FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Fairbanks has received a $1.9 million federal grant to support Alaska Native language programs.
The U.S. Department of Education grant will fund a three-year project to boost computer-assisted language learning programs and graduate education for teachers. The effort, dubbed the CALL project, is to support Native language programs in rural Alaska by graduating more Alaska Natives with doctoral and master’s degrees.
Students funded through the grant will work in groups including a faculty member, an Alaska Native doctoral student and about five master’s students. The groups will work to improve the teaching of Native languages and students who speak English as a second language.
The program aims to help master’s degree students become certified teachers who work in language immersion schools, dual language programs and bilingual programs. They will prepare CALL materials for their classrooms as part of their projects, and each participating classroom will receive a SmartBoard and a set of iPads to be used by the students.
UAF associate professor Sabine Siekmann will lead the project, with partners that include the Association of Village Council Presidents and the Lower Kuskokwim School District.