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Do you want to study Basque in the US or Canada? NABO’s Euskera Website is your starting point

12/19/2011

Korrika came to Boise for the first time this year gathering children from Boise's Ikastola and their families (photo NABOeuskaraz.com)
Korrika came to Boise for the first time this year gathering children from Boise's Ikastola and their families (photo NABOeuskaraz.com)

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Little by little the number of Basque students in the US, Vancouver and Quebec is growing, thanks to the programs that are supported by NABO (federation of Basque clubs in North America) and HABE. Last July NABO presented a new website in English that supports students in their efforts and offers them a place to meet for anyone who is interested in Basque in either of these countries. The website: www.naboeuskaraz.com, gathers information for students, online lessons, links, news, a chat room, photos, children’s games…and is becoming an active meeting place for Basque-Americans embarking on this adventure. Do you want to meet them? Do you want to be one of them? Here’s the key!

Boise, Idaho.  Izaskun Kortazar, NABO’s Euskera coordinator, and Henar Chico, one of the entities students/teachers, are in charge of giving life to the www.naboeuskaraz.com website.  Izaskun brings materials, lessons, photos and articles, while Henar designs the web and keeps it up to date.  Between the two, with the support of the teachers and students in the program, they are creating a rich and dynamic website.  Since it was introduced in January, the site has added a large number of sections and content, and is achieving wider dissemination through social networks and its Facebook group. 

For Izaskun Kortazar the website was imperative since NABO launched the Basque program a few years ago. According to what she tells EuskalKultura.com, “the program is more and more successful and the situation of Basque in North America is improving.”  The number of students has grown, but Kortazar thinks that after the initial boom that this pace of growth will be harder to maintain.  Hence the need for the web, as a meeting place for the students as well as a place to publicize their work. 

Lesson, links, chat... 

A large part of the students in the program use BOGA, a self teaching method online, for which the site has become very helpful.  In addition, it can be a point of departure for those who, although they don’t have direct contact with a Basque club, want to learn Basque.  But, what can they find on the site? 

For starters there is a welcome presentation with photos and messages from the teachers who are currently teaching in the Basque clubs.  Next, there are some lessons and other resources to study Basque online (Boga, etc.).  There is also a children’s section that includes multimedia materials: photos, videos, songs… Another interesting section is the Chat where students can speak and practice their Basque with other students as well as links to other sites relating to Euskera. 

In all of the states where there are Basques 

Since the website was created there have been several visitors who have ended up signing up for classes, notes Henar Chico.  The program also has a Facebook group, where news and interesting content is also shared.  Chico and Kortazar are confident that they will reach more students, and potential students through these two tools. 

“I would like to see more students participating in the program.  My objective is to increase the presence of Euskera in America.  My dream would be to have Basque classes in every state where there are Basques,” says Kortazar.   

The site is a small step towards the realization of this dream since, according to its Facebook page; classes will begin in Boston, Massachusetts in January.  To enroll in this, or other NABO classes, email Izakun at: izaskunkortazar@gmail.com.

 



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