Learning | mekwa kiskinohamâkosiwin

Tansi classmates,

This is my last post to summarize my Learning Project for ECI831.

As you know, I have been working on Learning Cree this semester. I wanted to learn more about the language that is unique to the land that we live on, and also develop an understanding of the resources available to learn Cree. In addition, I recognize the importance of preserving language, particularly, a language that is unique to Saskatchewan. Overall, one of my biggest takeaways from this learning experience was learning about learning online. I was able to connect with people on Twitter, use YouTube for learning, find appropriate online resources and Apps to augment my learning process. A detailed explanation can be found below.

To begin with, I downloaded some Apps to my phone. Apps helped me in my learning project because they were easily accessible from anywhere and I could practice vocabulary. If I had a few minutes I would just pop open the App and do some practice and/or reading.

Another helpful tool as I began this journey was TwitterDr. Couros connected me with Bill Cook and while Bill’s Twitter I also connected with other people who are learning Cree and/ or who speak Cree such as @SICC_sk_ca ‏, @MrEhRon ‏ @jlwarrenc ‏, ‏@lingualift@FHQTC,@PaulSeesequasis ‏ to name a few.

I learned about the regional Cree dialects and about the Cree syllabics. I did online research at www.creeculture.ca and found the Online Cree Dictionary to familiarize myself with sounds and syllabics. I also put my Screencast skills to the test in this post and shared what I had learned from the Cree Dictionary. In addition, I explored Bill Cook’sQuizlet. This was the first time that I had used Quizlet so I am happy to have had the chance to explore this tool. I think it is a great tool to use with language acquisition in particular. I used the Quizlet to learn Cree introductions.

I also relied on Youtube for my Cree learning. I used it a few times. To begin with, I used it to learn the subject pronouns. I also used the other videos posted on the Cree Phrases YouTube channel. In addition, I used YouTube to watch lessons on Cree teachings. I really enjoyed the chance to explore not only the language but the culture component.

Another cultural learning opportunity that I explored was the concept of Kinship or Wâhkôhtowin. One of the pages that I used for learning Kinship terms was a very out of date webpage but it still had a lot of great information on it. I hit the gold mine when I came across this blog by Chelsea Vowel. Her post talked about kinship terms and the grammatical structure of the language but also applied it to her own personal stories from growing up as a Cree woman. It really helped me to understand the terminology more but, most importantly, understand the cultural implications about Kinship. I also used this YouTube video to supplement my learning of family words.

As I moved into the more complex grammar I used the Online Cree Classroom which is also a tool provided to me by Bill Cook. I describe how I used the Online Cree Classroom in this post and in this post. I also describe more about Apps that I was using and wrote a bit of a review of which Apps were the most helpful and why I found them to be helpful.

As I worked on certain vocabulary, such as numbers, I used old fashioned pen and paper. As I mentioned in my post, sometimes I need to write numbers out repeatedly in order to practice and understand the structure of the numbers. More information about numbers here. 

After studying grammar with the Online Cree Classroom and using Bill Cook’s Quizlet, I finally felt confident enough to form some sentences and try recording my first YouTube video. I so glad that I took the leap and did it. I really like hearing myself speak Cree and now that it is out there on YouTube I hope it motivates others to do the same! In this post I really delve into the grammar of the Cree language (yes, I am a grammar nerd!) as well as some more vocabulary. Although it took me a significant amount of time to learn the grammar structures to be able to write a sentence I am so glad that I did. It was very satisfying to know that I took my learning to the point that I was able to form sentences.

As I was researching Cree learning resources the one that was a “hot topic” was the book 100 Days of Cree. As I explored the book further, I totally understood why. In this post, I write a more detailed explanation of why I really liked the book. I was able to download the online version from the U of R library page, but only for short-term use. The book, however, is very affordable and would be a great resource for any classroom. I also connected with teachers who are using it in their classroom now and it seems that their experiences have been very positive!

To conclude, I am satisfied with my learning journey. I discovered new online tools such as Quizlet and I used some familiar tools such as YouTube to support my learning. I connected with others on Twitter, and through these connections, I discovered great resources such as the Online Cree Classroom. I also discovered blogs and cultural resources that were extremely valuable to my learning. Thanks for following along, friends!

This entry was posted in Learning Project, Weekly Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Learning | mekwa kiskinohamâkosiwin

  1. Congratulation colleen, you did an awesome job and your journey was very interesting and it gave me an opportunity to know and learn about a different language. The way you organized the resources to support your learning is a benchmark for everyone.i wish you all the best for your future endeavors.


  2. Lindy Olafson says:

    A new language is a big undertaking!
    Language is so important, and guaranteeing that the languages that are Indigenous to Saskatchewan is a must!
    Kids also appreciate when you can even use a few words. There is so much more available online for languages than even 5 years ago. This is one area where technology holds so much promise!
    Thanks for sharing your learning.


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