A Guide for Planning the Future of Our Language

This practical tool is meant to be used by local communities who are interested in maintaining the use of their traditional language. The text is written in a manner that is meant to be accessible to the general public. It first guides community members through a discussion that builds self-awareness about the current strength of their language. It then helps them to see the realistic options available to them based on that evaluation. Finally, it helps them plan what they would like to do about the future of their own language. Training in the use of the Guide is highly recommended before attempting to apply it at the community level, as is some knowledge about the theory behind it, the 'Sustainable Use Model'. For information regarding future training events in different countries where you can learn both the SUM and the Guide, please contact gpfol_intl@sil.org. You may also use this same email to give us feedback so that we may improve this tool for the sake of the language communities around the world. Many people and local communities have contributed to its development, and we are very thankful.

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Related Resources 

Sustaining Language Use: Perspectives on Community-Based Language Development

View print edition here.

View ePub edition here.

How does a language community sustain their language in the face of ever-increasing forces of language shift? This volume, both a textbook and a handbook, is the result of ten years of re flection by the authors in light of SIL International’s 80 years of fieldwork in local language communities. Using the Sustainable Use Model detailed here, readers work towards ongoing maintenance of their language at a sustainable level. This could include, not only the level of active literacy, but also levels of orality and identity. The book is aimed at “on the ground” workers involved...