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Mayan Language Teaching Tools Distributed in Rural and Urban Elementary Schools

Yucatan Times
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October 8, 2012
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The collection includes the “Popol Vuh”, which is written only in the Maya language.

Department of Indigenous Education will distribute this school year about 38,100 books written in Mayan and Spanish, benefiting 33,000 students in 612 elementary schools in 26 municipalities in Yucatan, seven are reissued editions and three are new.

The collection includes the “Popol Vuh”, which is written only in the Maya language, 3,000 copies will be published and distributed among the members of the “Ko ‘one’ex Kanik Maaya” , a program that is proposed to promote the teaching and the use of the Mayan language in schools in urban and semi-urban communities. This program is aimed at non-Maya speakers from third through sixth grade and from first to third grade of junior high.

The head of the Department of Language and Maya Culture Roger Pool Martinez explained that along with the new books there is “The Practical Guide to Maya Grammar”, which will be delivered to the 88 bilingual teachers as an extra tool to teach the language .

The guide has been redesigned, incorporating the most recent agreements reached at the meetings to standardize the writing of the Mayan language. The document is divided into eleven sections, each containing an explanation of the subject and the applied examples are presented in both languages.

Pool Martinez explained that after 20 years of the ratification of the Maya alphabet in 1984, and based in peninsular level meetings sponsored by the Education Department of the State Government, the normalization the Mayan writing was achieved. Therefore the criteria was unified, allowing the establishment of  the language in schools, strengthening in its content activities as listen and repeat, look and express, read and point, as well as strengthening the Mayan mathematics recovering weights and measures used by the indigenous people.

He also noted that in order to strengthen the knowledge in the classroom, the Department designed the “Domino Maya” booklet that uses four semantic fields: fruits and vegetables, animals, insects and school supplies, which is useful to contextualize the students in various fields of learning the Mayan language.

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