Nunatsiaq Online: Study: Inuit language schooling brings long-term benefits


Long-term studies of school children in Nunavik show that students learn best and benefit from higher self-esteem when taught in their mother tongue. The findings mean Inuit students with a good base in Inuttitut tend to do better in their studies, says McGill psychology professor Don Taylor. According to Taylor’s research, Inuit kindergarten students score higher than their American counterparts on spatial intelligence tests. Taylor also found that Inuit kindergarten students taught in Inuttitut almost doubled their personal self-esteem by the end of the year, compared to a slight drop if they were educated in English or French. The collective self-esteem among Inuit schoolchildren was also found to be higher when students were educated in their mother tongue, rather than a second language.