Hieber, Manavi & Manavi - Rosetta Stone and Navajo Language Renaissance: collaboration for revitalization


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Hieber, Daniel, Lorraine Manavi & Kasra Manavi. 2012. Rosetta Stone and Navajo Language Renaissance: collaboration for revitalization. Presented at Athabaskan Languages Conference, Bellingham, WA.

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  • ELP launched in response to lots of demands from interested communitiesProgram stopped taking on new projects towards the end of 2011, but that we’ve continued to work with existing communitiesGrants offered in 2007, projects completed in 2010
  • Because of this, we’ve had to get really good at long-distance collaboration, and utilizing technologies that helped with that
  • Use native speakers rather than linguistic sources (although we used those too – sometimes they were the same person!)
  • 2-year process
  • Method – immersion picture matching, with audioCustomized pictures, taken on the Navajo Nation Reservation – unique to the Endangered Language Program
  • Culturally-relevantimages, taken in and targeted towards the community
  • Customized grammar – singular, dual, plural are not necessary formost of our other products, because languages don’t always make this distinction, so we customized
  • Also get learner doing speaking, using our speech recognition technologyThis is the very first screen, so we try to get the learner speaking the language right awayThat’s all I’ll say for now – Lorraine will have some more examples here in a moment, showing how we used this method and pedagogy to teach some of the extremely complicated grammatical structures that Navajo has
  • Collaborative decision making:never just a single person making decisionsAlmost every decision was made in discussion with a large group of peopleVariety of inputs from: Elders-Wilfred Sisco (wrote children’s book early in the 70’s)Community (different dialect speakers)Family (my aunt, mother, and brother) & the Language team also use them as resourcesLinguists (Irene Silentman, Elevina Perkins, Dr. Paul Platero, etc.)Language Professors & Teachers (all over the reservation, NM, Utah, & Az) VoicersLanguage TeamConsider what is “Standard Navajo”: We used “The Navajo Language” A Grammar and Colloquial Dictionary by Robert W. Young and William Morgan Sr. 1,070 pages.Limitation on the kind of language/words we could and could not translate. In these cases, we inserted concepts we thought were not covered and that were important to include. Some concepts we had six different way of saying it and we had to be consistent. We also could not inter new concepts until it is practiced or use previous knowledge to introduce new ones.
  • T-shirt – distinguishing between a regular shirt and a t-shirt
  • Last section: voicers
  • Classificatory Stative Verbs: InNavajo we have complicated system of Stative Verb & Handing Verbs. This product teaches it well in simple form and it progresses to it’s complicated forms. Before this activity, students practiced the simple form of the Stative verbs. Examples would be (point out in the slide) Tsask’eh naaki sinil, Jool t’aala’i si’a. Bikaa’ dah ‘asdahi naaki sinil, etc. In the first section the student is asked a question and the student are given three examples and they had to choose one answer. In the second part it’s asking the student to select from three choices and choose the question to the answer. It’s asking how many balls are there using the plural form but the actual answer is in singular form.
  • In this activity the student is given a statement and they have to match it to the picture. Notice that the stems of the both SV & HV are the same. Students already know the nouns so they are using their previous knowledge to help them.
  • Handling Verbs: In this slide the students are practicing the Imperfective and Perfective Handling verbs.
  • Handling Verbs: Students are choosing which statement matches the picture. This is completely practicing the Handling verbs in Perfective Mode by selecting which sentence out of the three matches the picture.
  • To put: In this section they are reviewing previous knowledge of the Stative Verbs, Handling verb, and it is Introducing the verb “to put”. Students are matching the statement to the picture.
  • To put: Students are practicing the verb to put. First picture show where the keys are, the second picture asks where he/she placed the object, and the third picture answers the question by where he/she placed the object.Students have to select one of the three sentences that matches the picture.
