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University of Oregon

Talking Cards

The original idea for creating “talking cards” came from a workshop presentation by Symtalk  (EMC Publishing) at a foreign language teaching conference several years ago.  The Symtalk approach to teaching took the use of flash cards, pictures or symbols to a new level.  The cards are pictures or symbols of words commonly used for sentence formation such as nouns, verbs, prepositions, and other parts of speech. These cards are used to teach language by having students manipulate the cards to form complete sentences in the target language.

With regard to the uniqueness of Native language teaching, it is clear that each community will need to personalize sets of pictures and symbols to better reflect its language and people.  NILI Summer Institute participants have experimented over the years with the creation and use of such cards but we call them “talking cards” because our intent is to facilitate Native language teaching without the use of English.

For more information about Talking Cards, please read the paper below.  It was presented at the Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium held in Victoria, B.C. in 2005.  The co-presenters/paper writers are Virginia Beavert, Jesse Blackburn Morrow, Judith Fernandes, Joana Jansen, and Janne Underriner.  Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more about using Talking Cards to teach your ancestral language.

Talking Cards: Moving from Words to Sentences