What is it?
NatiV is a suite of apps that teach kids how to read Shona.
Shona is a native Zimbabwean language. It has several dialects, namely Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika and Korekore. Ndau and Kalanga are languages that are very close to Shona. Shona is a principal language of Zimbabwe, along with Ndebele and the official business language, English. Shona is spoken by a large percentage of the people in Zimbabwe. Other countries that host Shona language speakers include Botswana and Mozambique.
NatiV helps kids learn to read Shona by improving their ability to associate syllables (ba, be, bi, bo, bu etc) to their respective sounds. Next, it helps them learn how to build words, and then whole sentences. It also keeps performance statistics, so you can track your child’s progress!
NatiV is being used at our learning center, St. Tropez. It is due for public release. If you have a pre-school and would like to test-drive it with us, please get in touch with us here. Find out more about St. Tropez here.
Thousands of children in Zimbabwe have little or no access to enough early-learning material. UNESCO points out the advantages of mother tongue based education in the early years; when children are offered opportunities to learn in their mother tongue, they are more likely to engage and succeed in school. Digital tablets offer an intuitive, rich platform for children to learn, in comparison to the ordinary pen-paper methods. Research has shown that children who have had a more interesting way of learning a certain concept will commit it to memory and apply it better.
Here at NatiV, we have managed to create solutions to the challenges mentioned. We are advocates of mother-tongue learning, and we are passionate about conservation of native languages (or culture preservation) using ICT.
NatiV’s Vaka Manzwi is a scrabble game for the Shona language with a limited dictionary. Help us gather more words by playing it! Vaka Manzwi can be downloaded by clicking the image below: