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Conversational Navajo Curriculum and Recipes

June 23, 2011

San Juan School District–Dine as a Second Language Program

The San Juan School District has a  site for their Diné as a Second Language Program. The site has materials for teaching students Navajo in K-12. I am thinking this could still be helpful to those who are not students, or grade school teachers. This could be very helpful if you are a parent and want to teach your children. I would recommend first becoming familiar with the Teaching Pattern page to understand how this program was designed to be presented. The curriculum is very well-organized. Each unit is downloadable as a .doc or .pdf file and provides a vocabulary list, goals, objectives, audio song files for some units, and dialogues for practicing and teaching. There are 31 units that cover everything from colors, plants and seasons to food, money and time.
Here is a sample of one of the songs about the parts of the body:

The only disadvantage I see to using this material is that there’s no audio for the vocabulary or dialogue, so correct pronunciation could be tricky if you are not already familiar with the language. To head off that issue, I think I will start to upload these units onto RhinoSpike.com’s Navajo queue for others to record. Please refer to this page to see if anyone has recorded the audio yet.

On a side note: This site also has Navajo recipes (deadlink). This could potential build your vocabulary in the kitchen and cooking area. Navajo words are used in place of their English equivalent in the ingredients, but these are things that are general and usually can be found in any dictionary if need be.

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