Mitákuyepi, čhaŋtéwašteya napéčhiyuzape ló.
(My relatives, I shake your hands with a happy heart).
This site is intended for teachers of Native American languages and Native education in general. I am currently learning the Lakota language. Previously, during the course of trying to learn several difficult foreign languages as an adult I came upon the FSI program. The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the United States Federal Government’s primary training institution for employees of the U.S. foreign affairs community, preparing American diplomats as well as other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington. The famous FSI language course made in the 1960s was “Beginning Japanese” by Eleanor Harz Jorden. The FSI system was used for 70 foreign language courses at the height of the Cold War. However, this involved doing drills in the target language for eight hours a day. Much later, Barron’s Mastering Series adapted the techniques of the FSI program for commercial use by shortening and simplifying the content. Thank God! There are numerous second and third generation FSI style foreign language books in use today. Aside from language, I have studied how young students and adults learn.
Today, many Native American languages are dwindling and even disappearing all together. More a century ago the U.S. Government sought to discourage the use of Native languages in its boarding school system. What a great thing it would be if a program developed by the government could be used to save some of these languages.
Language learning and learning in general can be greatly improved and economized with a general understanding of human psychology. There have been great advances in various fields such as education, psychology, brain anatomy, and brain function. This knowledge has shed light on the fields of learning, memory, and cognition. Using this knowledge I hope to help teachers of Native languages make what was difficult, as easy as possible for students, and maybe even fun.