About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4533-4542
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

REVITALIZING THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE IN TEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE: TELLING A STORY IN ZAPOTEC

K. Velasco Zárate1, A. Gutiérrez Lorenzo2, F.G. Silva García1, N. Ramírez Olivera1

1Universidad Autónoma "Benito Juárez" de Oaxaca (MEXICO)
2CIESAS (MEXICO)
We present a pedagogical intervention experience that took place in the classrooms of the indigenous bilingual education preschool center “Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez” in Teotitlan del Valle, a Zapotec community in the central Valleys of Oaxaca, México. In this place, a variety of Zapotec-an Otomanguean language- is spoken. Zapotec too is the most spoken indigenous language in Oaxaca, however, it’s in the process of displacement by Spanish. In Teotitlán del Valle, an indicator of the gradual displacement of Zapotec is the increasing number of children (ages 3-6) who only have passive competence in Zapotec (understand it but respond in Spanish) or who are monolingual in Spanish. This phenomenon happens in a community with a pre-school center whose curriculum has as its principles those of the intercultural indigenous education.

In order to describe better this problem, we set ourselves to conduct first a diagnostic study in this preschool center. In the diagnostic the principal of the school, 3 teachers, 15 parents, and the children in three groups in the last grade participated in interviews and classroom observations. The objective was to identify the factors, internal and external, that have an incidence in the loss of the Zapotec language among the youngest generation. Two factors that concern the preschool center are as follow: first, among some teachers and parents the idea that Spanish should be learned by children because it is the language that will allow them to communicate in different situations such as learning, trading and even working inside and outside the community still prevails; second, teachers have attempted to include as part of the contents related with traditions and customs the Zapotec language in the classroom however, the teaching strategies used have resulted little effective for learning the spoken Zapotec. As a result, the original language has been scarcely used or not used at all to teach contents related with the culture of the community and the region, as well as those contents of the national curriculum for that educational level. The preschool center then, has not played its role of an active agent in the maintenance of the Zapotec language.

Against this background, we conducted a pedagogical intervention that aimed to work both the language and a cultural content, with the participation of parents (speakers and non-speakers of Zapotec) and the children. We took a technique already used by the teachers for working the comprehension of oral texts in Spanish: storytelling and ‘dictation’, and modified it to work with a Zapotec story from the oral tradition in Teotitlan del Valle. The story was compiled, written in Zapotec and adapted for its dramatization. So, the change was the language used, its form and the way to tell the story. In these activities parents and children were actively involved listening to and producing Zapotec; to support the children’s comprehension, there were activities for the linking of previous experiences and knowledge about the life in the community with the story, as well as vocabulary and phrases presentation and memorization activities. All teachers, parents and children showed themselves positive and interested in continuing with this type of activities to teach and learn Zapotec. We consider that this kind of interventions are needed for making the intercultural bilingual education and the revitalization of languages like the Zapotec an asset in Teotitlán del Valle.
@InProceedings{VELASCOZARATE2015REV,
author = {Velasco Z{\'{a}}rate, K. and Guti{\'{e}}rrez Lorenzo, A. and Silva Garc{\'{i}}a, F.G. and Ram{\'{i}}rez Olivera, N.},
title = {REVITALIZING THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE IN TEOTITL{\'{A}}N DEL VALLE: TELLING A STORY IN ZAPOTEC},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {4533-4542}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Velasco Zárate AU - A. Gutiérrez Lorenzo AU - F.G. Silva García AU - N. Ramírez Olivera
TI - REVITALIZING THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE IN TEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE: TELLING A STORY IN ZAPOTEC
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 4533
EP - 4542
ER -
K. Velasco Zárate, A. Gutiérrez Lorenzo, F.G. Silva García, N. Ramírez Olivera (2015) REVITALIZING THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE IN TEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE: TELLING A STORY IN ZAPOTEC, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 4533-4542.
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