Indigenous Language Revitalization in Early Care and Education: An Overview of the Available Literature

Reference work entry


In the United States, most tribal languages are considered endangered, and over the past two decades, there has been a steady increase in the number of sovereign tribal nations who seek to implement language revitalization programs. As the interest in establishing language revitalization programs grows, there is a need for tribal stakeholders to survey the literature available on language revitalization in tribal communities. This chapter will provide a comprehensive literature review of the current research on tribal language revitalization programs with an emphasis on programs established to serve children ages infant through age 7 years old. Since the human capacity for language learning is at its peak during the first few years of a child’s life, evidence has demonstrated that endangered language revitalization programs are most effective for the early childhood age group as early care and education programs. While indigenous languages are each distinct from each other, there are many lessons to be learned as well as common challenges across tribes as language revitalization programs are implemented. This chapter explores the breadth and the availability of current literature in early childhood indigenous language revitalization in the United States.


Endangered language revitalization Heritage language revitalization Tribal language revitalization Tribal language immersion Indigenous language immersion Early childhood education Early care and education Language learning Child development 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EducationUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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