First-ever Passamaquoddy language immersion preschools commence in collaboration with Speaking Place consultants

         At the request of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and with a grant to create two immersion preschools in the communities of Sipayik and Motahkomikuk, Speaking Place has provided training in areas drawing from many disciplines, in order to foster a successful and sustainable program for the long term. Such areas have included: immersion teaching methods; curriculum and materials development; Passamaquoddy language learning for fluent comprehenders, especially making use of the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language Portal; literacy in Passamaquoddy; background information on historical as well as psychological factors in language loss and models of language revival strategies from across the globe; techniques for family outreach to encourage language use in the home; and problem-solving methods.

         The Passamquoddy teaching team, consisting of two Master Speaker Teachers, four Fluent Comprehender Apprentice Teachers, and one Director/Teacher, opened the first preschool in February of 2016. The program in on track, with children as well as Apprentice Teachers showing progress every day in their newly acquired language skills, primarily speaking and listening comprehension.

         This is a three-year project funded by ANA (Administration for Native Americans), an Office of the Administration for Children and Families under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Photos: stills from preschools

Video: training and preschool

News stories: Bangor Daily, Quoddy Tides, MPBN