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Course Home | Course FAQ | Course Materials & Outline | Course Registration [DISABLED] | Electronic Classroom [DISABLED]

Course FAQ

Is this FAQ up to date, yet? | Is this a 'real' language course? | What will we be learning? | I've never heard Kanza spoken. Will I be lost? | I'm not quick with languages. Will this be hard? | Will I be able to speak Kanza after this course? | How will the course be conducted? | Can the course be 100% self-paced? | Why do I need to register? | What if I don't have a computer at home? | I don't have much free time. Is there homework? | Will this count for college/high school credit? | Will there be course time for Q & A? | Will there be course time for practice? | How long will the course run? | Will I have other opportunities to take the course? | Is there a Level II, III, or IV? | Can I tell a friend or family member? | Are you qualified to teach me? | Are you sure you're saying these words right? | What's the source of the material we're learning?


  • Is this FAQ up to date, yet?
    [FAQ]

Yes, finally! We underwent some radical transformations over the past year or so, including an expansion of our staff, some critical orthography changes, creation of lots of new materials, discovey of several important grammatical features of the language, and a necessary but regretable suspension of both the Electronic Classroom forum and the registration page. For all practical purposes, our webcourse is still available, albeit without forum support via the Electronic Classroom. However, we plan to release a major new revolution in Kanza distance learning in the very near future, our long awaited Wajíphanyin CD-ROM. After the release, our webcourse will be mostly out-of-date. This is due to the fact our primary webcourse text, Kanza Language for Families and Communities, will have been made redundant in large part by by the Wajíphanyin lessons, and will therefore cease to be updated. Nevertheless, the lessons for the webcourse HAVE been updated, and will continue to serve as a learning aid for all interested parties.

  • Is this a 'real' language course?
    [FAQ]

Some people get scared when they hear the words "course" or "class." If you're one who does, then you're in luck--this is not one of those courses! Think of this as just an opportunity for you to learn a little Kanza and practice what you know with others. This online course is structured but follows a schedule flexible enough to accommodate everyone without alienating anyone--a good balance between the formal and the informal.

  • What will we be learning?
    [FAQ]

Our primary focus will be on simple Kanza conversation for use around the house and in the community. To do this, we'll have a small inventory of words & phrases and a core vocabulary. We'll also cover the fundamental grammar topics. Grammar will enable you to form your own simple Kanza sentences, which will in turn expand your conversational skills.

  • I've never heard Kanza spoken. Will I be lost?
    [FAQ]

No. The aim of the course is to teach the language to new learners. If you've never heard it spoken, then you're exactly who we had in mind when we planned it out. If you have ever studied or grew up around Kanza (or Osage, Ponca, Omaha, Quapaw, or any other Siouan language), then that's great; You'll have a definite advantage, but there will still be much to learn. This course is for everyone!


  • I'm not quick with languages. Will this be hard?
    [FAQ]

Learning languages can be very difficult. But the biggest stumbling block in learning languages (as well as the biggest advantage) is usually the learner's attitude about learning, not the material itself. Nothing here will be too difficult for anyone who pays attention and keeps an open mind. Instead of telling yourself 'this is hard,' try telling yourself that you can accomplish all you wish. It will make it just that much easier, and will improve the overall quality of the course for everyone.

  • Will I be able to speak Kanza after this course?
    [FAQ]

No student will be able to speak Kanza fluently by just taking one course. Instead, the students will speak some Kanza. Where you go from there is up to you. If you want to learn more, be sure to ask questions, either publicly or privately. There's enough Kanza language material to keep a person busy for a lifetime--and then some!


  • How will the course be conducted?
    [FAQ]

This course is can be taken several different ways. When you register, you can select from the following options:

    • Electronic Classroom Only [DISABLED]
    • Traditional Classroom Only
    • Traditional Classroom Meetings with Electronic Classroom Participation [DISABLED]

"Electronic Classroom Only" students download online course materials and follow a set course shedule. They will "meet" with a teacher and fellow students on a special Internet message board made just Kanza language studies. The board is called the Electronic Classroom. The "Electronic Classroom Only" course lasts ten weeks. "Traditional Classroom Only" students coordinate a time to meet weekly with a teacher--and hopefully other students--for ten weeks. Students will review old material, discuss new material, and practice conversation, and refer often to class-distributed texts. In a best case scenario, students will opt for "Traditional Classroom Meetings with Electronic Classroom Participation." These students will meet weekly in person and supplement their learning experience through online participation.

NOTE: The WebKanza Electronic Classroom and its Registration page have been disabled indefinitely due to extreme misuse by "bot" memberships. These virtual memberships are created not by interested students, but by malicious software designed to generate unsolicited advertising on web forums. We hope one day to host a new Electronic Classroom site free of such concerns. In the meantime, distance learners can still participate in the webcourse simply by following the schedule found HERE.

  • Can the course be 100% self-paced?
    [FAQ]

Yes. In fact, you don't even need to register to take the class at your own speed. The materials and the electronic classroom are freely available to all. However, it can be harder. The formal course is geared toward a set schedule for both the teacher and the students. Going at a much faster or slower pace can affect your understanding and retention. If you are learning on your own, please take advantage of ALL the opportunities (materials, Electronic Classroom discussion, and communication with the Kanza Language Project) as part of your own private study. Here are some tips for the self-paced learner:

    • Try to stay in a Kanza frame of mind all the time.
    • Learning a language requires practice, practice, and more practice! Whenever you have free time, try to go over (and over and over...) the material and the notes you've taken. Practice speaking as often as you can.
    • To help you learn, you may also want to find a practice partner--a friend, a family member, or anybody else who will listen patiently. Practicing face-to-face will help you learn faster and it will encourage outsiders to get involved in the program.
    • Be sure you understand the material completely and work toward accuracy before moving on. It can be hard to unlearn a mistake.
    • Don't wait to ask questions. Get to the bottom of an issue as soon as you start to feel confused.

