Kawsay Vida is a course book and interactive multimedia program on DVD for the teaching and learning of the Quechua language from beginner to advanced levels. The course book is based on contemporary Bolivian Quechua, while the multimedia program contains a section on Bolivian Quechua (beginner to intermediate levels) and a section on southern Peruvian Quechua (advanced level). The book provides a practical introduction to spoken Quechua through the medium of English, while the multimedia program offers a choice of English or Spanish as the medium of instruction. The video clips introduce us to Quechua speakers in the valleys of Northern Potosí (Bolivia) and Cuzco (Peru), giving a sense of immediacy that the printed page cannot achieve, and highlighting the social and cultural settings in which the language is spoken. The DVD is available for both PC and Macintosh platforms.
The book contains twenty-two units of study. As students work through these, cross-references take them to relevant sections of the DVD. The Bolivian and Peruvian Quechua sections of the multimedia program are divided into thematically and grammatically ordered modules, which introduce users to different aspects of Andean life, while progressing language learning in a structured way. Users engage with the audio, video, and visual material contained in the DVD through a range of interactive exercises, which reinforce listening and comprehension skills. Once familiarity with the language is acquired, the multimedia program may be used independently from the book.
By Rosaleen Howard
Rosaleen Howard is Chair of Hispanic Studies at Newcastle University and former Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Latin American Studies of the University of Liverpool. She specializes in the indigenous languages and cultures of the Andean region, with a particular interest in the interface between Quechua- and Spanish-speaking populations, and has published on topics ranging from Quechua oral narrative performance to language and education policy for speakers of indigenous languages and its relationship with indigenous politics.
“Kawsay Vida, the DVD, will be by far the best method available for the teaching and learning of Quechua with its inclusion of Bolivian and Peruvian varieties of the language, its invaluable video and other audiovisual material, its thoroughly thought-out and well-crafted techniques to practice and [master] the language, and the possibility it offers to learn Quechua starting from either English or Spanish. The workbook offers a very well-organized and practical guide for the beginner’s level of learning Bolivian Quechua by English speakers. It is a good guide on which teachers can build and add their own techniques and criteria for introducing the language. I strongly recommend both the DVD and the workbook.”
—Zoila Mendoza, Professor of Native American Studies, University of California, Davis
“This is truly an excellent pedagogical grammar, one that raises the bar for similar efforts in Native languages of the Americas. It is well-graded, and the care and pre-testing that went into it shows. I would definitely use it myself in the Quechua program at Michigan.”
—Bruce Mannheim, Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan