niciativa para la


ecuperación del

















Inside Ne Nawat, Tutaketzalis


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v      The Nawat language

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The Nawat language recovery initiative:


v      The recovery plan

v      Nawat goes to school

v      Inside NNT

v      Nawat for adults

v      Linguistic work on Nawat

v      Other objectives


A guided tour of Ne Nawat, Tutaketzalis


Ne Nawat, Tutaketzalis (‘Nawat, Our Language’) is the title of a new series of children’s Nawat language textbooks. The first level materials will soon be out in a testing version to be used in the pilot Nawat school programme. These materials will subsequently be revised and republished in a more permanent format for use in 2005. By then the pilot school children will have progressed to a higher level of Nawat and will be ready for more advanced books in the NNT series. In all, plans are for this series to include levels from the second to the sixth grade of secondary school.


Level One of Ne Nawat, Tutaketzalis, like other levels to follow, consists of three volumes: the student’s book, the workbook and the teacher’s guide.


The Student’s Book


Ne Nawat, Tutaketzalis – as trainee teachers in the Nawat programme are told often – doesn’t teach Nawat: that’s the teacher’s job. Teachers are required to engage their young students in a lively, interactive classroom dynamic whose main objective is to get the children speaking Nawat to each other. Much of the time their books aren’t even open. When the teacher instructs the pupils to open their book, it is usually so that they can look at a version on paper – in pictures and text – of something they have already learnt orally.


The level one student’s book is made up of ten units to be studied over several months. Each unit represents a few hours of class work and is divided into four smaller sections called lessons. The material in one lesson could be covered in an hour of class, although it is up to each teacher to organise and programme classes. Lastly, each lesson consists of even smaller sections called activities. In a typical hour of Nawat class several activities will be done. Each lesson occupies two pages (left and right); a whole unit is thus eight pages long.


Each unit in the student’s book consists of four lessons, and each lesson of several activities


Most of the lessons are oriented to particular teaching points that form part of the objectives for the unit. Some of the activities present or practise specific linguistic or communicative content, while others are for revision, writing practice, exercises or transfer activities. The fourth lesson of each unit does not present any new material for active acquisition, but contains complementary material such as reading or writing activities, songs, games, stories, etc.


The Workbook


For each unit in the student’s book there is a corresponding unit in the workbook, containing four pages of oral or written exercises, puzzles, and other activities which can be done either as homework or in class. Many may be used either for practice or testing purposes. The workbook is designed to be written and drawn in, whereas the student’s book can be used without marking it at all, so that the same books can be used in class over several years.


The Teacher’s Guide


The teacher’s guide for each level contains several sections with support material for the teacher, including goals, objectives and a syllabus map, language notes, suggestions on teaching methodology, and unit-by-unit teaching notes.


Goals, objectives and syllabus


Each level has particular goals and communicative objectives that are developed into a syllabus. Objectives are specified in terms of situations, topics, functions, notions and language items. Furthermore units have specific themes that are relevant to the level’s overall goals.


Level One Objectives





To become acquainted with basic language mechanisms and their use in oral communication in contexts of greatest relevance for the student.


§          the classroom

§          our surroundings

§          the human body

§          actions

§          time

§          possession

§          food

§          people

§          animals

§          colours

§          qualities

§          numbers

§          position

§          identify

§          name

§          describe daily activities

§          give and receive instructions




© 2004 Alan R. King, Monica Ward and IRIN.