First Nations elders' and parents' views on supporting their children's language development

  • Ball J
  • Lewis M
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Abstract

This exploratory study aimed to support practitioners to provide services in ways that are culturally congruent by gaining insights into First Nations Elders', grandparents', and parents' views and goals for their children's speech, early language acquisition, and communication. Conversational interviews with 65 First Nations Elders, grandparents, and parents of young children in four provinces in Canada yielded information about their beliefs and values regarding their children's speech-language learning, the perceived value of early learning and intervention programs, and roles and goals for speech-language services. The findings challenge prevalent stereotypes that First Nations caregivers prefer children to be quiet, while highlighting language socialization goals for children to learn and respond to social cues regarding the amount, form, and contexts of verbalization. The findings invite S-LPs to consider a role they could have in relation to the high value that many First Nations caregivers place on their children becoming bilingual in English and their Indigenous language. First Nations caregivers' receptivity to S-LP services was confirmed, as long as services are provided in ways that ensure cultural safety for children and families. The findings reinforce long-standing calls for investments in strengthening capacities of First Nations people to support speech and language development in ways that are locally appropriate and in accordance with the particular values, goals, and language socialization practices of individual families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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  • first nations,parents beliefs,elders beliefs,langu

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Authors

  • Jessica Ball

  • Marlene Lewis

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