Wadase update: December 2014
December 5, 2014
Chronicling the Trail of Death: Part 31
December 8, 2014

Language with Justin: December 2014

Bozho Jayek (Hello everyone)

There are a lot of exciting things happening in the language department. We recently received an ANA grant to develop a self-paced online class. We are using the Moodle format, an open-source learning platform that is the next generation of blackboard. We are making beginner, intermediate and advanced courses, each with four units and 10 main categories with a number of classes. The classes will be delivered in a variety of formats including PowerPoint and video. There will be interactive word searches, as well as different types of games and worksheets to help the student engage in the learning process.

This initial content development will take us about a year to complete, but we may do a soft roll out sooner. We are soliciting input and if you would like to give your opinion please fill out a survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/2Q2FFJW . This will help us make sure that the course we develop will be helpful to all tribal members.

We view technology as a tool to enhance our ability to deliver the language in a fun, engaging way that is not constrained by time or date. Once finished, students will be able to access the course whenever it is convenient, whether at 8 p.m. or 4 a.m.  Most important of all, it will allow you to learn Potawatomi at your own pace.

Throughout the course we are working to “funify” the material by adding interactive games, quizzes, word searches, funny skits and cultural teachings. You will have to complete the course in a structured format, but you can do as much or as little as you wish. After completing the 10 categories there will be a component where we teach other aspects of the culture, like how to bead, the different styles of regalia, the significance of the eagle in Potawatomi culture and other cultural topics. We are also adding an element where you can earn badges for completing different parts of the course.

There will be no charge for the course and it will be open to anyone who wishes to learn the language.  Our goal is to make the language more accessible to folks who want to learn. While learning the language you will also learn some Potawatomi culture because they are intertwined.

We were also excited about our annual Potawatomi Language Bee. The students at the CPN Child Development Center have been practicing their Potawatomi and tested their knowledge against one another and assembled guests. CPN Language Instructor Randy Schlachtun worked extremely hard with the kids and we are very proud of their accomplishments. The winners are listed below.

As always, if you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at jneely@potawatomi.org. For more language resources you can always visit www.potawatomi.org/lang.