My Major Digital Project for this Semester of EC&I 831 was to learn more of the Michif Language than what I already knew in order to teach my Kindergarten students. For the most part – it was a success! I can certainly speak to my students in short (3-5 word) sentences, and they can respond in 3-word sentences to some of our daily routines! I have also learned how to introduce myself in Michif – and even had the chance to practice this at parent-teacher conferences this November. That being said, I greatly underestimated what I would need to do to make those goals a reality.
In my first few blog posts, I shared the resources that I was able to create in order to try and make language a more authentic and intentional part of my classroom. Ways to use language in spontaneous moments, and as a response to student learning. These labels and cheat sheets changed my everyday practice. I am so grateful that thanks to this course I took a closer look at what was standing in my way to making the classroom atmosphere I envisioned a reality. I am equally grateful that I was pushed to try and look for resource people and resource sources outside of where I would normally search. I set out on this journey of language learning thinking there would not be a lot of sources for me to turn to when it came to my Heritage Dialect of Michif. As it turns out I learned that social media, with its casual nature, was actually a place where a lot of language work was being done, and honestly shared. I was once again reminded of the power of networked learning.
Social Media and Open Education. Two terms I did not realize would turn out to be completely integral to the reclamation of a language so rarely spoken, and so closely cherished by those who still do. I am admittedly, an extremely fortunate person. As a Michif person, I grew up in a family of Michif speakers and spent a part of my childhood listening to the language before I was even aware that Michif language was – or what it would mean to me as an adult learner. Although I was not provided with the chance to learn from language carriers in my own family – today I work in a Pilot Program with The Metis Nation of Saskatchewan and Regina Catholic schools – aimed at the reclamation and promotion of the Michif language. I have cupboards full of resources on Metis Culture and history – I have a shared drive and a network of other Michif Teachers and learners.
I also acknowledge that in all of this learning I have realized something – not every prospective language speaker is nearly so fortunate.
It is with that thought, I decided on how to wrap up my Major Digital Project.
Taking all that I have learned and transferring it to a webpage, licensed with Creative Commons so that others can view resources, download and edit my work, share it with others, and complete language “lessons” I created from my learning this semester.
Visit my webpage and explore it for yourself here.
Kiishchii Maarsii for following along with me as my journey continues!