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Playfully revitalizing languages and traditional knowledge through collaboration

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Title:Playfully revitalizing languages and traditional knowledge through collaboration
Authors:Goff, Rebecca
Goff, Brandon
Running Wolf, Caroline
Running Wolf, Michael
Desrosier, Jesse
show 2 moreFish, Naatosi
Miyashita, Mizuki
show less
Contributors:Goff, Rebecca (speaker)
Goff, Brandon (speaker)
Running Wolf, Caroline (speaker)
Running Wolf, Michael (speaker)
Desrosier, Jesse (speaker)
show 9 moreFish, Naatosi (speaker)
Miyashita, Mizuki (speaker)
show less
Date Issued:02 Mar 2017
Description:This presentation showcases our collaborative model for developing language materials: Native Teaching Aids (NTA). Collaboration is an important concept for language documentation and revitalization (Rice 2009; Czaykowska-Higgins 2009). In developing pedagogical materials as part of revitalization, collaboration between linguists and language teachers is believed to be ideal, and such collaboration has recently been the subject of attention (e.g., Hermes 2012, Yamada 2007, Little et al. 2015). In our experience, a collaboration that is expanded to include traditional knowledge keepers as well as the greater (language) community has been very successful. When a wide range of disciplines and expertise are involved, the teaching materials produced have linguistic features, cultural content, pedagogical efficacy, and entertainment value. The NTA model of expanded collaboration emphasizes the vital importance of preserving and revitalizing indigenous culture, language, and history to empower communities. The NTA model is currently in use in multiple endangered language communities to develop, design, and create educational and entertaining materials. In our talk, we will describe the development of the Blackfoot language and culture game Picking Berries as an example of the NTA model and process. This technologically enhanced card game has two significant aspects which strengthen the players’ language and culture acquisition process. First, it not only teaches vocabulary and basic phrases using native speaker pronunciations, but also demonstrates cultural components through traditional environmental knowledge, indigenous botanical science, images of the indigenous environment, a sense of community, and negotiation skills. Secondly, Picking Berries includes a companion mobile app that enables the user to interact with the game cards in augmented reality (AR). The technology projects audio and imagery corresponding to specific playing cards onto the pupil’s mobile phone screen. Our use of AR bridges the real world and the virtual space to create a compelling, culturally driven interaction with the game. The presentation will outline our multifaceted activities toward the development of culturally relevant pedagogical materials (initial meeting with the tribe to identify their goals, cultural and language content development with tribal knowledge keepers, play-testing sessions with the targeted age group, linguistic consultation, student training, etc.) and lessons learned. We hope this showcase of our NTA model will benefit similar collaborative teams of language activists and linguistics.
Appears in Collections: 5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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