By William L. Leap
Examines the variety of English in American Indian speech groups.
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Additional resources for American Indian English
When conflicts with tribal government led to the closing of that church in the 1960s, the diocese built a new facility off the reservation, and some Isleta families began attending Sunday services there. Protestant-operated Indian "missions" are open to Hispanics as well as Isleta people. And once Isleta students complete their elementary schooling at the on-reservation day school, they attend junior and senior high school at off-reservation, county-operated facilities where neighboring Hispanics and other non-Indian age-mates are also enrolled.
The merger of standard English contrasts between back unrounded vs. , Isletan English [u] for "would" and "community") and of other distinctions in vowel quantity also occur frequently in their English. Not all Indian English codes show similar revisions in vowel quantities, however. Tsimshian English speakers lengthen vowel segments before voiced consonants (which commonly occurs in standard English) but also apply length to vowels before voiceless consonants as well.
Rather than relying on student ancestral language skills to draw inferences regarding their English proficiency, most researchers prefer using direct measures of student English skill. Commonly used measures for this purpose include direct rating of student English skills within a specific speaking domain; informal assessment of language skills across a range of language settings; analysis of performance on standardized language arts tests; teacher evaluation of student English skills; parental evaluations; and student self-evaluation.