…the revival of the language must be tied to practical situations and goals … should be seen as part of a process of strengthening the community. It should not be tied to the past only, but must be connected to the present and the future of a community. (Ignace, 1998, section 4.1).
Successful language projects are ones which focus on benefiting the language communities, developing the capacity of communities and empowering community members to develop language resources, to revitalise and maintain their languages themselves.
Key features of successful language projects include that they:
- are suggested by the community rather than being determined by a consultant
- recognise, employ and build on the existing skills and knowledge in the community
- involve younger as well older community members
- incorporate formal or informal training opportunities (eg linguistics, education, ICT) for local people
- involve community members in an active way, in all aspects of the project, including developing
- result in a publication which is useful for the community
- explicitly recognise community contributions and ownership of language