Postdoctoral research support project
The goal of this project is to use the situation and needs of Livonian – Latvia’s other indigenous language and also Europe’s most endangered language – along with the experience of other endangered languages to determine the principles for modifying the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) guidelines for language proficiency assessment and language acquisition so they are suitable for endangered languages; to test their effectiveness, so that recommendations for the future systematic design of Livonian language learning tools can be generated; and to make the modified CEFR guideline model resulting from this project freely available for use and development by other endangered language communities as well as the institutions involved in their preservation in order to ensure more effective small language administration while also supporting their long-term viability. The CEFR is used in Europe and elsewhere for assessing language proficiency, and nowadays also is the foundation for sequential and systematic language acquisition.
The Livonian language acquisition and maintenance situation as well as the experience of other endangered language communities is being studied as part of this project. Freely available CEFR guidelines modified to be suitable for use with endangered languages are also being developed and will be useable for the creation of effective language acquisition systems and for ensuring long-term language viability.
The project results can significantly help preserve small and endangered language diversity around the world, improve the effectiveness and prestige of this work, which is especially important for low resource languages, while also preventing linguistic discrimination against endangered language speakers.