The ACORNS project supports the language revitalization efforts of Native American tribes, hence the name: [AC]quisition [O]f [R]estored [N]ative [S]peech. The acorn is sacred to the tribes of Northern California and Southern Oregon. The name ACORNS is chosen in honor of these tribes who helped spawn this effort.

Language teachers and their students use the desktop/laptop version of ACORNS to create language lessons which, when executed, enhance language learning. The software is language-independent; in other words, it is an appropriate tool to facilitate the learning of any language.

All ACORNS software is free for non-commercial use. If you have questions or comments, please contact Dan Harvey ( Full documentation is available at the project web-site (

The Acorns Gallery application is compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod devices and allows users to maintain and execute a gallery of language lessons (contained in files with an acorns extension). Lessons can be sent to the gallery either by email attachments, cloud-based storage based apps, or by iTunes file sharing.

ACORNS lessons are intuitive and require minimal technical training. They support any indigenous font and most popular audio, video, and picture codecs. Presently, ACORNS offers ten types of language learning lessons listed below.

1) Picture and Sound lessons contain a background image to which written and spoken audio attach at various places. Students click on those places , then hear the audio and additional culturally relevant information.
2) Multiple Choice lessons are similar to those found in commercial language acquisition products. Each lesson consists of a group of pictures and recorded audio attached to each. Students see four random pictures displayed and hear a phrase describing one of them. Their task is to click on the correct picture. This lesson offers a fun and intuitive way to practice associating words with concepts.
3) Story Book lessons link together pages of a story book. Students listen along and watch the captions highlight words during the playback.
4) Magnet Game lessons display magnets, each containing a word from a sentence. Students drag the magnets over adjacent words. The goal is to reconstruct a group of sentences. When students succeed, they can click on the full sentences to hear audio, see a picture, and view additional cultural information.
5) Hear and Click lessons annotate an audio recording of a story with still and animated pictures. Students listen to the story and see a random display of pictures. Their goal is to click on the appropriate picture as the story plays back. This lesson facilitates immersive audio comprehension.
6) Flash Card lessons contain three piles of cards. Initially all of the cards are in the leftmost pile. The student's job is to correctly identify expressions that go with the cards. Enough correct answers cause cards to move between piles. The goal is to move the cards to the rightmost pile.
7) Pictionary lessons show a group of pictures relating to categories of conversational sentences and phrases. Students click on these to hear an audio recording and see descriptive information. It is a simple dictionary shown in pictures.
8) Hear and Respond lessons annotate a lengthy story or speech with its composite words and phrases. Students see the transcript of the recording with some words left blank. The task is to listen and fill in the blanks. This lesson facilitates practice in audio comprehension and correct spelling.
9) Moving Pictures lessons display four pictures that move about the frame. Students click to hear attached audio. The pictures change every twenty or thirty seconds.
10) Question and Answer lessons pose questions to the student. If the student answers correctly, ACORNS responds with a positive feedback audio.

What’s New

Version 2.2.1

Altered the application display mechanism so contents display faster and more efficiently


Daniel Harvey
42.9 MB

Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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