We would love to see and would use an Iñupiaq grammar learning app!
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Iñupiaq people who already have some knowledge of our language are eager for the foundation skills (grammar) that will allow them to build sentences and conversations and become teachers for their children also. This is the power that grammar construction offers.
Despite the existence of several great language learning programs, nothing has been developed for online/interactive use which allows people to learn Iñupiaq grammar as the foundation for sustainable language acquisition.
Busy parents of young children, school teachers, adults with full-time jobs, students managing class loads – any Iñupiaq person who wants to learn our language and pass it on to the next generation- often cannot find the time required to enroll in classes or spend an hour a day to work through the many great language programs online.
As we know, the other challenge for our people who want to learn our language is that we often have small amounts of knowledge that is difficult to pass on to our children, nieces or nephews because we don’t have a foundation for teaching. Sharing our language is by far the most powerful way for us all to learn.
In short, these App based ‘bite-sized’ grammar lessons will offer:
1. App accessible, short duration grammar lessons that are easily digestible and can be absorbed and applied at your own pace
2. A grammar foundation for learners that will mean once you learn the foundation of the language, you can teach it to others – effectively creating a generation of learners who are also teachers.
3. An opportunity for those who do not live in the Barrow or Anaktuvak Pass or who cannot make it to College classes to be taught by one of our community’s most valuable and accomplished language teachers.
4. Technology that can capture traditional teaching methods while allowing students to revisit classes as many times as needed.
5. An opportunity for those who have the App to build Iñupiaq language learning groups or nests in every community.
6. An opportunity to populate the tech-saturated lives of our children with a meaningful, practical and culturally important resource.
7. An opportunity to celebrate our most knowledgeable living Elders who are language speakers and teacher who will be consulted and contribute to this App and all have a priceless ability to access the wealth of Iñupiaq ancestral knowledge that lies within our language.
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