Christopher Horsethief has recently released a mobile application that focuses on revitalizing the critically endangered Ktunaxa language by placing an emphasis on the foundations of grammar.
The Ktunaxa Grammar App aims to aid language learners in grammar pattern recognition with scientific approaches rooted in Second Language Acquisition (SLA).
“Most of my contributions to Ktunaxa language materials in the last couple of years have come in the form of mobile apps, both for Android and iOS platforms,” Horsethief told the Pioneer. “Most recently, we tested and released an app that focuses on grammar. I drew heavily from SLA literature to craft a quiz game that uses scientifically proven methods to help learners recognize gaps in their linguistic repertoire. In other words, the app is designed to get people to realize when they are wrong, explore new linguistic forms and attempt to use the new forms in the app environment.”
Horsethief has also designed Ktunaxa apps, dating back to 2015, such as: KtunaxaFont, Ktunaxa Story “Kyukyit” and Ktunaxa “Slide Puzzle” to encourage culture and language acquisition for the community.
However, the Ktunaxa Grammar App was his latest release and it’s geared toward building confidence in language learners from an emotional perspective.
“Most beginner speakers that attempt to use the language get nervous and don’t focus on learning new forms. In many instances, you just feel disappointed for using the language incorrectly,” he explained. “This app actually tells you which part of the grammar you’re using properly, with the aim of helping you to feel more comfortable the next time you try.”
The process of SLA can be challenging for language learners, so Horsethief wanted to help the Ktunaxa Nation build confidence in language revitalization with a digital platform to encourage independent studies.
His goal was to create a safe space for language learners focused on SLA, while removing the emotional factors that deter some students during the learning process.
“Essentially, your phone will never make fun of you or laugh at your incorrect language,” said Horsethief. “In fact, now your phone will give you helpful hints, so you can explore new ways to use the Ktunaxa language.”
To download the iOS version of the app, please visit: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ktunaxa-grammar-app/id1499950054
To download the Android version of the app, please visit: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ktunaxa.language.app&hl=en_US