Nunavut language app brings Inuit language to life for pre-schoolers
'It will teach our youngest people to ensure they keep our language alive,' says Paul Quassa
A new app invites children to play with Inuktitut syllabics, learning their shapes and sounds.
And Uqausiit Pinnguarutiit, or "playing with words" has already proven a hit with kindergarten and preschool students.
"It will teach our youngest people to ensure they keep our language alive," said Education Minister Paul Quassa in a room full of young children trying it out.
The app's launch follows another recent milestone in language education, according to deputy minister Kathy Okpik.
"To date we've published over 300 books," she said, "and it's a leveled reading program where the reading progressively gets more and more difficult."
The books are geared towards early readers and go all the way up to Grade 8.
It's all part of a curriculum and evaluation upgrade announced three years ago, Okpik said. "But this year has just been the catalyst for all the supports and resources that are becoming available for teachers."
It all starts with children learning the sounds of the language at a young age — and not just in school.
"This app is available to everyone, not just in schools but even at home," Quassa said. "So I encourage parents to use this app to teach your children the basic words of Inuktitut."
Uqausiit Pinnguarutiit was created by Taqqut Productions.
It can be downloaded for free from iTunes and the Play Store.