The Navajo Reading Study

“Another vital feature of the Department of [Linguistics’ early history (i.e. when it was still a Program)] is the variety of major projects sponsored. Chief among these projects was the Navajo Reading Study project which  [Bernard] Spolsky directed from 1969 to 1977 with over a million dollars of support from the Ford Foundation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U.S. Office of Education. The chief objective of the Navajo Reading Study was the development of materials for Navajo literacy programs, but its influence in terms of materials produced, students supported, and research stimulated has had a profound impact on many aspects of life for the Navajo Nation. A major subcomponent of the Navajo Reading Study was the Teacher Training Project established in 1973 for the preparation of Navajo bilingual education teachers.”  (Bills MS, 1989)

Spolsky, Bernard. 1974. The Navajo Reading Study: An Illustration of the Scope and Nature of Educational Linguistics. Applied Linguistics, Problems and Solutions, vol. III, 553–565. Heidelberg: Julius Groos Verlag. (

Spolsky, Bernard. 1975. Linguistics in Practice: The Navajo Reading Study. Theory Into Practice. Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 14(5). 347–352. (doi:10.1080/00405847509542598)