Indigenous Language Research, Development & Preservation

SIL International

Indigenous people living in remote regions in countries in the South focus on linguistic barriers to education; often the majority of people can not read or write in any language. In my research, I found the ngo SIL International frequently mentioned as assisting in indigenous communities with non-formal education programs in the mother tongue and with the production of educational materials.

The SIL website says its role in language development is “one of partnership with the local community, providing knowledge about language and culture to help communities make decisions and plan how they want their language developed.”

SIL has a long history of language research and development and preservation. Its website is interesting to explore.

For example, SIL’s publication index for Canada led me to SIL linguist Bill Jancewicz’ article Applied Computer Technology in Cree and Naskapi Language Programs in Language Learning & Technology, Vol. 6, (2), May 2002, pp. 83-91 available at

This article gives insight into the challenges and successes in the work of integrating computers into indigenous language development programs.


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