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Ketchikan Indian Community Partners with Sealaska Heritage Institute to Provide Language Workshop


April 29, 2009

Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC) has partnered with Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) to present a Heritage Language Development Workshop for language teachers and curriculum developers on April 30 and May 1, 2009. The language workshop is one example of the kinds of efforts the Tribe is making to ensure the survival of the Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian languages.

The workshop will introduce to participants both long and short term planning for second-language teaching. Practical, hands-on activities, based on a developmental language process, will be introduced. The training will include language teaching for kindergarten through high school grades and will present a format for using already developed classroom materials. How to assess the students' progress in the language program will also be covered.

Language teachers and curriculum developers are strongly encouraged to attend. Parents who would like to teach heritage languages in the home are also welcome. The workshop and curriculum materials are provided at no cost to participants; however, space is limited. Participants can elect to receive credit for the workshop, and pay accompanying fees, from the University of Alaska Southeast. The workshop is presented by Jim MacDiarmid, SHI's new Education Director. MacDiarmid has extensive experience in bilingual, cross-cultural education, working extensively throughout Alaska and Canada. He has a Master's in Education and Linguistics and his most well-known publication is "Replacing Thing-a-ma-jig: The Developmental Language Process."

Individuals who wish to participate in the two-day workshop should contact Cara V. Wallace at (907) 228-5162 or

"The survival of our heritage languages is paramount to the continuation of our culture and way of life" says John Brown, KIC Tribal Education Director. "By providing language resources to the community at-large, the Tribe can help individuals, families, schools, and others work together to preserve our heritage languages. There is not one individual or entity that can save our languages; our collective efforts will make the difference. This workshop will be a great experience for anyone who wants to teach or learn the Haida, Tlingit, or Tsimshian language, as the SHI staff who will present are both talented and passionate about their work with heritage languages. We hope this will be the first of many language workshops provided by the Tribe."



Source of News:

Ketchikan Indian Community


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