Alaska Native Language Classes and Degree Programs

There are 20 Alaska Native languages: Aleut, Alutiiq (also called Aleut or Sugpiaq), Central Yup'ik Eskimo, St. Lawrence Island Eskimo, Inupiaq Eskimo, Tsimshian, Haida, Tlingit, and Eyak and 11 Athabascan languages. These languages are becoming recognized as a priceless heritage.

Since the enactment of the Alaska Bilingual Education Law in 1972, there has been a statewide demand for teachers who can speak and teach these languages in the schools where there are Native children. Professional opportunities for those skilled in these languages exist in teaching and research as well as in cultural, educational, and political development.

Central Yup'ik Eskimo is spoken by the largest number of people, and Inupiaq by the next largest. In these two languages major and minor curricula are offered. Courses are also regularly offered in Gwich'in Athabascan. For work in all other languages, individual or small-group instruction is offered in special topics. Thus there has frequently been instruction, seminars, and workshops also in Tlingit, Haida, St. Lawrence Island Eskimo, Aleut, and Koyukon, plus comparative Eskimo and comparative Athabascan.

UAF is unique in offering this curriculum, which benefits also from the research staff and library of the Alaska Native Language Center.

Fall 2016 Language Classes

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Spring 2016 Language Courses on the Fairbanks Campus

ANL 141X (CRN 77470): Beginning Athabascan - Gwich'in (Peter)

Introduction to Gwich’in Athabascan, spoken in the northeastern Alaska villages of Arctic Village, Venetie, Fort Yukon, Chalkyitsik, Circle, and Birch Creek, as well as in a wide adjacent area of the Northwest Territories and Yukon Territory.  

ANL 241 (CRN 73305): Intermediate Athabascan Gwich'in (Peter)

Continuation of beginning Athabascan-Gwich'in. Development of conversational ability, additional grammar and vocabulary.  

ANL 251X (CRN 77422): Intro to Athabascan Linguistics (Tuttle)

Introduction to the linguistic structure of the Athabascan family of languages, drawing  on examples from the Athabascan languages of Alaska.  Writing systems, word structure, texts and language relationships.  Techniques for accessing linguistic reference materials and the role of linguistic documentation in language revitalization and language learning.

ANL 287 (CRN 75304): Teaching Methods for Alaska Native Languages (Peter)

Methodology approaches and practice in teaching Native language and literacy to both speakers and non-speakers. Prerquisites:  Knowledge of a Native Language.  

ESK 101 (CRN 77466): Elementary Central Yup'ik Eskimo (Charles)

Introduction to Central Yup'ik, the language of the Yukon and Kuskokwim deltas and Bristol Bay.

ESK 111 (CRN 77467): Elementary Inupiaq Eskimo (Brower)

Introduction to Inupiaq, the language of Unalakleet, Seward Peninsula, Kotzebue Sound and the North Slope.

ESK 115 (CRN 75514): Conversational Inupiaq Eskimo (Brower)

Introductory course for students who wish to acquire the ability to speak Inupiaq. Students first learn to understand simple spoken language, then to speak simple Inupiaq, developing a beginning level of communicative competence in the language.

ESK 201 (CRN 74187): Intermediate Central Yup'ik Eskimo (Charles)

Continuation of ESK F101 and ESK F102. Increasing emphasis on speaking, reading and writing. Prerequisites: ESK F102 or permission of instructor.

ESK 211 (CRN 75515) Intermediate Inupiaq Eskimo (Brower)

Continuation of ESK F111 and ESK F112, concentrating on development of conversational ability, with presentation of additional grammar and vocabulary. Prerequisites: ESK F112.

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