Technology

New App Teaches Students Blackfoot Language

By ERIKA STARK
CBC NEWS

April 11, 2016 – The once vibrant Blackfoot language — native to several First Nations in Alberta — is in danger of disappearing.

But a teacher on the Siksika Nation hopes to change that with an app she developed to help her students, and others, reclaim an essential part of their culture.

Vivian Ayoungman, who teaches at the Old Sun Community College, said she and the college tried a number of approaches to try to encourage younger people to pick up the language.

“This one has a lot of promise because so many people are now using apps, phones and tablets,” she said. “So we figured they will have access to the language if we developed an app.”

The app, called “Blackfoot Language” and available for Apple devices, has games, quizzes and also features the option to record yourself and listen back to your words.

“The feedback is instantaneous,” Ayoungman said.

A threatened language

Back in the 1980s, when Ayoungman first started working in the language, the state of the Blackfoot language was “pretty grim.”

She recalled talking to principals who could count on one hand the number of students who could speak Blackfoot.

“It was really scary to think about that and since then it’s gotten worse,” she said.

READ FULL ARTICLE:Teacher Develops App To Teach Students Blackfoot Language“. Cbc.ca. N. p., 2016. Web. 4 May 2016.

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