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|Title: ||Community-based website building: The Language Documentation Training Center’s approach to mentor-mentee partnership|
|Authors: ||Butler, Katie|
|Issue Date: ||2011|
|Abstract: ||Since its founding in 2004, the Language Documentation Training Center (LDTC) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has helped more than 80 participants publish web sites documenting various aspects of their native languages and cultures. LDTC’s approach to language documentation is built on a mentor-mentee partnership, which is an ongoing successful model because of linguistics students who volunteer their time to teach weekly workshops and because of the international student community who consistently show interest in language documentation. This paper will provide an overview of the LDTC program and will argue in favor of community-based web site building, allowing speakers to author their own work and acquire basic skills for language documentation in the process.
Funded by departmental and university grants, LDTC holds eight 2-hour workshops in a semester which are offered free of charge for interested community members. UH linguistics graduate students volunteer to teach the weekly workshops and are partnered with one or two participants who they mentor throughout the semester. The workshops cover topics such as orthography, basic linguistic analysis, creating dictionaries using Lexique Pro, and basic web design. Advanced workshops are also offered to continuing participants who are interested in more advanced tools for linguistic analysis and web design.
Creating web sites focusing on individual languages is beneficial to both the mentor (UH linguistics graduate student) and the mentee (language consultant) as they collect both written and recorded data – such as wordlists, songs, and stories – which can be published to the web at the mentee’s discretion. Some participants choose to pursue the advanced workshops to further develop their web site by adding more linguistic content as well as aesthetic design features. Beginning participants design their web sites using a WYSIWYG editor, and the student mentors provide assistance when needed. At the end of a semester, the LDTC student directors collect the web site materials from each participant and upload the pages to the university’s open-access digital repository Scholar Space. The LDTC site (www.ling.hawaii.edu/~uhdoc) provides links to individual sites hosted in Scholar Space, while some participants opt to purchase their own web domain.
These web sites give participants an opportunity to showcase their language and culture to the broader online community, which in many cases, has led linguistics and anthropologist field workers as well as minority community leaders to contact past LDTC participants about their sites. This model of LDTC has proven to be rewarding for those involved, and it is the Center’s hope that other universities or groups that have the means can adopt similar practices that will benefit their own communities.|
|Appears in Collections:||Sustainable data from digital research: Humanities perspectives on digital scholarship|
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