Kids Can Learn Dakotah With Computer Games
Earlier this year the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA) announced two milestones, the completion of its Native Language Program website and the completion of the games for kids and other Dakotah language learners on that website.
The four language games—or Woskate—feature artwork by Lakota artist Pamela Obelso, who created more than 1,000 pieces of original art for the AAIA Native Language Program that can also be seen in more than 120 children’s books available in the Dakotah and Lakota languages. Dakotah is a dialect of the Sioux language.
There are four games on the website intended for languages students learning Dakotah in kindergarten to second grade. There is a memory cards game—Wokiksuye Pika—where the player matches pairs of picture cards in a variety of categories including animals, birds, body parts, food, items and people.
In the game Caske Heye, or Caske Says, the player has to follow the instructions given by Caske the turtle like “Click on the mato.” The player then has the option of four objects, if the player clicked on the bear they would have gotten that particular question correct. Another task Caske gives the player is to drag one item onto another.
In the third web game, Wanji Tukted Iyececa He? or What Belongs? players listen to three words in Dakotah and then have to choose which item belongs with them.
The final game—Taku Akiceca?—is a matching game in which players again have the same category choices as in the memory game but this time they have four pictures and four words and have to match them up correctly.
In all the games the words can be heard spoken out loud when clicked on.
A number of other learning resources are also available for purchase on the site including books, posters, DVDs and flashcards. There’s even a Dakotah version of the board game Scrabble.
To play the games and see the many other languages resources available visit AAIALanguageProgram.org.