A contextually relevant language learning assessment tool

Project logo for NETOLNEW Indigenous language learning assessment tool.
About our project logo: In artist Kevin Paul’s words, “through the design, I was hoping to represent our collective minds under one roof. The eye inside the house is a representation common to many if not all of the peoples participating in NEȾOLṈEW̱ and in this case it represents, above all, awareness.”

Learning a language requires much dedication and determination in any situation.

The context for adult Indigenous language learners includes added challenges such as minimal immersion opportunities, learning an endangered language in a colonial context, a general lack of supportive curriculum such as written texts, audio and other types of media and curriculum materials, as well as a rapidly-declining group of proficient speakers who act as ‘teachers’, and mentors.

To support Indigenous adults with a tracking tool and understanding more about their language learning, Drs. Onowa McIvor (Indigenous Education) and Peter Jacobs (Linguistics) together with community research partners and collaborators, have developed this pilot language learning assessment tool.

The purpose of developing this tool was to provide feedback to learners and language mentors of the learner’s progress. The tool is designed for learner-driven approaches like the Mentor/Master-Apprentice Program (MAP) where it is the learner’s responsibility to organize and initiate the learning experience.

Our team is working to understand more about adult Indigenous language learning in Canada and specifically British Columbia, and is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). This assessment tool was developed as a sub-project within the larger SSHRC Partnership Development Grant project NEȾOLṈEW̱, which in the SENĆOŦEN language (southern Vancouver Island) can be translated as “one mind, one people.”

Indigenous language learning assessment tool

The tool is free to use by anyone involved in language learning.

The Language Learning Assessment Tool (AT) is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This means you are free to adapt, transform, and build upon this original version of the AT, copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit and indicate what changes you have made.

You may not use the material (original or adapted) for commercial purposes. View a copy of this license. Manipulatable original files can be requested via (requires InDesign software).

Learn more about the work of the NEȾOLṈEW̱ Indigenous Language Research Network

Contact us to partner of research.