What Is the Best Way to Learn the Lakota Language?

The best way to learn the Lakota language is through the Lakota Language Consortium (LLC), which offers a self-study program and intensive instruction at the annual Lakota Summer Institute. Classes are also available at universities such as Sitting Bull University and the University of South Dakota.

It is important to learn Lakota from native Lakota language speakers of the Lakota Sioux nation in the Great Plains region. The programs offered by the Lakota Language Consortium, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving and revitalizing the Lakota language, are considered the best available. The self-study course begins with familiarizing students with essential vocabulary and key phrases used in the community. LLC provides a forum for self-study students to practice with other students, and it offers picture books and textbooks, audio CDs, a Lakota Berenstein Bears DVD and other materials to facilitate learning. The program also focuses on orthography and grammar and offers a Lakota keyboard and font package that assists with writing the language. The Lakota Summer Institute, facilitated by the LLC, is an intensive training program and the top Lakota teacher professional development event in the nation, as of 2015. It has been called "boot camp" for Lakota language learners and can be a moving experience for those in attendance, reports the LLC.