Earlier this week we got an exciting email from one of our Spoken First readers. She wanted to tip us off about a Chickasaw Language Channel that is now live on the website Chickasaw.tv. I had never heard of Chickasaw.tv before, so I was curious to check it out. I have to say, it’s an extremely well-done site, with information relating to all things Chickasaw, from the government to news to arts and creativity. Their section on language is one of the highest caliber Native language sites I’ve seen. I’d definitely recommend checking it out even if you don’t plan on learning Chickasaw. I’m sure you’ll find it inspiring.
I tried one of the language learning games—one where pictures of animals are matched with animal names—and I was pleased that I learned 4 out of 7 words on my first try. Not a bad start! Other interesting features include inspirational videos, stories, songs, and of course, language lessons. There is also information about language competitions and camps, including language sports camps. I had never heard of language sports camps before, but I love the idea of learning a language while playing sports! It sounds so fun!
Overall, the site is excellent, but I do have one gripe with the lessons: the speakers talk very quickly (for a novice like me, anyway), and they speak in full sentences without chunking the words out. I couldn’t distinguish the individual words, which makes it difficult for me to repeat the sounds or have an understanding of what I’m trying to repeat. If I could make one recommendation to the creators of the site, it would be to create lessons where the student learns one word at a time. The word should be repeated slowly several times so the student can learn it with confidence. Then, after learning a number of other simple words, the words could be combined into a basic sentence that the student could repeat.
Anyway, my understanding is that the creators of the site are going to be updating it frequently with new lessons, info about language news and events, and other language-related features and information. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re going to be posting in the coming weeks and months.
If you want to take a look for yourself, go to http://chickasaw.tv/ and click on the link for “language.” You can also find them on Facebook under the name Chickasaw.tv or follow them on Twitter (@chickasawtv).