Language surveys are often needed to assess the status of a language for those who speak it. This could be to help determine if a language development program might be started and its scope, to help a community assess status and progress during the course of a program, or survey might be conducted well after the program has ended.
This unit is designed to help students develop an understanding of the principles that lie behind language surveys. It guides students through the processes of researching a language community, choosing appropriate research and evaluation tools to determine the status of the language(s) spoken in that community, and writing a proposal for a language survey.
• What and why language survey; language vs dialect
• Survey types, the process of conducting a language survey
• Language assessment and its place in language programs
• Preliminary survey plans and secondary research
• Survey methodologies
• Dialect survey, grouping dialects into languages
• Identifying a reference dialect; testing language proficiency
• Determining extensibility of literature; assessing language vitality
• Assess Language Vitality
• Sampling procedures; pilot testing of procedures
• Reviewing and writing survey reports
• Reviewing and writing survey proposals