  • Irregular Verbs: Introducing Irregular verbs and the students are reading the sentences. After this activity, students are given more exercises and activities.‘Ahinoolcheel was one of the words we went back and forth on
  • Here are several examples from General and Grammar paths with practicing Dual and Plural verbs with Regular and Irregular Verbs. Again students are giving a statement to match the picture.LORRAINE: WE CAN’T SAY ‘GENERAL PATH’ AND ‘GRAMMAR PATH’ – PEOPLE WON’T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS. WE NEED TO SAY ‘MAIN/CORE LESSONS’ AND ‘GRAMMAR LESSONS’.
  • My class setup for this Fall
  • I will be using the web enhanced program called “Angel” a Student management Platform. (Review the tabs)
  • Class Supplemental Handouts with AudiosSaad bee alini – additional review of the consonants and vowelsUseful phrases for the classroom – “I have a question, I don’t understand it, Repeat it, Do we copy this, etc.” Languages, Culture, and Migrations – Dine languages and it’s rootSong – Navajo flag song, alphabet songs, animals songs, etc. Questions words and Games – These are filled with questions words such as; how, when, which, what, where, how many, what color, etc. The games consists of dialogues used for games matching games, “Go Fish” games, etc. “your turn, my turn, pick up the card, he/she cheats, they match, they don’t match, etc.”
  • In the Lessons tab I also have a folder that consists of Lecture and Review Questions for each unit. Each unit has four lessons, a total of 16 lessons & 16 review questions. The flipped classroom model encompasses any use of using Internet technology to leverage the learning in my classroom, so I can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing.
  • In the Lessons tab I also have a folder that consists of Lecture and Review Questions for each unit and lessons. Students will view the lecture videos before they come to class in order to be prepared for the classroom lesson and communicative activities based on the lecture presented. I usually leave 5-10 minutes before and after class for questions based on the lesson (in English)I created a total of 16 lectures using Power Point and I saved them as video. All the lecture videos are between 7-10 minutes. Here is a sample of Unit I and how I set it up.
  • Sample of Lesson Lectures on video: grammar points & topics I am only showing two slides. Here I am talking about singular and plural nouns.Second slide I have 3rd person plural marker –da-
  • Sample of Review Questions based on the lecture from Unit 1 lesson 1 (the previous slide). Students answer these questions and turn it in. We also discuss students questions during the allocated time (beginning and the end of class).
  • Complementary Materials: WorkbooksWe are currently working on developing the workbooks. We are finished with Unit 1 and working on Unit 2 now. Here are some sample questions.
  • Complementary Materials: Quiz Here are some sample questions from the quiz. (Review the questions) We are now finalizing the Online Test which Kasra will talk about momentarily
  • Up until now, most Navajo curricula have been based on Navajo as a first language:Now, most students who know the language go to college with Navajo as a second languageThere's a need to change the curriculum from first language to second language instruction: I am part of a task force formed by the Navajo Nation Teacher Education Program that is taking on this task. I am working with professors from are colleges and universities from NM, AZ, Utah, and Colorado. Based on the deliberations of ourtask force, we have analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the NNTEP, the goal of a revised, reinvigorated NNTEP program would be to promote the teaching of Navajo language, literacy, culture, history, and philosophy in pre-service teacher education programs for candidates who will ultimately teach in Navajo learners in K-12 schools and pro­mote the tribe’s K-12 Diné Standards.RS helps with this shift, including the workbooks being developed & the online test.
  • Hieber, Manavi & Manavi - Rosetta Stone and Navajo Language Renaissance: collaboration for revitalization

    1. 1. Rosetta Stone & Navajo Language Renaissance: Collaboration for RevitalizationDaniel W. Hieber Lorraine Begay Manavi Kasra Manavi Rosetta Stone San Juan College University of New Mexico
    2. 2. The Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Program The Endangered Language Program has worked with Native language communities to create custom Rosetta Stone software for use in their language revitalization programs. Through a variety of development models designed to make Rosetta Stone software available to a wide range of indigenous groups, we promote global linguistic diversity and embody Rosetta Stone’s belief that language learning makes the world a better place.
