Speaking Place works internationally to address critical social issues facing communities.
Our principal focus is on documenting and reviving endangered languages, addressing a worldwide trend that has reached crisis proportions.
Building on four decades of experience, our interdisciplinary teams work closely with communities to train local partners in the use of innovative, media-based language and activity documentation methods. Community members learn how to create locally-designed documentation and communication processes in order to strengthen their language and culture. The results often lead to social change.
Speaking Place is active in research and development of child and adult language learning programs set within indigenous and minority cultures. Other Speaking Place projects have also fostered social change within participants’ communities—motivating participation in public health initiatives and environmental preservation, for example; helping to heal community trauma and improve police-community relations; and working to end discrimination, substance abuse, and teen pregnancies.
News and Updates:
Passamaquoddy tribe looking to children to preserve language, MPBN – Languages across the world are disappearing as fewer people learn to speak, read, and write the words of their ancestors.
Endangered Languages, The New Yorker – We read with interest Judith Thurman’s piece on attempts to save dying languages (“A Loss for Words,” March 30th).
Passamaquoddy Language Portal Now Offers Access on Mobile Devices, BDN – Quietly, the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet-speaking people of Eastern Maine and New Brunswick have been making history, taking their language and lifeways to far-flung community members . . .