Answer Key: Twitter and Zapotec Language Activism

Eloise Kadlecek and Shoshana Promer

This sample answer key corresponds to the Twitter and Zapotec Language Activism chapter. Keep in mind, in most cases, there may be more than one way to answer a question.

Questions to think about before starting this chapter

  • What is language activism?
  • How can social media be used to promote language activism?
  • Where have you seen Indigenous language activism happen, on and offline?
  • If you speak an Indigenous language or are trying to learn, where would you like to see that language represented, used, or written?
  • What are some possibilities for the future in terms of Indigenous language representation? How else can Indigenous language be encouraged and amplified? Come up with ideas and share them with a peer.
  • Language activism is where focus is directed to preserving, uplifting, and educating about a language.
  • Social media can be used to spread free, accessible information about a language that might not be available otherwise.
  • Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are great examples of places where language activism takes place.
  • Answers will vary. For example, in mainstream media, on road signs in native areas, or in schools.
  • Answers will vary. Some ideas are: movies, TV shows, academic studies.


Exercise 1: Searching through Zapotec Twitter

Start by viewing Ticha’s Twitter account (@TichaProject) and other Zapotec language related accounts like @VocesValle to and check out accounts that they retweet. Take note of the types of content you see.

Using the advanced search tools, search through hashtags used among Zapotec and Oaxacan users on Twitter. Some hashtags include:

#Zapotec, #Oaxaca, #UsaTuVoz, #ZapotecoColonial, #EstudiosZapotecos, #Tlacochahuaya, (or other place names in Oaxaca)

Choose your favorite post and present it to a classmate! What languages and images are included in the tweet? Is the Twitter user in conversation with other accounts?

Answers will vary.


Exercise 2: How does it work in your language?

Most of the tweets that you’ll find through Ticha’s networks are in varieties of Valley Zapotec. Compare the tweets that you find and compare them with your varieties of Zapotec that you, your family, or community speaks. Which words do you have in common? What differences can you find?

Answers will vary.


Exercise 3: What types of Indigenous knowledge are communicated in their Twitter feeds?

Take a few minutes to look through both Felipe and Moise´s‘s accounts. Observe and note what types of Indigenous knowledge that they share and display. What common themes exist between their language activisms? Why might they share different content?

Additionally, pay attention to the multilingual space that accounts invested in Zapotec language revitalization create. Why might Spanish and English be used alongside Zapotec?

Answers may vary. Possible answers may include:

  • Felipe tweets a lot of words accompanied with pictures in San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec. He also retweets tweets from other Zapotec tweeters. He also tweets and retweets in Spanish. Moisés tweets phrases in his variant of Zapotec alongside with pictures and English and Spanish translations.
  • Zapotec tweeters might accompany their Zapotec tweets with English and Spanish so that it can reach a wider audience on Twitter.


Exercise 4: Create your own “Zapotec word of the day” post

Using the Colonial Valley Zapotec dictionary on the Ticha website, choose a word to make a “post” about. You can illustrate this on a piece of paper and present it to a classmate as if it were on a social media platform, or make a digital one. Be creative! You can also look at the Ticha twitter account for inspiration. Be sure to the tag Ticha Project (@TichaProject) and use #ZapotecoColonial to connect to others.

Answers will vary.




Caseidyneën Saën - Learning Together Copyright © by Eloise Kadlecek and Shoshana Promer. All Rights Reserved.

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