Language ideology and practice among Navajo college students attending Dineì College
Heuss, Jennifer N.
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Navajo college student language ideology and practice is investigated through qualitative ethnographic methods. Students discuss the emotional, spiritual, and practical reasons they choose to speak navajo on campus. Participant observation and interviews are analyzed through grounded theory, which structured interview data around themes consisting of students' opinions and concerns with regard to speaking Navajo and English. Such themes include: participation in Navajo ceremonies, talking to elders, and maintaining a strong Navajo identity. Speaking practice was observed to determine the genres of communication in which studnets preferred speaking Navajo rather than English. These genres include joking and Navajo philosophy. Speaker familiarity emerged as one of the most important factors influencing students' language choice on campus.