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.

Spring 2017 Language Classes

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Spring 2017 Language Courses on the Fairbanks Campus

ANL 142X (CRN 36391): 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.  Prerequisites:  ANL F141 in the same language or instructor permission.

ANL 242 (CRN 32962): Intermediate Athabascan Gwich'in (Peter)

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

ANL 287 (CRN 34747): 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 102X (CRN 37152): Elementary Central Yup'ik Eskimo (Charles)

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

ESK 112X (CRN 37154): Elementary Inupiaq Eskimo (Brower)

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

ESK 116 (CRN 33790): 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 202 (CRN 33791): 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 301 (35101): Advanced Central Yup'ik (Charles)

Further study of Yup'ik linguistics.  Includes text transcription, editing, analysis and discussion.  Yup'ik dialectology.  Study of related Eskimo languages from the standpoint of Central Yup'ik.  Additional topics to be studied depending upon the interests of the students and the instructor.  Prerequisites:  ESK F101, F102, F201, F202 or instructor permission.

ESK 401 (CRN 32963): Alaska Native Language Apprenticeship (Peter)

Structured study of an Alaska Native language.  Select and work intensively with a mentor (a native speaker of the language selected).  Choice of mentor requires faculty approval.  Meet regularly with mentor (minimum 10 hours per week) and participate in regular training sessions to work towards fluency.  Graded Pass/Fail.  

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