- The U.S. Department of Education is awarding $2.3 million in grants to teach Native American languages and help revive the learning of these lost skills, District Administration reports.
- The Administration for Native Americans reports that 64 Native American languages are extinct, with 75 almost entirely gone, according to the article.
- Schools in states such as South Dakota and New Mexico already support classes to revive Native American languages, including those spoken by the Diné and Lakota.
So-called dying languages, those that are rarely spoken or taught, can get a boost by integrating them into other subjects in schools. Often, languages such as Latin and Greek are taught within educational vacuums — students cannot see their value, or application in the real-world.
Administrators may want to consider tying languages into other subjects, like history and social studies, to enhance lessons for both subjects. Cross-curricular programming not only deepens learning in the subjects being taught, but can also expand problem-solving skills, notes a 2014 report from the Michigan Department of Education. Curriculum stakeholders looking to breathe new life into both “dying" languages and academic subjects may want to explore these options when designing classes for students.