Growing an Immersion Program - Current & Future
Location - Tiny Tots Learning Center - Lapwai ID
Hipéexnu’ has a dream to have an immersion school of its own that will target young learners that will fill the Learnee positions. After the Learnees have met learning milestones in the Niimiipuu dialect; they will then partner with a class and remain consistent with their students for several years. The plan for the classroom designation is to begin when the children are preschool and younger.
Currently, hipeexnu' has been partnering with the Tiny Tots Learning center, where up to 70 toddler and preschool aged students have benefited from hipéexnu's service. This is a partnership that is showing signs of success; with the babies easily grasping the dialect, the teachers eager to learn, and the open doors from the Tiny Tots Learning Center.
357 Agency Road
P.O. BOX 158
Lapwai, ID 83540
Open Monday – Friday. 7:30AM – 5:30PM
The language will be consistent with the same number of students;
Teacher(s) from the Tiny Tots Learning Center have been being the Learnee Apprentice (LA). Hipeexnu' wishes to seek resources to seek more Learnee Apprentices as well as Leanee Mentees (LM).
Instruction time for the students cannot be less than ten hours a week, learning from both the Head Language Instructor and advanced LA(s).
Learnee Mentees will be sought out. LM will typically be adolescents younger than 18 years of age. Hipéexnu's Immersion Learning Center is to build up more Mentees and Apprentices to teach the youth on the Nez Perce reservation.
In other words, the way to revitalize and preserve is to build an army of lifetime committed speakers and teachers in the Niimiipuu dialect.
Culture is a lifestyle. Eliminating English lifestyles will be a challenge, as it is for every Nimiipuutimt class. Connecting culture to the teachings is an area yet to be defined, but there are many volunteer hours going into protecting the culture. However, funding to provide more cultural activites is needed.