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ERIC Number: ED415063
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Ancestral Languages by Telephone: Creating Situations for Language Use.
Taff, Alice
This paper reports on the progress of a group of adults who have been connecting by telephone to learn to speak Deg Xinag, the language of the Deg Hit'an (Ingalik Athabaskan). The Deg Hit'an are the westernmost of the Athabaskan peoples, living near the confluence of the Yukon and Innoko Rivers in Alaska. Since Deg Xinag speakers, all elders, number fewer than 20, and the learners, young adults, are spread among sites too distant to allow them to meet, a one-credit distance education class was organized under the authority of the University of Alaska, Interior Campus--Mcgrath Center. After a first semester fraught with scheduling difficulties and poor phone connections, the second semester class of four speakers and eight learners met once a week for 1 hour with 2 hours of homework. Student-selected goals included learning to perceive and produce the sounds of the language in the context of common expressions and being able to use some expressions in daily routines. Class activities included listening to the speakers converse, speakers modeling the words followed by round-table repetition by learners, and conversation. One of the learners, the teacher-of-record, compiled phrase lists from the conversations and faxed them to students. Each student also completed an independent project, such as translating a children's book or creating a song. In addition to permitting a language learning situation that otherwise could not exist, telephone conferencing created valuable opportunities to use the language in real-life activities. (Author/SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A