Dolores y Julisa escribiendo palabras en Tz'utujil
In the school curricula of the beneficiaries of our social program there is a course called “Communication and vocabulary in Tz’utujil”. However, for our students it can be a bit complicated to learn the reading and writing of this language, since they only exercise the speaking and listening by practicing with their families. Indeed, 98% of people in our community speak Tz’utujil, our mother tongue, but only a tiny fraction of the population knows how to read and write in it. Most of the parents did not have the opportunity to study and those who did only learned how to read and write in Spanish but cannot do the same in their mother tongue.
This is the reason why this month we practiced reading and writing in Tz’utujil with our beneficiaries. This has a great impact on their learning curve, since the students with difficulties cannot find help in their own households.
The activities started with a test consisting in the writing of 10 words to identify the level of each student. The results showed the need for more writing practice. Consequently, we revised the Tz’utujil alphabet, which only a small percentage of students knew by heart, while the rest could not fully remember. The final activities consisted in the reading of vocabularies, tongue twisters and a tale.
Our objective is to help our beneficiaries learn how to read and write without difficulties in Tz’utujil with the ambition of allowing them to appreciate their own culture and enhance their personal development. Tutoring has a fundamental role since it enables students to enhance their level of understanding of their mother tongue so that they can also use it as the base for the learning of new languages.
Revising the alphabet in Tz'utujil
Hadasa, Lidia and Dolores enjoy their time reading
Dolores, Hadasa and Lidia reading tongue twisters
Julisa, Israel y Pedro reading a tale