Mam language classes

Xnaq'tzb'il ti'j qyol Mam

Class overview

In these courses, we explore culture and traditions of Mam communities, both in Guatemala and Oakland, through the Mam language. For each topic, we will learn the standard cultural practices surround the topic, learning new words and phrases along the way. Each week we will also learn a new aspect of Mam grammar. Class activities will include videos, stories, quizes, games, activities, small group discussions, and individual presentations. The goal of this course is to gain confidence in listening and speaking skills in Mam, as well as understanding Mam cultural norms, through practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The variety of Mam taught in this course is from San Juan Atitán, Guatemala.

Instructors: Henry Sales Hernandez (OUSD), Silvia Lucrecia Carrillo Godinez, Tessa Scott (UC Berkeley, linguistics), Cristina Mendez (UC Berkeley, education)

UC Berkeley undergraduate linguist apprentinces: Nina Sirna, Jay Urbano Gonzalez, Marisa Benedito, Yanira Garcia, (formerly: Xingyue Tu, Samba Kane)

Spring 2022 information

Important information please read

  • All classes will be remote (Zoom) until further notice.

  • All classes will be recorded and uploaded to our google drive (Materials tab)

  • All materials will be available online (Materials tab)

  • Classes are taught in English with some Spanish

  • Classes are free but we encourage a $100 donation (you can donate here)

  • Please see our FAQ before emailing with questions

Class details

Classes begin Tuesday January 25th

Classes end Saturday May 21st

Beginner class

Tuesday, 5:00 - 6:10pm

Thursday 5:00 - 6:00pm

Intermediate class

Tuesday, 6:20 - 7:30pm

Thursday 6:15 - 7:15pm


Saturday 10:00 - 11:00am

Weekly breakdown

Tuesdays are for a language lesson, activities, games, and practice. Thursdays are for an interactive cultural lesson and other activites. Saturdays are for everyone to come and ask questions, practice making conversation, and working on projects.