Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Using Culturally Appropriate Methodology to Explore Dene Mothers’ Views on Language Facilitation

 
Author(s) Luella Bernacki Jonk
Charlotte Enns
Volume 33
Number 1
Year 2009
Page(s) 34-44
Language English
Category
Keywords Aboriginal
Dene
children
language
mother-child
interaction
Abstract This study aimed to identify the differences in the beliefs and educational practices related to language acquisition of Dene and non-Aboriginal mothers. A survey of 30 Dene mothers in a Northern community was carried out using research methodology that was culturally adjusted to the Dene culture and language. The 30 non-Aboriginal mothers completed a conventional survey form. The survey evaluated the mothers’ beliefs about language acquisition and their current practices of supporting their children’s language learning. The study revealed subtle differences between the Dene and the non-Aboriginal mothers with regards to both their beliefs and practices. The Dene mothers valued spirituality and their child’s connection to traditional faith and beliefs more highly than the non-Aboriginal mothers. They also supported the use of child-directed speech to facilitate their children’s language development. They felt that Elders and grandparents had an important role to play in their children’s lives, and they favoured teaching by providing a combination of verbal and hands-on instruction. The Dene mothers reported frequent use of language facilitation strategies. By adjusting the survey in a culturally appropriate way, the participation in the research was facilitated for the Dene mothers.

La présente étude vise à repérer les différences de croyances et de méthodes d’éducation concernant l’acquisition du langage entre les mères dénées et les mères non autochtones. On a mené une enquête auprès de 30 mères dénées d’une communauté du Nord en utilisant une méthode de recherche adaptée à la culture et à la langue dénées. Les 30 mères non autochtones ont rempli un formulaire de sondage classique. L’enquête cherchait à évaluer les attitudes des mères sur l’acquisition du langage et leurs pratiques actuelles pour favoriser l’apprentissage du langage chez leur enfant. L’étude a montré des différences entre les mères dénées et les mères non autochones, tant sur le plan de leurs attitudes que de leurs pratiques. Les mères dénées valorisent davantage la spiritualité et le lien de leur enfant avec la foi et les croyances traditionnelles que ne le font les mères non autochtones. Elles soutiennent aussi le recours à la parole adaptée aux enfants pour faciliter l’acquisition du langage. Elles sont d’avis que les aînés et les grands-parents ont un rôle important à jouer dans la vie de leurs enfants, et elles favorisent une méthode d’éducation qui allie les instructions verbales et pratiques. Les mères dénées ont dit utiliser fréquemment des stratégies de facilitation du langage. L’adaptation de l’enquête à la culture a facilité la participation des mères dénées à la recherche.
Record ID 975
Link http://cjslpa.ca/files/2009_CJSLPA_Vol_33/No_01_1-76/Jonk_Enns_CJSLPA_2009.pdf
 
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