Box #2: Language Policy & Literacy

US Case Study #2

In 1819 the Civilization Act was passed by Congress. This act enacted the ideas of Thomas McKenney, superintendent of Indian trade and the director of the Office of Indian Affairs (1824 - 1830), who thought that "education was the key to social control and improvement of society (Spring, 1997, p. 16). [Note 1] In the 1820s McKenney pushed for the removal of the Native Americans to the west for their "protection and civilization" (Spring, 1997, p. 17). In 1821 a Native American by the name of Sequoyah (George Guess was the English name given to him) codified his language, Cherokee. In 1829, Andrew Jackson, President of U. S. at the time, felt that the Civilization Act of 1819 was ineffective in "educating" the Native Americans. By 1830 he had put in place the Indian Removal Act (May 28, 1830).

  1. Review the Civilization Act of 1819, and the Indian Removal Act of 1830. What were the factors that led to these acts? What were the consequences of these acts on the indigenous populations?
  2. Describe the role/purpose of the Office of Indian Affairs, the Native American Reservations, and Native American Boarding Schools in educating the indigenous populations.
  3. What is the current status of indigenous languages and literacy? What role did literacy play in the Native American societies?
  4. Do any of these issues have bearing on society in the U. S. today in 2004? If yes, why? If not, why not?
  5. Are the connections between the history of Indian Education and the education of other groups that recently have been typically marginalized (African Americans, Latino Americans) in the U. S.? If so, what are those connections? If not, why are there no connections?
  6. Explain the concept of cultural competence and the importance of this concept to assessment and intervention of individuals with communication disorders. What impact can the lack of consideration for culture have on clinical service? [Note 2]
  7. Explain the concepts involved in assessing clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Give some examples of speech, language, and/or audiological assessment tools that are and are not sensitive to the needs of individuals from diverse cultural/linguistic backgrounds. Discuss what can be done with those tools to ensure appropriate assessment results.
  8. Explain the concepts involved in culturally appropriate clinical intervention with clients and their families of Native American descent. Identify a type of communication (speech, language, and/or audiological) disorder and describe cultural considerations for Native Americans that would impact clinical interventions for that disorder.

For the class presentation,

  1. Identify the problems gleaned from the research conducted for this task
  2. Analyze the problems from various perspectives
  3. Provide evidence (references) for your analyses
  4. Connect this case study with the issues we've discussed in class throughout the semester: globalization, immigration, marginalization, bilingualism and bidialectalism, and literacy. Also insert into the discussion the issue of current demographics in the U. S.
  5. Discuss the situation of this case as it relates to current day issues (2004), and
  6. Propose various strategies for addressing the problems.

This is your final examination
, consequently, the presentation should be a formal one including handouts, visuals (e.g., power point or overheads as appropriate), and bibliographic references.

  1. Spring, J. (1997). Deculturalization and the struggle for equality: Brief history of the education of dominated cultures in the United States . Second edition. New York : The McGraw-Hill Companies.

  2. This question and the next two were adapted from a syllabus ( Contemporary Issues in Clinical Intervention ) located on line that was produced by Delores Battle.

Copyright © Yvette D. Hyter May 2004