Indiana University

AISRI Educational Projects

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Language Learning with Technology
A cooperative project between The Pawnee Nation and Indiana University

The number of elders who still speak Pawnee has reached a critical stage. The problem for the Pawnee community, as it is for most American Indian communities that are losing their languages, is this: how can we preserve the voices of our elders and perpetuate our language?

In 1997, the Pawnee Language Program was established to create language instruction materials to insure the survival of the Pawnee language - materials that provide instruction for future generations of Pawnee children and adults who are interested in their cultural heritage and are committed to maintaining their language. The program is a cooperative effort between the Pawnee Nation (Pawnee, Oklahoma) and the American Indian Studies Research Institute of Indiana University. Using current computer and recording technologies this program provides a multimedia curriculum that is suitable for use in the classroom or by individuals.

To view screenshots from the materials click on the "view lessons" button on the right.

Components include:

  • Printed Textbooks for language instruction, Introduction to the Pawnee Language (Skiri Dialect).
  • A Multimedia Dictionary that incorporates sound (native speaker pronunciation), English translations, and illustrations.
    • In Written & Spoken Sounds, students learn the sound system of Pawnee in isolation and in words; and they listen to native speakers pronounce the Pawnee and record and playback their own pronunciation.
    • In Vocabulary, students not only learn word definitions, but also literal translations; and they translate and classify words. In Sentence Patterns students practice translating into Pawnee and English, utilizing the vocabulary, grammar and conversations they have learned.
  • Multimedia Language Lessons on CD-ROM that incorporate recordings of a native speaker pronouncing vocabulary words and sentences, allow the user to record his/her own pronunciation, and provide immediate feedback.
  • Pawnee Alphabet Book acts as a quick reference guide for beginners and novice learners.
Copies of instructional materials may be obtained from The Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, Education Department P.O. Box 470, Pawnee, Oklahoma 74058


View Multimedia Materials