    3. 3. Timeline1999 First EL project launched at Rosetta Stone2004 Endangered Language Program founded2006 Mohawk Level 12007 upiaq (Coastal) Level 1 Inuttitut Level 1 Two company grants offered (Chitimacha, Navajo)2009 Mohawk Level 22010 Chitimacha Levels 1 & 2 Navajo Levels 1 & 2 upiaq (Kobuk/Selawik) Level 12011 upiaq (North Slope) Levels 1-3
    4. 4. Navajo Language Renaissance501(c)(3) nonprofit corporationNavajo linguists and language educators from Arizona, New Mexico, and UtahFull support of the Navajo Board of EducationRecipient of a 2007 Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Program grant for software development
    5. 5. Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Program + Navajo Language Renaissance The goal:Use of Rosetta Stone Navajo in 100% of Navajo Nation SchoolsRosetta Stone Navajo available in all Navajo Nation chapter housesUse of Rosetta Stone Navajo by Navajos living outside the reservation
    6. 6. Guiding principlesLanguage knowledge is provided primarily by the sponsoring communitiesLanguage work takes place within the sponsoring communityAll intellectual property, sales, and distribution rights belong to the sponsoring group
    7. 7. Other guiding principlesCustomize language functions whenever possible e.g. Rosetta Stone English teaches ‘How are you?’ Rosetta Stone Navajo teaches ‘What are you doing?’Customize for cultural items whenever possibleLocal, relevant photographyNative speaker audio
    8. 8. Customization & Method
    9. 9. A collaborative effortCollaborative decision makingVariety of inputs from • Elders • Community (different dialect speakers) • Family • Linguists • Language professors and teachers • Voicers / voice actors • Language teamWhat is “standard Navajo”?
    10. 10. Decisions in the lexiconWord length • chid7 bik4e’j8’ ‘adeez’1h7 ‘truck’ • ‘44’ naats’--d7t’3h7 ‘T-shirt’ • pa’ hooghan7d00 ‘family’ • ch’iy11n ‘1daal’7n7 g0ne’ ‘kitchen’ • ‘awoo’ bee yich’iish7 ‘toothbrush’ • ‘awoo’ bip yich’iish7 ‘toothpaste’
    11. 11. Decisions in the lexiconCoining words: • peeyi’ g11l7 ‘subway’ • tsx99p hane’4 ‘e-mail’ • ‘44’ naats’--d7t’3h7 ‘T-shirt’Dialects: • yas / zas ‘snow’ • n7t’66’ / `t’66’ / `d66’ past tense • gohw44h / ‘ahw44h / dihw44h‘coffee’ • na’ah00hai ‘chicken, rodeo’ / agod7 ‘chicken’
    12. 12. ‘ahinoolch44p ‘they (2) are running’‘ahi’noolch44p‘ahenoolch44pda’ad1n7 g0ne’ ‘in the restaurant / dining room’da’ad1n7di ‘at the restaurant’da’jiy1n7di ‘at the restaurant’da’jiy1n7 g0ne’ ‘in the restaurant/dining room’‘adl3 / yidl3 ‘he is drinking (it)’‘aak’ee / ‘aak’ei ‘fall (season)’b44sh / b47sh ‘metal, knife’bik11’ dah ‘asd1h7 / bik’i dah ‘asd1h7 ‘chair’
    13. 13. Decisions in the lexicondootp’izh ‘green-blue (thing)’t1tp’id dootp’izh ‘moss green, green’t1tp’idgo dootp’izhch’ilgo dootp’izh ‘green’y1go dootp’izh ‘blue or sky blue’pizhingo dootp’izh ‘royal/navy blue’diphipgo dootp’izhy4ego dootp’izh
    14. 14. Teaching verb-heavy language: Classificatory stative verbs
    15. 15. Teaching verb-heavy language:Using stative verbs to teach handling verbs
    16. 16. Teaching verb-heavy language: Handling verbs
    17. 17. Teaching verb-heavy language: Handling verbs
    18. 18. Teaching verb-heavy language: ‘Put’
    19. 19. Teaching verb-heavy language: ‘Put’
    20. 20. Teaching verb-heavy language: Irregular verbs
    21. 21. Teaching verb-heavy language:Dual and plural, regular and irregular verbs
    22. 22. Use in the classroomRequired texts / teaching materials: • Navajo Language Renaissance: Rosetta Stone Classroom o http://navajolangren.rosettastoneclassroom.com/en-US/ • Conversational Navajo Dictionary w/CD – Garth A. Wilson • Navajo Alphabets, pronunciation CD – Clayton Long
