ASSESSMENT COMPONENT


This Arctic Council languages project brings together linguists and indigenous peoples organizations to find ways to promote the vitality of the languages of the Arctic. Both indigenous peoples organizations and linguists (many of whom on this project are indigenous themselves) know that in order to promote language vitality and to engage people in using their language and promoting it in their community, a solid scientific understanding of the status of the language must be known. It is important not only to have data that tells the story of the overall health of a language, but also to have more detailed data as to where the language is healthy, where is the language actually spoken and in which context. It is important to know if the indigenous language is being used between peers (such as among youth) or just across age groups (such as between youth and elders). Are new words and slang incorporated into the language? Is it taught in schools? Is it used in the streets? Is it used only at official functions or cultural activities? What role do government policies have in the health of a particular language? What role do the language learning tools have in the health of an Arctic indigenous language? These are just a few of the variables that help linguists and others in determining how best to promote the vitality of languages.

This project, therefore, is very solidly built upon an assessment component. An honest and full assessment of the state of Arctic indigenous languages requires more than gathering census data usually collected at a national level, and more data than normally gathered through standard questionnaires. In order to fully understand the current vitality of the Arctic indigenous languages, one needs a nuanced view of language use and vitality, one that is based on qualitative data found only in open-ended interviews or by sharing cultural and linguistic experiences. A variety of different kinds of data and different assessment methods are necessary to be able to truly evaluate the state of languages in the Arctic. All of these methods are necessary to tell the story of Arctic indigenous languages. As such, this website invites all speakers and non-speakers of Arctic indigenous languages to share their understanding of the vitality of their languages.

ASSESSMENT COMMITTEES


This project has three (3) assessment committees. They are made up of linguists, language activists and other community members. They are tasked with finding and gathering existing data, identifying and understanding the gaps in data, and developing tools to fill those gaps. The committees are interested in telling both the overall and the specific stories that will help guide the promoting and community-engagement pillar of this project. The three assessment committees are:

  • Assessing the Status of Arctic Indigenous Languages
    This committee, co-chaired by Jeela Palluq-Cloutier of the Government of Nunavut, Canada and Lenore Grenoble of the University of Chicago, is developing an assessment tool that is both indigenously defined and indigenously driven. The assessment tool will measure language attitudes, usage and vitality at all levels; language proficiency as defined by indigenous standards with mechanisms for community input and review built into the tool.
  • Assessing the Indigenous Language Policies found across the Arctic
    This committee, chaired by the Head of Greenland's Language Secretariat, Carl Christian Olsen, Puju, is gathering data on existing language policies at all levels (international, national and local), and developing a way of sharing best practices. The committee aims to make policy recommendations for the Circumpolar Arctic regions.
  • Assessing the State of Language Acquisition

    This committee, chaired by Hishinlai’ Kathy R. Sikorksi and Bernadette Yaayuk Alvanna (Iñupiaq, Alaska) is studying the state of language acquisition, learning, and teaching,and language learning materials and methodologies available to educators and speakers in the Arctic. 

     

LANGUAGE LEARNING RESOURCES

To access learning resources, click on the logos below.

You can add to this list by submitting your link or files to us. Please click here to continue to the submission area.


Aleut
4

Unangax (Aleut)

Arctic Athabaskan
2

Ingalik (Deg Hit'an)

1

Olikachux (Holikachuk)

2

Koyukon

3

Upper Kuskokwim

2

Tanana

3

Ahtna

4

Tanacross

3

Upper Tanana

3

Han

4

Northern Tutchone

5

Southern Tutchone

Tagish

1

North Slavey

Tahlta

Kaska

Bear Lake

1

South Slavey

Dogrib

Yellowknife (Dene Suline)

Chipweyan (Dene Suline)

Taetsaut

Sekani

Babine

Carrier (Dakelh)

Beaver (Danezaa)

Sarsi

Gwich'in
4

Gwich'in

Inuit

CHUKOTKA

    1

    Central Siberian Yupik

    1

    Naukan

Alaska

    5

    Central Alaskan Yup'ik

    2

    St. Lawrence Island Yupik

    2

    Alutiiq (Sugpiaq)

    5

    Iñupiaq

CANADA

    4

    Inuvialuktun

    4

    Inuinnaqtun

    3

    Inuktut

    5

    Inuttitut

Greenland

    7

    Kalaallisut (West Greenlandic)

    1

    Tunumiisut (East Greenlandic)

    Avanersuarmiusut (North Greenlandic)

Indigenous languages of the Russian North
2

Alyutor

1

Chelkan

6

Chukchi

4

Chulym

4

Chuvash

Dolgan

2

Enets

2

Even

1

Evenki

2

Itelmen

Kamchadal

2

Kerek

2

Ket

2

Khanty

1

Koryak

2

Kumandin

2

Mansi

3

Nanai

4

Negidal

7

Nenets

3

Nganasan

1

Nivkh

1

Oroch

1

Orok

5

Saami

1

Selkup

1

Shor

1

Soyot

Taz

Telengit

1

Teleut

3

Tofalar

Todzha

Tuvin-Todzhin

2

Udege

Veps

2

Yukaghir

1

Yupik

Saami
6

Northern Saami (Davvisámegiella)

8

LuleSaami (Julevsámegiella)

3

KildinSaami (кӣллтса̄мькӣлл)

3

Eastern/Skolt Saami (sää'mǩiõll)

7

Southern Saami (åarjelsaemiengïele)

1

Anar/InariSaami (Anarâškielâ)

3

TerSaami(Darjjesámegiella)

Ume Saami (Ubmisámegiella)

2

PiteSaami (Bidumsámegiella)



This portion of the project is hosted on an external archive site called Zotero. It is a private library of documents that can only be browsed or contributed to by authorized researchers and project contributors. Please click here to view and/or contribute to the work group (Zotero login info required).

If you would like access to the archive, or if you are an authorized researcher who does not yet have Zotero login information, please email Lenore Grenoble at grenoble@arcticlanguages.com to submit your request.


The Arctic Languages Vitality Initiative may provide a letter of endorsement to qualified researchers undertaking projects that support the vitality of Arctic indigenous languages. For more information on applying for endorsement, please email Lenore Grenoble at grenoble@arcticlanguages.com.