Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


First Advisor

Edmund 'Ted' Hamann

Second Advisor

Justin Olmanson

Third Advisor

Jenelle Reeves

Date of this Version



Palala, H. (2019). Mayan Languages Education and Technology: A Case Study Of Kaqchikel And K’iche’ Educators In Guatemala.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Edmund 'Ted' Hamann. Lincoln, Nebraska: August 2019

Copyright 2019 Hector de Jesus Palala Martinez


The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe and analyze how Mayan language instructors in the Faculty of Humanities at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala use technology in their classrooms. In this research, indigenous professors shared their experiences as Kaqchikel and K’iche’ language instructors at the higher education level. A narrative qualitative case study was applied to discover the practices and insights of two Kaqchikel Mayan language instructor and one K’iche’ Mayan language instructor by addressing the following questions: (1) How do the professors use technology while teaching IDI3 Mayan Language in the Faculty of Humanities at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala? (2) In what ways do indigenous language speaker professors describe their experience of teaching their language and culture to Spanish language speaking at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala? (3) In what ways do students engage with the use of technology for the purpose of acquiring language skills in the Mayan language as a third language? The findings showed that teachers know how to use technology and why they don’t use it in the classroom. These findings reveal Mayan instructors’ experiences and remembrances of teaching Mayan language and culture to undergrad students who are mostly Spanish speakers.

Furthermore, the participants agreed on how students’ engagement increased by combining a variety of class activities and technological tools to learn the language. These results suggest that there would be value in the creation of a variety of workshops of how to use technology in the classroom. This may be possible by providing different professional growth opportunities.

Advisor: Edmund 'Ted' Hamann