Incorporating linguistic knowledge into native language curriculum is essential if learners are to find their way into the language’s structure, patterns, and ways of constructing meanings and expressing ideas. For example, Passamaquoddy-Maliseet, like other North American native languages, forms words and sentences and construes relationships among people and between people and the environment in unique ways. If learners are to speak Passamaquoddy-Maliseet like first-language speakers, they must understand and be able to adopt strategies and attitudes appropriate to the language. In addition, subtleties of tone and meaning must be mastered. Teachers must accept these challenges with a sense of playful good humour, by helping learners think carefully about phrasing, sentence structure, and the organization of utterances.
Robert M. Leavitt