FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - A teacher at Sinagua Middle School in Flagstaff is inspiring the next generation of Navajo speakers with her enthusiasm for teaching.
This is the first year the Navajo language class has been offered at the middle school and students were jumping at the chance to sign up.
“They signed up when this was being offered and they signed up in huge groups,” said Amy Begay. “You know, their interest is there and makes it very unique and it makes it easy to teach them.”
Begay’s peers say she is willing to go above and beyond to help her students learn the difficult language.
Although Navajo is spoken by more people than any other Native American language in the United States, it is spoken fluently by fewer than half of Navajo children.
“On the first day or two I gave them a notecard and I asked why do you want to be in Navajo class,” she said. “Then, the majority of them say, 'I would like to speak, talk, converse with my grandma, grandpa…aunties. I’d like to be part of the conversation, I’d like to laugh too.'"