Policy issues in assessing indigenous languages: A navajo case

Mary E McGroarty, Ann Beck, Frances A. Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Language policy and assessment have rarely intersected, despite the potential value of accurate assessment in guiding programmatic decisions This lack of a close relation is particularly notable in decentralized educational systems like that of the US In making crucial decisions, local educational agencies generally rely on standardized instruments available almost exclusively in the dominant language-English Yet growing concerns related to cultural and linguistic pluralism as well as educational equity demand that skills in other native languages be recognized within the educational system This article describes some of the policy questions arising in the course of efforts to develop a test of Navajo comprehension for young children Using Cooper's (1989) framework for language planning as innovation and Ruiz's (1993) distinction between endoglossic and exoglossic language policies, we explain how the test development process has been similar to and different from the typical model of top-down test development by outside experts While the content of the test reflects the specific historical experience and current educational situation of the Navajo Nation, the procedures for test development as well as general issues related to using the test results may well be applicable to other indigenous language communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-343
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Linguistics
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1995

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Linguistics
Language
Innovation
Decision making
Planning
language
language policy
educational system
English language
Cultural Diversity
linguistics
Equity
decision making
pluralism
Development Process
Decentralized
planning
Policy
Indigenous Languages
Policy Issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Policy issues in assessing indigenous languages : A navajo case. / McGroarty, Mary E; Beck, Ann; Butler, Frances A.

In: Applied Linguistics, Vol. 16, No. 3, 09.1995, p. 323-343.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McGroarty, Mary E ; Beck, Ann ; Butler, Frances A. / Policy issues in assessing indigenous languages : A navajo case. In: Applied Linguistics. 1995 ; Vol. 16, No. 3. pp. 323-343.
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