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ERIC Number: ED258441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Feb
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Bilingual Education and the Alaskan Native Languages.
Tabbert, Russell
The present language situation among Alaskan natives and the prospects for maintaining the traditional languages are such that in order to plan for a continued native language presence, it must be recognized that: (1) the shift to Engish is a natural result of a set of social conditions, with no single factor or group to blame; (2) the decline of the traditional language in active family and community use does not mean the end of native cultural and ethnic identity; (3) English is the dominant language for many Alaska natives; and (4) attempts to consciously maintain declining languages or to revive ones already moribund have been largely unsuccessful. Planned support for the native languages should consist primarily of activities that would "objectify" the languages in documentary and reference sources and in instructional materials, expertise, and school programs, allowing the languages to be consciously conserved as central artifacts of the cultures. The only viable institutional framework to sustain such an effort is state-supported public education. However, current programs in bilingual education are piecemeal, and motivated and funded to remedy the civil rights problem of limited English-speaking ability. A positive commitment to the teaching of native languages to all native children as part of a language enrichment program is needed, requiring a greatly expanded capability in teacher training, materials, curriculum, linguistic research, and teaching. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska