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Putting Language into Words
When she travels to Africa this summer, Brantford’s Kathryn van Wyngaarden will help put an oral language into words for the first time in its history.
When a professor approached her last January and said an internship was available with Wycliffe, van Wyngaarden jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s using everything that I’ve been studying and learning practically in the field,” she said. “Just this semester I’m taking a language and acquisition course, so we’re looking at different methods for learning language and culture and it is so intriguing to see the importance of it.”
Van Wyngaarden will work in the Ndop Plain where there is a cluster of 10 Bantu languages.
“The language I’m working on is only spoken, so over the next 10 years the goal is to create an orthography, a writing system or alphabet, so that the community can send their children to school where they actually learn in their first language,” she said.
“All the research (I’ve done) shows that children learn better and take it in more if they start in their first language and then switch over to a second language."
Read more at brantnews.com
Stories from the Ndop Plain in Word Alive magazine
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