THE GIFT OF LITERACY
They fled their country with little more than the clothes on their backs. Resettled in a refugee camp, many of them awaited placement in a new country. Some ended up in yet another host country before finally making their way here to America to start life all over again. Now, there are over 50 languages represented in this small area of North Dallas, all because God has taken a terrible crisis and begun working it for good by bringing the nations here.
Several of the 50+ languages represented in this refugee community are still unwritten. This summer, DIU students in the Literacy Megacourse had the unique opportunity to partner with one such language community to develop mother-tongue literacy resources. This language has several million speakers worldwide and is only emerging in literacy! Students have recently interacted with speakers through our Second Language and Culture Acquisition (SLACA) and Field Methods and Linguistic Analysis courses. DIU is excited to have partnered yet again for a new project with an immediate, real-life application.
Students partnered with a local refugee service program to connect with native speakers using a recently developed writing system. They asked the community members what their goals would be for this project and then got to work.
Over the summer, the class developed a pre-primer, an alphabet book, a beginning reader, and an entire semester of literacy lessons for the community to begin learning mother-tongue literacy. These tools were then presented to our partner agency for testing and implementation within the community in the coming months.
“Working on materials for a real context gave us a much better sense of the challenges involved in literacy work—but also awareness of why it’s all worth it!” one student said. “It was incredibly motivating to have a real-world project to apply our learning to, and working with the language consultant added a relational dimension that was an extra blessing . . . Our language consultant told us that people back in her country are asking her when books will be ready in their language.”
It won’t be long. Thanks to this language consultant, the Literacy Megacourse, our local partners, and YOU, this community will soon be able to dive into mother-tongue literacy for the first time.
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North Texas Giving Day is coming right up!
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What do you get when you mix a digital game with mother-tongue
DIU alumnus, Aaron and his team recently released a new website for their
app that helps kids and adults alike to learn literacy in the language(s) they
They’re working on 55 languages, with four already up in the Google Play
Check them out here.
7500 W Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas, TX 75236 / 972-708-7340 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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