describe ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2008
Fostering the Literacy of indigenous Elementary School-Age Children
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Diane Frome Loeb
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences and Disorders, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • Kathy Redbird
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences and Disorders, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2008
Fostering the Literacy of indigenous Elementary School-Age Children
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, March 2008, Vol. 15, 5-11. doi:10.1044/cds15.1.5
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, March 2008, Vol. 15, 5-11. doi:10.1044/cds15.1.5
Abstract

Purpose: In this article, we describe the existing literacy research with school-age children who are indigenous. The lack of data for this group of children requires speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to use expert opinion from indigenous and non-indigenous people to develop culturally sensitive methods for fostering literacy skills.

Method: We describe two available curricula developed by indigenous people that are available, which use authentic materials and embed indigenous stories into the learning environment: The Indian Reading Series and the Northwest Native American Reading Curriculum. We also discuss the importance of using cooperative learning, multisensory instruction, and increased holistic emphasis to create a more culturally sensitive implementation of services. We provide an example of a literacy-based language facilitation that was developed for an indigenous tribe in Kansas.

Conclusion: SLPs can provide services to indigenous children that foster literacy skills through storytelling using authentic materials as well as activities and methods that are consistent with the client's values and beliefs.

Acknowledgment
We thank the members of the Kickapoo Nation and the principal, Mary Livingston, and the teachers at Kickapoo Nations School for their willingness to collaborate with us and help us learn about their culture. Thanks also to Aletha “Shine” Burnette for her assistance.
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