• Focus On Form In Writing In A Third Grade Yugtun Classroom

      Moses, Catherine; Siekmann, Sabine (2010)
      This present research attempts to discover the effectiveness of focus on form in a Yugtun First Language third grade classroom. The procedures for this particular research included two series of tasks, each focusing students' attention on a particular grammatical structure. The series includes a pretest, a discovery phase, a teacher guided mini lesson, a paired task, an individual post task and a delayed post task. Data include students' scores on the pre, post and delayed post test as well as video recordings of whole class activities, and audio recordings of student dyads as they work on the collaborative task. In my research I found how I, as a Yugtun classroom teacher, could help my students focus on areas of language features they seem to have trouble with. I learned I could use focus on form through feedback and questions. I also found that the Yugtun word endings mun/nun were rather difficult for the Yugtun third graders. As a result I encourage all Yugtun teachers as well as other language teachers to attend workshop or training on language acquisition in order to get a better understanding of what it means as they endeavor to help their students learn effectively.
    • Investigating A Yup'Ik Immersion Program: What Determines Success?

      Green, Jean Renee; Coles-Ritchie, Marilee (2010)
      This research stems from my connectedness to a particular village, which will be referred to as Naparyaraq1. Unlike the majority of research on Alaska Native language issues, which primarily are from the point of view from an outsider, this research is unique in that my role as a community member has allows me an insider perspective of our Yup'ik Immersion Program. When dealing with Indigenous language issues, it is important that the impetus for change and improvements come from the local people. The primary goal of the Naparyaraq Immersion Program resulted from the communities desire to create change Community members wanted to keep the Yup'ik language alive. Growing up in Naparyaraq and my familiarity with the language issues has also driven me to be a personal participant in this change. Using focus groups, interviews, classroom observations, and field notes, the main goal of this Master's thesis is to inform the teachers and school community of the Naparyaraq Yup'ik Immersion Program in order to continue to help make improvements. Some of the issues which are addressed in this research include information related to: language use, success, training, language use at home, support, success, quality staff, assessment, need for teacher collaboration, and curriculum. 1Naparyaraq is a pseudonym. All names and places in the thesis are pseudonyms.
    • Language Switching On English Compositions Of Latino Students In Alaska And Puerto Rico

      Jimenez-Lugo, Edna; Burleson, Derick (2007)
      The main objective of the research described in this dissertation was to explore how English second language (ESL) writers used their first language (L1) when composing in their second language (L2). This task was undertaken by identifying participants according to their L2 (English) proficiency level, Latino ethnic subgroup, and generational status. Another objective of this study was to better understand the writer's perspective regarding first language use in L2 writing, referred to as language-switching (L-S) in this study. Eight high school Latinos were recruited in Fairbanks, Alaska, and a group of twenty-three college-level participants in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Participants were asked to complete a self-report questionnaire, provide a writing sample, and participate in a guided focus group discussion. Findings indicated that participants with low L2 proficiency were more likely to switch languages at the lexical level than participants at an intermediate or advanced level of English proficiency. Switching languages from English to Spanish at the lexical level was of no benefit for text coherence. Lack of L2 linguistic competence was a contributing factor for switching to the L1 as participants compensated for L2 difficulties with their L1 knowledge at the morphological, syntactical, and semantic level. A qualitative analysis of the focus group data suggests that thinking in the L1 is a common strategy for ESL learners, which they perceive to be an advantage for generating ideas faster and to decide what to write. However, participants' perceived writing text in the L1 for later content translation to be counterproductive. An important factor that cannot be discounted and that may have contributed to the language switching frequency among the participants in this study is the learning contexts: learning English in the U.S. versus learning English in Puerto Rico. Additional research is needed to explore the relationship between language switching and learning context. I conclude this dissertation by suggesting pedagogical implications regarding L2 writing instruction and for placement of L2 learners in ESL programs.
    • Understanding Loglan.

      Rice, Stephen Leon (1994)
      Loglan is a language designed to help test Whorf's hypothesis that language shapes thought. Specifically, Loglan should encourage more creative and logical thought in its users. Such future users will need a readable textbook of the language; that is the purpose of the present work. <p>
    • What Would Captain Underpants Do? A Literary Analysis Of Children In School

      Carter, Jeanne Noelle; Reyes, Maria (2006)
      Using cultural studies and critical discourse analysis as guiding theories, this study focuses on the literary representation of school experience by analyzing popular children's literature. The study focuses on literature appealing to the 8--12 year-old audience. Books of primary examination include L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones series, Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby books, Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Andrew Clemenet's Frindle, C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series, Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books, Betty McDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, and Walter Dean Meyer's Monster. The general trends found are: (1) Books featuring female protagonists are often concerned with relationships. The protagonists are frustrated that the roles and expectations of school do not allow space for discussing relationships or personal information. (2) Books featuring male protagonists generally focus on themes of power structures and how the students use subversive methods to assert their values in spite of the dominant administrative authority. (3) When books feature children who are working on character or ethical development, those children are often removed from the school context and placed in a more fantastical context. (4) The literature surveyed implies that students value unrealistically committed teachers with no interests outside of the children, who can make lessons clear, relevant, and interactive.
    • Yuraq: An Introduction To Writing

      Samson, Sally P.; Parker-Webster, Joan; Siekmann, Sabine (2010)
      Teacher research conducted at Ayaprun Elitnaurvik Charter School in Bethel, Alaska introduced 1819 kindergarten students to writing through Yuraq (Eskimo dancing). Within the teacher research, the case study followed four emergent writers as they developed in their writing abilities, how they connected Yuraq with writing, and their progression through their second language skills. The study followed two stories: the teacher's story and the students' story. The study found that Yuraq aided in writing instruction to second language learners, that there are aspects of the 6+1 Traits in Yuraq, and that students progressed in their L2 as well.