November 08, 2004
The language resources project so far includes the Tlingit alphabet, a Tlingit phrase of the week section and a children's book written in Tlingit called Salmon Boy, recently produced by SHI and posted in a printable form.
The alphabet and Tlingit phrases may be read on the web and also heard by clicking on them. The alphabet section includes audio of sounds plus words that incorporate the sounds.
"Because Tlingit sounds are complicated and difficult to make, students need to hear the sounds many times before they can produce them," said Dr. Rosita Worl, SHI president. "The institute's online Tlingit alphabet gives students easy access to the sounds as many times as they need to hear them."
SHI plans to frequently add new materials to the site, which also includes links to the institute's three other language webs: www.tlingitlanguage.org; www.haidalanguage.org; and www.tsimshianlanguage.org. The institute encourages Native language teachers to also use the materials.
"Our main goals are to assist Native language teachers by providing downloadable resources they can use in their classrooms and to make materials accessible to learners everywhere who do not have access to fluent speakers," Worl said.
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1981 to administer cultural and educational programs for Sealaska Corp. The institute is governed by an all-Native board of trustees. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. SHI launched the language resources project to help perpetuate and revitalize Native languages, a top priority of the institute.
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