Technology

Technology Helps Teach Navajo in New Ways

By GILBERT CORDOVA

February 4, 2016 – Learning a new language can be hard, especially when the language is as scarce and complicated as the Navajo language.

Aresta La Russo, a visiting scholar at the University of Arizona, has taught Navajo since 2010. Over the years, La Russo said she has seen technology improve the way she teaches students and how their access to software and apps outside the classroom help them grasp the old language.

“I think with technology and the Navajo language, I think they go hand and hand pretty well,” La Russo said.

Alray Mariano, a junior at the University of Arizona, is taking La Russo’s class. He said he uses the Internet at home to improve his skills.

“The Diné College published a website dedicated to learning the Navajo language of how to structure sentences and how to use pictures to describe what is going on in a sentence,” Mariano said. “It’s very helpful in a way that when I go home, I can use the website (to) pronounce the words and learn how to structure the sentence.”

There are at least three mobile apps devoted to the language, including one called Navajo toddler that’s targeted at younger tech users.

The app features eight categories, including foods, animals, colors and clothes. It also plays five Navajo songs and has a “play” section.

READ FULL ARTICLE: Indian Country Today Media Network.com,. “Technology Helps Teach Navajo In New Ways“. N. p., 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

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