Kanien’kéha Ratiwennahní:rats Adult Immersion Program

Beginning in 2002, the Kanien’kéha Ratiwennahní:rats Adult Language Immersion Program has offered community members an opportunity to reconnect to their language and culture. As one of KORLCC’s key language revitalization efforts, the adult immersion program has proved to be a pivotal endeavor to revitalize the language in Kahnawà:ke.

Proudly celebrating 12 years of successful programming, the Kanien’kéha Ratiwennahní:rats Adult Language Immersion Program continues to offer adults the opportunity to learn Kanien’kéha by providing students with a creative, engaging and culturally rich syllabus.

The now 2 year full-time intensive program consists of a project based curriculum enhanced with hands-on Onkwehonwehnéha experiences, grammar lessons and daily activities geared towards fostering the advancement of spoken language proficiency.

 

Primary Objectives

·         To provide adult language learners the opportunity to exceptionally increase their spoken language proficiency though a variety of teaching methods and practical applications.

·         To foster an increased understanding and knowledge of traditional Kanien’kehá:ka cultural teachings delivered in the context of language learning.

 ·         To increase students’ linguistic and literacy skills by teaching Kanien’kéha grammatical structures and Kanien’kéha orthography.

·         To offer culturally enhancing language learning projects which provide students opportunity to gain skills in a variety of traditional arts.

·         To prepare and increase employability of participants by equipping students with stage experience working in community elementary immersion classrooms.

·         To increase the resource pool of highly proficient Kanien’kéha speakers in Kahnawà:ke.

 

Successful Outcomes

In 2008 the program was successfully extended from a 1-year program to a two-year program, this significantly increased learning outcomes for students and further advanced the achievement of program objectives.

In June of 2014 the Ratiwennhaní:rats Adult Immersion Program graduated another 15 students from the 2 year program, bringing the number of successful graduates to over 145 adult speakers.

Graduates of the program in 2014 were evaluated through oral proficiency interviews and were found to be quite proficient in Kanien’kéha, ranging from intermediate-mid to advanced-mid according to the ACTFL spoken proficiency guidelines.

Past graduates of the program can now be seen employed throughout Kahnawà:ke, carrying on the language through radio, television, within community organizations and working within all community schools.

To meet the increasing demands of the community, the program has expanded to accommodate 20 new students who will begin this September 2014.

The Kanien’kéha Ratiwennahní:rats Adult Language Immersion Program is successful in increasing the human resource pool of proficient Kanien’kéha language speakers as per the purpose of the Kahnawà:ke Language Law, wherein the purpose states :

 

“To revive and restore the Kanien’kéha language as the primary language of communication, education, ceremony, government and business within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawàke” (section1.1)