|Written by Michael Meuers,
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More than 30 people from the Red Lake School District, the Immersion School, and Red Lake Community attended training on a unique way to learn language on Aug. 14 at Seven Clans Casino and Event Center.
The group came together to learn more about the Accelerated Second Language Acquisition (ASLA) training with the program's creator, Dr. Neyooxet Greymorning. ASLA is a language teaching method Greymorning developed and has been sharing around the world.
With Ojibwe language revitalization high on the agenda for both the Red Lake Band and Red Lake School District, professional development of language teachers was identified by both the school district and the Ojibwe Language Revitalization Committee as a priority.
The training was for both first speakers and for those learning or second language speakers. The goal of the training was to strengthen first speakers as teachers and increase second speakers' language ability.
"Through the use of pictures and forced problem solving, the teacher guides students through a landscape of pictures placed on a wall," Middle School teacher Tami Liberty said. "Also it goes well with our art grant by using pictures as its mode of instruction."
"I am so glad to have the training," she continued. "When I used my idea of his method last year the students learned at an extremely fast pace with long lasting retention. Now that I have the training I am excited to teach using it this year."
"Greymorning likes to call people working with saving the language — language healers — he used to use language warriors," Liberty said, "I really like that concept of healing vs. warriors, I just thought that was pretty cool."
The ASLA training was sponsored by Red Lake Nation, Red Lake School District along with a grant from the Blandin Foundation's Leadership Program.