Northern Arapahoe Schools have launched an iPad application that will help teach both children and teachers the Arapahoe language.
Currently only one percent of Northern Arapaho members speak their language fluently. To grow that number, last May schools gave students in Pre-K through 12th grade 450 iPads installed with a new app that teaches the Arapaho Language.
“In our language, our words are strong, they are powerful,” said Wayne C’Hair, an Arapaho elder.
“Sometimes it takes four English words to make one Arapaho word.”
Las Vegas-based Thornton Media developed the language app. They started by inviting Arapaho elders fluent in the language to participate in development. The app is broken down into 24 different categories for easier learning, with themes such as common expressions, foods, body parts, family members and useful phrases.
Roy Brown, former Assistant Superintendent for the Arapahoe School District, says one benefit is that the app is always accessible.
“I think it gets the language out and accessible to a larger number of people,” said Brown. “We teach the language in the classrooms, in schools, on the reservation, but it’s very limited instruction. This allows people to access the language day and night from their home from anywhere they can, so I think that helps a lot.”
The Northern Arapaho language app is also available for smartphones.