Supporting Latin American Indigenous Languages Through Research, Teaching, Service, and Advocacy
The Mission of the Latin American Indigenous Languages (LAIL) initiative is comprised of four areas, focusing on research, teaching, service, and advocacy. They are as follows:
- To encourage cross-disciplinary research into the social, cultural, literary, and linguistic aspects of languages indigenous to Latin America and the Caribbean;
- To provide academic and material support for students, faculty, and members of the community to explore their interests in learning about indigenous languages and to develop resources for instruction of these languages across of variety of learning environments;
- To establish connections with indigenous language communities across Latin America and the Caribbean and to foster the exchanges for the purposes of research, teaching, and service; and
- To create a mechanism for the discussion and dissemination of materials related to the maintenance and revitalization of the indigenous languages of Latin America and the Caribbean.
To accomplish the primary objectives of the LAIL initiative, the following four goals constitute its strategic plan:
- Through the establishment of a series of Quechua language courses (set to start in fall 2013), the LAIL initiative seeks to enhance the diversity of the offerings already available through LACSI. These classes represent a first step in creating increased awareness of the linguistic diversity in Latin America and the Caribbean and will be followed with additional courses targeting other indigenous languages.
- The LAIL initiative is also developing graduate and undergraduate certificates in Latin American Indigenous Languages to bolster students’ interest and participation in issues pertaining to the cultural and linguistic reality of indigenous communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- By using the already large collection of Latin American and Caribbean materials available through the UGA main library and the collections housed by LACSI, the LAIL initiative seeks to establish an open-access research database for faculty and students working on topics of indigenous society, culture, literature, and language.
- Finally, the LAIL initiative intends to establish opportunities for scholarly exchange between UGA faculty and students and their counterparts at universities located in areas of Latin America and the Caribbean where indigenous languages are spoken and where instruction in these languages is available.
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