Missionaries Discuss New Approach to Culture and Language Acquisition

( [email protected] ) May 05, 2004 07:20 PM EDT

Over 50 missionaries from New Tribes Missions met recently for two weeks in Sanford, Florida. Their goal was to apply for a new, relationship-centered approach toward culture and language acquisition in the tribal village and in the classroom.

The seminar included an improved evaluation method to help consultants more effectively determine when missionaries are proficient enough to teach God’s Word in a tribal language, and also brought the expertise of missionaries from various fields.

Eivind Rognsvag, a church planter in Greenland commented, “It’s good to have [learning] principles…. This seminar is about going from theories of a culture and language acquisition program into actually doing it.”

The relationship-centered approach aims not only to help missionaries understand a culture and learn a language faster, but to build deeper relationships that will quality the missionaries to teach and disciple.

Kristen Rodman, who ministers to Venezuelan missionaries said that she plans to implement much of what she has learned from the seminar at the training center iin Venezuela. Rodman currently teaches Venezuelan missionaries phonetics, culture and language acquisition techniques and other linguistics skills necessary for cross-culture church planting.

David Burson, of Lake Howell Bible Chapel in Florida felt the seminar gave him a clearer picture of challenges missionaries face in culture and language learning. This has helped him set new priorities fro CLAWare, culture and language acquisition software program for missionares that he and others are working on.

New Tribes Mission is a ministry founded in 1942 that assists the ministry of the local church through the mobilizing, equipping, and coordinating of missionaries to evangelize unreached people groups, translate the Scriptures, and see the establishment of indigenous churches.