Communities of Practice
An Alaskan Native Model for Language Teaching and Learning
Publication Year: 2013
In Alaska, the Second Language Acquisition Teacher Education (SLATE) project was designed to enable Indigenous communities and schools to improve the quality of native-language and English-language instruction and assessment by focusing on the elimination of barriers that have historically hindered degree completion for Indigenous and rural teachers. The Guided Research Collaborative (GRC) model, was employed to support the development of communities of practice through near-peer mentoring and mutual scaffolding. Through this important new model, teachers of both the heritage language, in this case Central Yup’ik, and English were able to situate their professional development into a larger global context based on current notions of multilingualism.
In Communities of Practice contributors show how the SLATE program was developed and implemented, providing an important model for improving second-language instruction and assessment. Through an in-depth analysis of the program, contributors show how this project can be successfully adapted in other communities via its commitment to local control in language programming and a model based on community-driven research.
Communities of Practice demonstrates how an initial cohort of Yup’ik- and English-language teachers collaborated to negotiate and ultimately completed the SLATE program. In so doing, these educators enhanced the program and their own effectiveness as teachers through a greater understanding of language learning. It is these understandings that will ultimately allow heritage- and English-language teachers to work together to foster their students’ success in any language.
Published by: University of Arizona Press
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We acknowledge the help and support throughout this project of our regional grant partners and their representatives: Vivian Korthius of the Association of Village Council Presidents; Abby Augustine, Gayle Miller, Nita Rearden, and Bev Williams of the Lower Kuskokwim School Dis-trict; Cheryl Jerabek of the Kuspuk School District; and William Beans, ...
Prologue: Community of Practice
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The idea for the book, its focus, and structure came out of countless dis-cussions among the Second Language Acquisition Teacher Education (SLATE)faculty: Marilee Coles-Ritchie, Patrick E. Marlow, Sabine Siek-mann, and Joan Parker Webster. The various chapters developed out of discussions and collaborations among the faculty as well as between the ...
Introduction - Patrick E. Marlow, Marliee Coles-Ritchie, Sabine Siekmann, and Joan Parker Webster
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As Indigenous language communities struggle with language loss, many scholars (Hinton & Hale 2001; Johnson & Swain 1997) and com-munity activists (Kipp 2000) now recognize immersion education as the primary means of restoring Indigenous1 and other heritage2 languages to community use. In the Alaskan context, Indigenous languages are limited ...
1. SLATE Context and History - Patrick E. Marlow and Sabine Siekmann
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Central Yup’ik is traditionally spoken throughout southwestern Alaska, from Norton Sound to Bristol Bay, an area covering more than 112,000 square miles (roughly the size of Arizona; see Figure 1.1). More densely populated in comparison to the rest of Alaska’s Indigenous populations, the “Yup’ik region” has a combined census of 23,000 Yup’ik Eskimos scat-...
2. Mentoring: Engaging Communities of Practice - Joan Parker Webster and Sabine Siekmann
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In Chapter 1, we provided an overview of the Graduate Research Col-laboratives (GRCs) model, which was a primary organizational framework for students’ research interests. Underscoring the concept of the GRCs was the goal of establishing relationships within a collaborative commu-nity of research and practice. In many graduate programs, faculty mem-...
3. Reinventing Technology: Computers as Tools for Coconstructing the Local Voice in Materials Development - Sabine Siekmann and Hishinlai’ “Kathy R. Sikorski”
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This chapter is based on data collected as part of a larger, longitudinal study of the Second Language Acquisition Teacher Education (SLATE) project. Specifically, we report on data collected during a Second Lan-guage Curriculum and Materials Development course held in summer 2007. The course as a whole was undergirded by a constructivist, project-...
4. On Becoming a “Literate” Person: Meaning Making with Multiliteracies and Multimodal Tools - Joan Parker Webster and Theresa Arevgaq John
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...“Reinventing” in the colonizer’s tongue and turning those images around to mirror an image of the colonized to the colonizers as a process of decol-onization indicates that something is happening, something is emerging and coming into focus that will politicize as well as transform literary ex-In this chapter, we tell the story of the conception, development, and ...
5. Teachers Drawing on the Power of Place to Indigenize Assessment - Marilee Coles-Ritchie and Walkie Charles
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This chapter focuses on data generated in the summer intensive course “Assessment for the Second Language Classroom.” The course focused on theories of assessment, particularly pressing issues for K–12 teachers in the era of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and practical development and implementation of authentic assessments based on Indigenous commu-...
6. Ellangluni: Power, Awareness, and Agency in Language Planning - Patrick E. Marlow and April G. L. Counceller
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This chapter focuses on data generated in a summer intensive course investigating language policy and planning as it relates to endangered lan-guage contexts. For us, language policy and planning includes both for-mal governmental (top-down) and community–school–family (bottom-up) efforts to influence the choice and function of linguistic codes ...
7. Conversations - Patrick E. Marlow, Marilee Coles-Ritchie, Sabine Siekmann, and Joan Parker Webster
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This final chapter derives from a three-day summative program evalua-tion session with the Second Language Acquisition Teacher Education (SLATE) faculty. This evaluation session was conducted in November 2010, six months after the majority of the program participants (seventeen of the eighteen teachers and one of the four PhD candidates) had success-...
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Although this volume focuses exclusively on the Second Language Ac-quisition Teacher Education (SLATE) project, this program is neither the beginning nor the end of our story. Partnerships like those that were at the heart of the effort described in this book do not happen overnight; they take years to develop. In fact, many of the relationships and mechanisms ...
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Patrick Marlow is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Alaska Native Language Center and the School of Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. ...
About the Editors
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Patrick Marlow is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Alaska Native Language Center and the School of Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has been a principal investigator and/or major contributor on numerous US Department of Education grants supporting Indigenous graduate and undergraduate students interested in addressing Indigenous ...
About the Contributors
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Page Count: 160
Illustrations: 9 halftones, 12 tables
Publication Year: 2013