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The Winnemem Wintu Language Project 
Institution name:
Address: 14840 Bear Mountain Road
Redding, CA 96003
Telephone: (530) 275-2737
Web address: http://www.winnememwintu.us/language-preservation/
Name: Caleen Sisk-Franco
Title: Tribal Chief, Spiritual Leader
Address: 14840 Bear Mountain Road
ReddingCA  96003
Email: winnememwintutribe@gmail.com
Telephone: (530) 275-2737
Purposes and goals of the program:
The Wintu language of Northern California is the traditional language of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe.  It is now extremely endangered, with only one native speaker remaining.  The Wintu Language Project seeks to provide the tribe with a complete set of learning and teaching materials, including a practical writing system endorsed by the tribe, audio examples of pronunciation and writing, and practical grammar.

Wintu is an oral language, and researchers are in the process of working with linguists to create a dictionary, a written alphabet, and instructional materials to help young language learners.

Language night classes for tribal members are being held under the instruction of Caleen Sisk-Franco.  Here, students can learn and practice basic Wintu vocabulary and grammar.
Program origin:
During several visits to the Wintu btween 1994 and 1999, German linguist Stephan Liedtke conducted documentary research with three of the last speakers of the language.  He also began to develop pedegogical materials for the language. 

The production of a Wintu-English dictionary has been an ongoing project since 1999, and Liedke hopes that it will be finished by the end of 2012.  The dictionary will include Wintu phrases and cultural information in addition to individual word translation.
Program funding:
Liedke is working on securing funding to complete the Wintu dictionary project. 

Individual donations are vital to this program.
Languages/dialects taught:
  • Other
  • Other Language(s) taught:
    Program type:  Community-Based
    Average enrollment:
    Total contact hours per week:
    Times per week classes meet:
    When meetings take place:
    Where meetings take place:
    Parents' or guardians' expectations of the program:
    Parents' or guardians' involvement in the program:
    Instructors' expectations of the program:
    Caleen Sisk-Franco is the tribal leader for the Wintu people. She cares deeply for the survival of Wintu language and culture and leads Wintu Language Nights.
    Number of instructors in the program
    Full-time instructors: 1
    Part-time instructors:
    Volunteer instructors:
    Languages in which instructors are proficient:
    Wintu, English
    Educational backgrounds and credentials of instructors
    (e.g., diploma, bachelor's, master's, doctorate, certificate):

    Caleen received her B.A. from Chico State University, CA in 1975, and received her teaching credential from California State University, Chico in 1976.
    Professional development opportunities instructors have:
    Representatives from the Winnemem Wintu language revitalization program agreed to take part in the Enduring Voices training seminar, held April 2010 in Santa Fe. They are eager to network with communities facing similar issues globally.
    Professional development opportunities instructors need:
    Students' expectations of the program:
    Student background
    First-generation immigrants:
    Second-generation immigrants:
    Third-generation immigrants:
    Children of interethnic marriages:
    Children of interethnic adoption:
    Indigenous students:
    Students' countries of origin:
    Wintu Tribe- Northern California region
    How the program identifies heritage language speakers:
    People of Wintu heritage who wish to participate in revitalization efforts
    Average enrollment:
    Approximate percentage of students who complete the program:
    Approximate percentage of students who continue to study the heritage language after completing the program:
    Possible reasons that students continue to study the heritage language after completing the program:
    Total contact hours per week:
    Times per week:
    Student grouping (e.g., proficiency level, grade, age):
    Language skills taught in the program (e.g., reading, writing, speaking, and listening):
    Aspects of culture included in the program (e.g., history, literature, traditions):
    Wintu stories and songs
    Other content taught in the program:
    Instructional methodologies used in the program:
    Levels of language proficiency reached by the end of the program (e.g., ACTFL proficiency levels, language tasks able to perform):
    Pitkin, Harvey. Wintu Grammar. University of California Publications in Linguistics.
    Manuals and workbooks:
    Self-designed materials:
    Pedegogical materials by Liedtke:
    Weh Tiin (“Come on, speak”)/Umaa Siiwu (“write it like this”): A guide to pronouncing and writing the sounds of Wintu

    Tl´aamah (“You count!”) – A guide to counting and calculating in Wintu
    Films, videos, and DVDs:
    Standardized tests used:
    Other assessments used:
    Connections with local schools or other organizations:
    A possible partnership with the Living Tongues Institute is planned. In addition, researchers from National Geographic’s Enduring Voices program have worked with the Wintu on language restoration.
    Credit received from formal education system:
    Types of support received (e.g., financial, time from parents or volunteers):
    Additional support desired:
    Financial support for research and teaching
    Challenges faced by the program: