Presentation on theme: "Teaching and learning North Sami in Second Life Hanna Outakoski Umeå University Looking for new ways to strengthen an endangered heritage language."— Presentation transcript:
Teaching and learning North Sami in Second Life Hanna Outakoski Umeå University Looking for new ways to strengthen an endangered heritage language
Where is Hanna today? Hanna Outakoski cannot be with us today because every third weekend she travels approximately 400 km north from Umeå in Sweden to teach her students face-to-face. Today she is meeting students in a remote community called Kiruna in Northern Sweden. Most of Hanna’s students are heritage learners of North Sami. Every time Hanna meets her students like this, she will spend at least 10 hours a day with them.
General background All Sami courses at Umeå university – distance learning or net based learning How to teach spoken Sami and oral language skills? How to make the students a part of a learning community? A regular language course for beginners and a course for identity seekers
Indigenous minority languages 1.Geography 2.Livelihoods ≠ higher education 3.Working schedules 4.Small groups – Indigenous rights 5.New technologies 6.Protected identity
The Språkens hus Project Beginner courses in North Sami, Finnish and Spanish Mutual models – different needs and possibilities Exploring virtual worlds > creating learning material for specific environments Creating a meeting place for the students as well as for the teachers
North Sami in SL A pilot experiment – bringing in the students spring 2010 A teachers course through Avalon learning Integrating SL into the beginners course – Fall 2010 Bringing in first language speakers in fall 2010 – machinima (an animated story in North Sami)
Examples I have collected examples of what can be done in SL and in this presentation I will show examples that are adapted to Nordic languages (the environment) but also for beginners in any language (the exercises). There is no Sami material or environment in SL at this point in time. We have, however, been allocated our own space: Språkens hus on the Humlab II - island
Danish environment– Cultural landscape
Historical aspects – Viking village
Minorities and culture – Native American environment
Collaborative teaching community
Different environments: inspiration and IDENTITY
Example exercise Go to Animal Island. Work in pairs. On the map you have been given there are six places you should visit. List all the animals you encounter in each place. Return and report your findings to your teacher and the rest of the class.
Language: Oral proficiency in foreign languages
Lesson 30/ Station 1 Station 5
Advantages Authentic meetings with native speakers or others studying the language Possibilities for collaboration between students and teachers from different universities Free to join (given that you have a good Internet connection, good graphics and a headset) Can be accessed through other online conferencing tools (Adobe Connect) Presents new possibilities for teachers to vary their teaching and construct their own materials
Possible draw-backs Requires a lot of time in the initial stages Technical hitches (there are usually ways to solve problems though) The teaching requires a lot of preparation if students are to work independently There are aspects about the environment that students have to be aware of (adult content etc.)
”Språkens hus” (The House of Languages) –project description Two main aims: 1.Building an environment for meeting and lessons (available for all in the department of language studies at Umeå University) 2.To develop exercises, material and methods that strengthen the oral profiency dimension in distance/Internet language courses.
Where are we now? A mutual learning environment now exists in SL – shared between Sami, Finnish and Spanish: Humlab II Island at Umeå University North Sami students meet regularly in SL Finnish students are coming into SL now Spanish teacher are creating a model for a practical Spanish course in SL Parnter project: Avalon Learning
Extending the models 1.Meeting solely in SL – language tasks and pair work 2.Combining SL and virtual classroom applications such as Adobe Connect 3.Exploration and creative tasks – students doing independent work in SL 4.Teaching Sami teachers how to produce their own material for school
Ideological goals Find one way to maintain and revitalize the heritage language of the Sami people Make it possible to rebuild a minority identity in generations that were thought to be lost Raise the standard of the teaching of spoken skills on net-based courses Make learning a new language fun
Thank you Hanna The Avalon project would like to thank Hanna for her contribution to our understanding of how virtual worlds can be used to promote, revitalise and strengthen the learning of heritage and minority languages.