  • Why do I need to register?
    [FAQ]

Two reasons. For starters, if you don't register, then we don't know who you are, we won't be looking for you on the board, and we probably won't be expecting to hear from you. If we know you're starting the class, we will check in on your studies from time to time, answer questions you may have, and provide supplementary materials. It just makes it easier for us to serve you better to have a record of your intentions. On the other side of the coin, registering will help you help yourself. You have made a commitment to learning, and there's a document to prove it. It will give you that much more incentive to see the course through. Plus, it gives us the information needed for your completion certificate.

Don't worry. No, we won't share your personal information with anyone (unless you ask us to do so). And , no, we won't restrict access to materials to you for not being registered.

NOTE: The WebKanza Electronic Classroom and its Registration page have been disabled indefinitely due to extreme misuse by "bot" memberships. These virtual memberships are created not by interested students, but by malicious software designed to generate unsolicited advertising on web forums. We hope one day to host a new Electronic Classroom site free of such concerns. In the meantime, distance learners can still participate in the webcourse simply by following the schedule found HERE.


  • What if I don't have a computer at home?
    [FAQ]

Most libraries now offer public computing services including Internet access. Some larger cities also have cyber-cafes. Plus, friends or family members might be willing to let you use their computers. If none of those options are available, you might try the "Traditional Classroom Only" option, or just an independent study of the course materials.

  • I don't have much free time. Is there homework?
    [FAQ]

Yes, but none of it will be graded; it's just for practice and learning. Even in the "Traditional Classroom Only" option, we may not go over all of it in class. So at least attempt them on your own time. None of the exercises will take hours to finish. Participation in the Electronic Classroom, the primary forum for discussion and study, could be considered homework.


  • Will this count for college/high school credit?
    [FAQ]

Not at this time. But we will provide an attractive certificate of completion to all who make it through the whole course.

  • Will there be course time for Q&A?
    [FAQ]

Yes. Of course the Electronic Classroom is of course always open for Q & A. Most of our traditional classroom time will be devoted to it, too. We are limited to just one hour weekly when class is in session, but we'll always consider it your time. Whatever is needed to answer your questions, we will accommodate.


  • Will there be course time for practice?
    [FAQ]

Yes. We will devote as much or as little time in the traditional classrom to practice. However, your own private study will probably help you more in the long run.

  • How long will the course run?
    [FAQ]

The formal course is designed to last eight to ten weeks, depending on which option you choose. Both the "Traditional Classroom Only" and the "Electronic Classroom Only" options are ten week programs. The combination option, "Traditional Classroom Meetings with Electronic Classroom Participation," in effect has two times the opportunities to meet as the others. Therefore, these students can cover the material in only eight weeks.

  • Will I have opportunities to take the course?
    [FAQ]

For the most part, you may take the course as many times as you like, as often as you like. That said, the traditional classroom experience may be contingent upon the coordination of the schedules of the teacher and other students. Opportunities here may be limited to five to six courses in a year.


  • Is there a Level II, III, or IV?
    [FAQ]

Not at this time. We'll have to see how Level I goes before commiting to future class projects.

  • Can I tell a friend or family member?
    [FAQ]

By all means! Invite your daughter, postman, neighbor, or anybody else you think might enjoy learning Kanza. The Electronic Classroom component is free and available to anyone with a desire to learn. As far as the traditional classroom component is concerned, it may be easier to add more folks in the first couple of weeks in the event that we have a large number of students at the same time.

  • Are you qualified to teach me the Kanza language?
    [FAQ]

Officially speaking, only the Language Coordinator and a handful of others have the backing of the Kanza Language Project, the Kaw Cultural Committee, and/or the Kaw Nation administration. None of us is a fluent speaker, but we are familiar enough with the material to teach it with some degree of proficiency.

Beware of those who may claim to know Kanza fluently. The known fluent speakers in the 1970s are on record as as having not really heard Kanza spoken much at all for several decades. It is highly unlikely that truly fluent speakers slipped under their radar screen. That said, there are many tribal members who know words and phrases, some who can pray proficiently, and possibly a few able to carry on a conversation. If you fit into any of these categories, then we'd love to hear from you! Please contact us.


  • Some of these words sound strange. Are you saying them right?
    [FAQ]

"You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to..." Just like any language, Kanza has its share of differences in pronunciation between speakers. Some of the most common differences are between an and on, between o and what we might think of as English u, between i and u, between i and e, and between x and gh. If you have some Kanza language skills, and something you hear in class sounds strange or wrong, be sure to bring it up. That way, everyone can benefit from the discussion. Also, remember that Kanza, like most languages on earth, never had a standard form like Queen's English.

  • What's the source of the material we're learning?
    [FAQ]

Most of the material in this course comes from research and documentation from two very different periods in the history of the Kanza language. The first ccurred in the mid to late nineteenth century, when it was the first language of most of the tribe. The second was almost 100 years later, when it was spoken by only a handful of elders. Between these periods, much was changing in the Kanza way of life, not the least of which was the language.