    23. 23. Use in the classroomRequired technology and software: • Personal laptop and headset • Language lab and Navajo multimedia materials • License for Rosetta Stone classroom (purchased from bookstore) • Angel (student-management platform) • Microsoft® Word • Navajo font • Books in Navajo: o http://www.dinecollege.edu/cdte/mmbooks/tsf
    24. 24. L2-only teaching strategiesPrimarily oral • Use gestures, miming, actions, pictures, TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading & Storytelling), and moreImmersion (no English translation) • Engage students in communicative activities.Teach through repetition of vocabulary that was introduced the whole semester/year.Activities and Games in Navajo: board games, card games, etc.Student must understand the word before they can produce a word.Grammar will come naturally through teaching unless the learner otherwise asks for explanation.Use praise and use positive forms of correction.
    25. 25. Use in the classroom: Angel
    26. 26. Use in the classroom: Angel
    27. 27. Angel:The flipped classroom
    28. 28. Use in the classroom: Angel
    29. 29. Use in the classroom: Angel
    30. 30. Use in the classroom: Angel
    31. 31. Complementary materials: Workbooks
    32. 32. Complementary materials: Quizzes
    33. 33. Language learners todayUp until now, most Navajo curricula have been based on Navajo as a first language.Now, most students who know the language go to college with Navajo as a second language.Theres a need to change the curriculum from first language to second language instruction.Rosetta Stone is helping with this shift, supporting NLR’s efforts to develop workbooks & the online test.
    34. 34. Use as a proficiency examThe Navajo Nation offers the Chief Manuelito Scholarship to Navajo high school students who have completed the equivalent of Navajo Language I and IINot all Navajo students have access to Navajo language classes, so an entire subset of students automatically doesn’t qualifyNavajo Nation scholarship office actually approached Navajo Language Renaissance to create this test
    35. 35. Use as a proficiency examWe have formatted the workbooks for Level I and II into a simple online exam which test for Navajo proficiency.Students sign up for an account, pay the examination fee and take the test.Students who pass receive a certificate, which can exempt them from taking Navajo I and II classes.
    36. 36. NavajoLRExam.org
    37. 37. NavajoLRExam.org
    38. 38. NavajoLRExam.org
    39. 39. NavajoLRExam.org
    40. 40. Who is buying Rosetta Stone Navajo?Navajos are not the only people buying Rosetta Stone Navajo – orders have been received from all over the continental United States and internationally.Navajo Language Renaissance uses profits from sales of Rosetta Stone Navajo to continue its pursuit of Navajo language revitalization.A variety of schools, community colleges, museums, health centers, chapter houses, universities.
    41. 41. Potential outside of the classroomWe see interest from non Native American linguists who enjoy learning languages • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeqCw6tFdE4We see Rosetta Stone Navajo as a broader phenomenon, helping to address the shift from L1 to L2 speakers.Navajo Language Renaissance working in conjunction with Rosetta Stone may also be formalizing/standardizing the Navajo Language
    42. 42. Future work on Rosetta Stone NavajoFurther development of workbooks (Level 1 is in progress and Level 2 is forthcoming)Going live with the Navajo LR Exam website (probably October 2012)
    43. 43. Contact InformationDaniel W. Hieber • E-mail: dhieber@RosettaStone.com • Web: www.danielhieber.comLorraine Begay Manavi • E-mail: manavil@sanjuancollege.edu • Web: http://www.sanjuancollege.edu/pages/1691.asp?email=mana vil@sanjuancollege.eduKasra Manavi • E-mail: kmmanavi@gmail.com