Kiʔláwnaʔ Andrew McGinnis visited us today and shared his extensive knowledge about plants. In full immersion
t̓i kmax nqilxʷcn!
He was happy to be with us and we are very lucky to have him assist with our learning.
We had a magical day on Thursday we took our afternoon language immersion and review lessons onto the land, learned some plants, wikntm pqlqin naʔł yilíkʷłkn and visited one of our q̓y̓íksxn pictograph sites. qʷamqʷəmt iʔ sx̌əlx̌ʕaltət. xərxart iʔ nqəql̓xʷáqaʔs naxmł qlnunm uł x̌əstmintm iʔ swíklaʔxʷtət. We are going strong after Spring break, this week the class completed Lessons 8 & 9 in Nsəlxcin 2 as well as several C1 and N1 review lessons. The Language House and Sʔímlaʔxʷ received appreciative words from our Elder Sʕamtic̓aʔ, to ʕAn̓n last week ... "x̌ast iʔ sck̓ʷul̓s Sʔím̓laʔxʷ... c̓x̌ił t mnim̓łtət, k̓ʷul̓m uł qłnus."
We are very happy to see that the Penticton Newspaper has picked up our story.
the Syilx Language House celebrates milestone of completing our second book,
Captíkʷł 1 , and we will be moving onto our third book, Nsyilxcn 2!
This is our last week of classes before the Winter Holidays. We were honored to have 2 Fluent Speakers come to visit, they had really good and encouraging things to say to all of us learners. One of the Fluent Speakers also taught us some very fun winter words for us to try: sqʷʕaqʷʕaʔilpm (sled), kłsʕapíkam (hockey), sqʷʕaqʷaxnam (skiing or snowboarding), sy̓iriwaxnm (snowshoe).
Reflecting over the past while, its really amazing to think how much we have really accomplished since September. Time is passing by so quickly, and we have been learning so much. The last update is we are happy to announce we have 3 more students that have come to join us for Captikł 1. We also are expecting one or two more students to join us in the new year.
With that we would like to wish everyone a very happy holidays & Way̓ X̌ast Sputa!
I am happy. The class is learning the sixth story of Captikwl 1 and Xastitkw is teaching the first teaching set. I watched her introduce the sentences and was struck by how much she has improved over the past 3 months. She was making gestures with her hands while she was saying the sentences. “x̌ʷʕaylxʷ kʷis iʔ tinx uł kʕacúpsəs sn̓k̓lip.” Fox grabbed the sinew and tied it to Coyote’s tail. With an eloquent gesture of grabbing something, and tying it around something. We all practice making gestures and I model the technique when I am teaching but is not easy to do for beginner teachers. I am immensely proud.
Today I have a sense of lightness, a sense that we are getting caught up with ourselves. We started with incredibly high expectations and I worried briefly we would not be able to accomplish everything, but little by little we are adding on new elements to our schedule and accomplishing our goals.
St̓aʔqʷálqs and I did a first recording session with a new Elder last week, and she is off right now doing another recording session with him. She also recorded Andrew McGinnis and her Father on Monday, in conversation and has plans to record her father and uncle speaking together. I recorded Andrew McGinnis last week and got some great new stories. Sənpokcin just came in and asked if she could help get the marking caught up. I am so grateful to have all the help. I brought in an electric guitar and a handdrum a while ago, and now and then during breaks someone picks one of them up and makes some noise. Last week X̌atma Sqilxʷ was teaching Qʷʕayqʷʕayax̌n how to do flint knapping during lunch hour. My heart sings.
This is our first full week doing Captikwł 1 and its really working out great. The curriculum style helps us to break the story down into reasonable pieces. We start out with the vocabulary from each set, this helps the class to learn the harder words first. Then we begin learning the story, in 3 sets. It has been really fun and interactive for us teachers and the cohort. What is also helpful is our use of TPR (total physical response), especially when we are working through some of the harder sentences. Through much repetition, the students are able to recite the whole story as well as act it out.
What also makes this perfect is historically for the Syilx people, winter time has been the time to share our stories. We are really doing this in a good way, so its working out in that sense as well. Overall Captikwł has been a good change of pace for all of us.
We have completed our first book! On Wednesday the 25th we did have a celebration and invited family, friends, elders, and chief’s and council members. It was a successful turn out and our students did awesome on their Oral Presentations. They were able to introduce themselves in detail, telling everyone who they are, their family, where they come from, a large list if activities, food, weather that they like and activities they did both in the past and present tenses.
After the presentations were complete we began the second part of our day, the community feedback meeting. This meeting allowed us to gather some important information, that will help us to improve the Syilx Langauge House. This information will also be crucial for us to know how we can further support the Communities within the Okanagan Nation. A great success in our eyes. not only because of the good attendance but the discussion was very productive and we stayed right until 3pm.
On Thursday we started Captikʷł 1. This is super exciting for all of us, because we are able to carry forth with bit more Nsyilxcn substance. We are no longer using simple sentences, we are now learning the legend on coyote and horse. Our new pace is learning 1 story per day. These stores are broken up into 3 sets, plus the 3 sets of vocabulary, and a final review of each story at the end of the day. The Cohort has their work cut out for them, but it at least they only have 2 pages of homework!
(see you later)
This week is all about studying and reviewing for our students. Next week is our final written exam and an Oral exam that will be presented in front of a room full of family, friends, elders, chiefs and council members. The students have been working extra hard this week to get prepared and making sure all their homework is complete. In saying all this, we the Co-Teachers and Staff at the Syilx Language House Association want to put our hands up to the students for all their hard work and dedication to this program. We understand that you have other responsibilities outside of the 2 days per week you spend here. We wish you all the best in your upcoming exams and we know you will all Ace your Oral exams, despite the large crowd.
This is an exciting week for everyone, finally after all of the planning, scheduling and arranging , we are very happy to have completed our first week of Nsyilxcn classes. We are all learning each others sn̓qlxʷskʷists (Syilx Names) and us as staff and co-teachers are finally able to put some of the names to the faces of the 12 new language learners.
For our first week of learning we have set the pace, we are in class 2 intensive days per week, starting at 9:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm. Each day we are able to cover 3 lessons and a review, we also teach a song every other day. This means in our first week, we have already covered lessons 1 through 6. These topics included introduction, numbers and age, food, physical description, personality traits, and the immediate family. As you can see from the picture posted, the lessons are very interactive, making learning fun, but help with the retaining the words through memory association.
We will be posting blogs ever week to show you our progress. Please continue to read and share them with your friends and family.
Nin̓wis łwikn̓tsn (See you later)