This is a preprint
Syilx Language House: How and Why We Are Delivering 2,000 Decolonizing Hours in Nsyilxcn
Abstract

The Syilx Language House has completed two years of a four-year, 2,000-hour program to create new adult Nsyilxcn speakers, based on Syilx communities’ specific priorities. Our critically endangered status requires radically decolonizing teaching techniques. Nsyilxcn (Okanagan) teachers are learners, trained to deliver sequenced curriculum in full immersion using cutting- edge teaching techniques. Teachers employ strategies that prioritize effective immersion, frequent assessment, and a high level of classroom safety. This article shares our story, applied teaching methods, student testimonials, community feedback, and our 2020 Plan. After completing our second year, students have completed 900 hours of intensive immersion. Students state that our teaching methods are the fastest, most effective language learning they have ever experienced. After four years, students will emerge as mid- to high-intermediate speakers, capable of bringing language into homes, teaching new cohorts of adults, and creating immersion workplaces


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