By Kathryn Eident – WCAI News / Learning a new language has long been a requirement at most American high schools. While the typical offerings include Spanish, French, and Latin, in Mashpee, a small group of students is taking on a language that hasn’t been spoken fluently in centuries. WCAI’s Kathryn Eident has more on the Wôpanâak Language class at Mashpee High School.
The students come from different grades. Some are freshmen, others are sophomores and juniors, but they share one thing in common: They’re all members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. This group of half a dozen students is also part of the high school’s first-ever Wôpanâak Language class, a credit-level course specifically designed to teach the tribe’s native language. A language that, until recently, hasn’t been spoken for several hundred years.