How to Keep Your Language Alive: A Commonsense Approach to One-on-One Language Learning

New speakers for endangered languages

Amid worldwide accounts of dying languages, author Leanne Hinton and a group of dedicated language activists are doing something about it: they have created a master-apprentice language program, a one-on-one approach that has been remarkably successful in ensuring new speakers will take the place of those, often elderly, who are fluent in an endangered language.

How to Keep Your Language Alive is a manual for students of all languages, from Yurok to Yiddish, Washoe to Welsh; complete with exercises that can—can and should—be done in the most ordinary of settings, written with great simplicity and directness by a member of the linguistics faculty at the University of California, Berkeley.

Reviews

“A magnificently lucid and inspirational doorway to the world of human communication, and a rallying cry for language preservation.”

—Peter Nabokov, author and anthropologist

About the Author

Leanne HintonLeanne Hinton is professor emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, and a founding member of the board of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival. She has authored many articles and several books on language revitalization, including Flutes of Fire: Essays on California Indian Languages; The Green Book of Language Revitalization in Practice (edited with Ken Hale); and How to Keep Your Language Alive: A Guide to One-on-One Language  (with Matt Vera and Nancy Steele). She has worked with AICLS to develop and implement the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program and the Breath of Life Language Workshops, both of which have expanded throughout the US and internationally. In 2005 she received the Cultural Freedom Award from the Lannan Foundation for her work on the revitalization of endangered languages. Leanne lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband, Gary Scott, and delights in family time with their four children and seven grandchildren.