Aresta Tsosie-Paddock

Assistant Professor, American Indian Studies
Assistant Professor, Linguistics
2021 CUES Distinguished Fellow

Note: Title was current at time of award and may have changed.

Shifting Pedagogies for Learning the Navajo Language: Applying a Mentor-Apprentice Paradigm through Technology

The number of fluent Navajo speakers continues to decline as a result of English language immersion, English-only policies, migration and resettlement, and intergenerational language trauma leading to non-transmission of the language. This CUES project uses a virtual Mentor-Apprentice Paradigm approach to address the challenging mission of increasing the number of Navajo language speakers. Students, as apprentices, will study with fluent Navajo speakers, as mentors, in an individualized format through the Zoom platform, with the goal of increasing student Navajo language proficiency and cultural knowledge, including cultural motivational philosophies as a retention mechanism. The Mentor-Apprentice model is based on a K’é (relative)-centered framework, a culturally appropriate method. It represents an effort to foreground Native Arizona community resources and knowledge to provide awareness of native language, rooted in our diverse society’s life-ways. This program is an appropriate way for the University of Arizona, a land grant institution, to utilize its talent and resources to reciprocally serve its diverse stakeholders and support its educational mission.


FEB 2024: Engaging a Mentor-Apprentice Model for Learning the Diné LanguageCUES Inside UAZ-Funded Scholarship Series, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

OCT 2023: Native America: Language is Life (Screening and Panel Discussion), Hosted by PBS 6/Arizona Public Media (AZPM), University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

JUN 2022: Indigenous CALL: Promoting Social Justice through Language Revitalization InitiativesCALICO 2022 Conference: Social Justice & Diversity in CALL, Virtual.

APR 2022: Enhancing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning through Mentor-Supported Research DesignCUES Inside UAZ-Funded Scholarship Series, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

2021 CUES Distinguished Fellows