First Web-based Native Language
Class To Debut
January 12, 2008
(SitNews) - The first ever web-based Native language course in
Southeast Alaska will be offered by the Sealaska Heritage Institute
The course, Elementary Haida I, will be taught entirely on the
Internet, which will allow the institute to reach more students
interested in learning the language.
"Web based instruction
can reach anywhere, so whether you're living in Southeast Alaska
or outside Alaska, people who want to learn the Haida language
will be able to receive instruction in Haida," said SHI
President Rosita Worl.
The course is an introduction
to the Haida language as spoken in Alaska. It will focus
on developing a core vocabulary of several hundred words, as
well as an understanding of many of the basic grammatical patterns
in the language. Students will learn how to make statements,
ask and answer questions, give descriptions of people and things,
and talk about activities in both the past and the present.
All instruction will be carried out on the Internet. All course
materials, including written lessons, audio files, interactive
language games, grammatical exercises and homework assignments
will be available through the course website. Students
will also be able to interact with each other and the instructor
through discussion forums, email and other means throughout the
semester. Students will not need any special computer equipment,
aside from speakers, and all the software needed for the class
is available free of charge. It is scheduled Jan. 14-May 2, 2008.
Students who complete the course will earn four credits through
the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). The course will be
taught by Haida Linguist Dr. Jordan Lachler, who operates SHI's
office in Ketchikan and teaches Haida classes at UAS.
"We're very fortunate in having Dr. Jordan Lachler as a
SHI staff member. He's a linguist who also focuses on language
restoration and they're very rare in that field," said Worl,
noting Lachler has studied with a number of fluent Haida speakers,
particularly Erma Lawrence.
Worl hopes to eventually offer web-based courses for Tlingit
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