Address by Choctaw Language Educators Open to Campus, Public
Curtis Billy and Teresa Billy, two members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, will address a multicultural issues class from 2 to 3 p.m. Monday, April 14, in room 147 of the J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. Center for Academic Excellence at University of Arkansas. The event is free and open to the public.
The Billys are educators retired from the public school system who now teach the Choctaw language to 20 schools in southeast Oklahoma through a distance technology called interactive educational television. They work for the School of Choctaw Language and Culture in Durant Okla., where the Choctaw Nation has its headquarters.
They will speak about educating Native American children and their experiences growing up as speakers of the Choctaw language. Students in Oklahoma can take Choctaw for a foreign language credit in high school if the course is available.
Freddie Bowles, assistant professor of foreign language education at the University of Arkansas, teaches the multicultural issues class in the College of Education and Health Professions. Bowles is working with the Billys and other members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma on her research designed to assist the nation in preserving and revitalizing the Choctaw language. Bowles is also studying the cultural and linguistic differences students bring to a learning environment with the goal that a better understanding of these differences could lead to improved academic achievement.
Bowles said about 4,000 members of the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma can speak and understand the Choctaw language, although they may not be fluent in it.
Freddie Bowles, assistant professor of foreign language education
College of Education and Health Professions
(479) 575-3035, firstname.lastname@example.org