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Alumni Spotlight: Briana Mason

by Marla Lobley on 2020-02-26T12:57:00-06:00 in Native American Studies, Mass Communication, Communication and Performance Studies, English and Languages | Comments

Main take-away: Modern technology combined with historic languages fills a critical need to revitalize native languages. Learn more about the NASNTI HERITAGE program at ecok.edu/NASNTI.

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Student Spotlight: Briana Mason

2019 Graduate with a Bachelor's of Arts in Native American Studies and Sociology

Briana participated in a NASNTI HERITAGE Program paid research opportunity. Learn more about this program at ecok.edu/NASNTI

Research Question

What role can free, easily accessible technology play in the revitalization of endangered languages?

“Learning a language does not (and should not) have to be limited to classrooms. Language is everywhere and it makes up a part of who we are as human beings.” – Briana

Methodology
  1. Researched:
    1. Representation of Native American languages
    2. Importance of language revitalization
    3. Language revitalization techniques using technology
  2. Recorded Chickasaw words spoken by Chickasaw professor
  3. Edited individual audio files with Amadeus Pro
  4. Uploaded audio files to QR Code generator website and Sound Cloud
  5. Added pictures for visual learning
  6. Posted QR Codes with the respective words around campus
  7. Campus community can scan QR Code and hear the word in Chickasaw with visual aids to enhance their learning experience

“Indigenous languages have been spoken for millennia, and though there have been numerous languages that have disappeared there are still many languages still being spoken and taught because of technological adaptation.” -Briana

Results
  • Quantifiable: Sound Cloud allows us to keep track of how many times a QR Code is scanned, which codes get scanned more often, and when they are scanned.
  • Representation: The QR codes increase the visibility of the Chickasaw language on campus and help to promote the Chickasaw language classes at ECU.
  • Dissemination: Sharing this project through Social Media has resulted in other language revitalization professionals wanting to replicate these methods with their language.
  • Service Learning: This project taught valuable skills that can be used in graduate school or a career in language revitalization or language teaching while providing a service to the ECU community.
  • Pedagogical: The high quality audio in isolation allows listeners to practice the discrete sounds of Chickasaw. The codes represent a type of immersion learning that aids in fluency with no English audio or text.
  • Briana plans to present this research at Oklahoma Research Day, continue this focus into graduate school, and then pursue a career in language revitalization.

Visit the library to see some of Briana's QR codes!

Learn more about language revitalization at library.ecok.edu.


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