Tag Archives: linguistics

Endangered or a language in hiding?

Feb. 16, 2021|Toronto Star via UVic News

After two decades of hiding his ancestral tongue, Levi Martin was reintroduced to Tla-o-qui-aht and is one of the estimated 10 percent to speak it fluently. And as one of the many children sent to Residential Schools, he isn’t the only one that struggled after losing a crucial part of his identity. Thankfully, a platform called FirstVoices (launched in 2003) has a growing database of Indigenous languages and can be used as a reference guide for those hoping to learn or relearn. Those involved in the website’s efforts are always encouraging others to contribute their knowledge of different dialects, pronunciation, and more to safeguard against language extinction.

“Many of the languages are spoken as first languages by a very small handful of elders and those elders are passing on,” [Sonya Bird] said. “If language revitalization efforts don’t happen now, within the next decade or two, we’ll have lost a lot of those elders and knowledge keepers.”

Sonya Bird, an associate linguistics professor at the University of Victoria, is one of the many members a part of the Indigenous languages revitalization projects. Her area of focus has been pronunciation, particularly with long sequences of consonants, and providing the tools to achieve oral proficiency. If you wish to explore more of her work, The Copyright and Scholarly Communications Office encourages you to visit Dr. Bird’s publications through UVic’s institutional repository, UVicSpace and browse her list of her publications.

Featured Thesis: Korean parents’, kindergarten teachers’, and kindergarten students’ perceptions of early English-language education

by Seon-Young Park

Today’s featured thesis is submitted as part of a Master of Arts in Linguistics.


In Korea, English education in kindergartens has dramatically increased in the last 15 years. As a result, almost all Korean kindergarten students are learning English today. The present study aims to understand Korean parents’, kindergarten teachers’, and kindergarten students’ perceptions of early English-language education (EEE). This study is particularly significant because thus far little research has investigated the perceptions of EEE held by the young learners themselves. Ninety-five participants – 30 kindergarten teachers, 33 parents, and 32 five- and six-year old kindergarten students – were recruited from five kindergartens in four cities in Chung-Nam province, Korea. The parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of EEE were examined through questionnaires, whereas the students’ perceptions of learning English were investigated through multiple data collection methods: a questionnaire, an interview session, and a drawing activity. Questionnaire data gathered from the parents and teachers were quantitatively analyzed, and the data gathered from the kindergarten students were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The findings revealed that the parent and student groups shared more positive attitudes towards EEE than the teacher group. In addition, many more parents and students believed that English education is necessary at the kindergarten level than the teachers did. Concerning kindergarten students’ perceptions, the three data collection methods in this study showed that many kindergarten children consistently held positive attitudes towards learning English. The students were not only interested in learning English, but they also showed high self-confidence in learning English.

To read more, visit UVicSpace

*UVic’s open access repository, UVicspace, makes worldwide knowledge mobilization possible. Through this platform, researchers at any institution have access to dissertations (and theses and graduate projects) published by our graduate students. This also makes works available to the interested layperson, who may be engaged in learning more about the research being done at UVic, with no paywall. UVic’s graduate students are doing valuable research every day – but sometimes it goes unsung. Our goal with this series is to shine a light on our students by featuring excellence, one achievement at a time.

The UVic LIbraries ePublishing Services Team