“Teaching Jamaican (Patois) on YouTube” – The Jamaican Language Unit Celebrates International Mother Language Day 2022

Teaching Jamaican Patois on YouTube – The Jamaican Language Unit Celebrates International Mother Language Day - Andre Cuffe - Jaynia Samaroo - Shanae Grant - Xavier Murphy

Braadkyaas Jamiekan celebrates International Mother Language Day 2022 with a special episode of the current affairs programme, Big Tingz a Gwaan, on Monday, February 21, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. (Jamaica time) on the Braadkyaas Jamiekan YouTube channel. Big Tingz a Gwaan is co-hosted by retired academic and long-time Jamaican language advocate Prof. Carolyn Cooper and teacher and media practitioner Ms. Donikue Campbell. They will be discussing the theme “Teaching Jamaican (Patois) on YouTube” with popular YouTubers such as Andre Cuffe who runs the channel Chat Patwah, Jaynia Samaroo who runs Jamaican Sinting, and Shanae Grant of Shan’s Patwa Academy. The line-up also includes founder Xavier Murphy for his work through the YouTube channel called Jamaicans. 

This is an exciting time for Jamaican Sinting creator Jaynia Samaroo who is rebuilding her once wildly popular channel. Andre Cuffe, the creator behind the channel Chat Patwah, just came back with new content after a hiatus of a little over a year. But new YouTube content is not the only thing he is offering his over 10,000 subscribers. Now they can get his book Jamaican Patois: Get Past Ya Mon and Speak Jamaican Fi Real. 

Dr. Joseph T. Farquharson, Coordinator of the Jamaican Language Unit says that the decision to focus on the work of Jamaican YouTubers for International Mother Language Day was made on the basis of UNESCO’s theme for this year’s celebration, which is, “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”. Dr. Farquharson pointed out that although some people still see the Jamaican language as being structureless, many YouTubers and other social media content creators have been showing that the language is not only rich and expressive, but just as structured as any other natural language. 

Braadkyaas Jamiekan, the official media arm of the Jamaican Language Unit, broadcasts the news in the Jamaican language every week day at 3:00 p.m. It recently launched an interview-type podcast called Taak Tu Mi which airs every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Upcoming guests on that show are Yasus Afari and Amina Blackwood Meeks. The team is also working on a series called Tiich Di Ting Dem which will teach the history and structure of the Jamaican language in the Jamaican language. You can tune in to all of this content on the Braadkyaas Jamiekan YouTube channel. 

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