OLCC has been the research site for the Oneida Language Revitalization Project for the past several years. The research goal is to find the most effective method for adults to learn to speak and teach the Oneida language. Models from around the world have been tested and adapted to the Oneida context, some with more success than others. The Master Apprentice method (Hinton 2002); the Oneida Grammar Root Method (Kanatawakhon,2012); have been among the most effective to date, while error correction analysis and the European Language Portfolio (Council of Europe) continue to be studied for their adaptability potential. Dr. David Little , pictured above left, has been consulted throughout the past two or three years as to the successes of the Language Portfolio particularly with other minority languages. Our preliminary work and trials indicate a high likelihood that the Portfolio could be adapted, with some work, to fit the Oneida learning context. Producing such an Oneida Language Portfolio is the long term goal of the Centre.
The Master speakers and apprentices function as the research team where they actually steer the research design by consensus. Taking an Indigenous Research perspective, this team engages in participatory action research to test and refine what works best for Oneida adult language learners. Dr. Shawn Wilson (pictured above right) spoke at Ryerson University in May 2012 to First Nation graduate students where he explained the application of the Indigenous Research Paradigm (Wilson 2007) using our research process in Oneida as the example. This provided clarity and helped to identify the next steps in our work.