A Handbook for Teachers
Alaska Native Language Center
Traditional Forms of Education
Standard English Instruction
This publication was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Civil Rights Technical Assistance and Training Programs, Grant Number G008200907. The opinions expressed herein do not, however, necessarily reflect the positions or policy of the U.S. Department of Education; no official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education should be inferred.
The right to reproduce all or any part of this publication in any form, including photoxerography, microfilm, or microfiche, is reserved by the Alaska Department of Education.
Statement of Nondiscrimination: It is the policy of the Alaska State Department of Education to provide equal education and employment opportunities and to provide services and benefits to all students and employees without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, physical handicap, or veteran status. This policy is in accordance with the laws enforced by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Department of Labor, including Presidential Executive Order 11246 as amended; Title VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act; Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972; Title 41, parts 60-1, 60-2, and 60-50; Sections 799A and 845 of the Public Health Service Act, where applicable; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; and Alaska Statute 18.80.220. Inquiries regarding the application of these and other regulations should be directed to either the Affirmative Action Officer of the State Department of Education or to the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, D.C.
Alaska Department of Education
Alaska has always had a multiplicity of languages and cultures. Until 1930, Alaska Natives made up the majority of the State's population, speaking twenty Alaska Native languages, often English, and sometimes Russian.
Today, Alaska Native students comprise approximately 87 per cent of the language minority students enrolled in Alaska's public school bilingual-bicultural education programs. These students are from the Aleut, Athabaskan. Eskimo, Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian language groups. Other major language groups enrolled in programs include Spanish, Korean, Pilipino, Russian, Japanese, and Vietnamese.
The Department of Education has developed a series of handbooks designed to assist classroom teachers, bilingual-bicultural education and special education program staff, counselors and school administrators in improving instructional services for students from Athabaskan, Inupiaq, and Yup'ik language groups. These handbooks address the unique sociocultural and linguistic characteristics of each group as they relate to the school setting. They also provide educational resources such as recommended readings, listings of school districts enrolling students from each group, and sources of information, materials and instructional assistance for each language group.
The Alaska Department of Education wishes to recognize the individuals who assisted in completing this handbook.
Much of the material in this handbook is based on presentations given by Eliza Jones and Velma Schafer at the 1983 Summer Institute on Bilingual/Special Education in Fairbanks, sponsored by the Department of Education. Eliza Jones further contributed by reading and commenting on the draft versions of the handbook, and by providing the author with many of the stories and other examples contained in it. Melissa Axelrod also made valuable contributions to the writing of this handbook. Larry Kaplan and Steven Jacobson, authors of the handbooks on Inupiaq and Central Yup'ik, respectively, contributed many ideas; occasional passages from each handbook have been used in the others. Jane McGary typeset and edited the handbooks. Irene Reed has discussed the material with us at length and has proofread the work.
While each handbook benefited from the assistance of these individuals, final responsibility for the handbook rests with the Alaska Department of Education.