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Barrow, Alaska
Revitalizing the Iñupiaq Language From Pre–K to College

With funding from the NEH, faculty at Ilisagvik College set out out to preserve Iñupiaq, a UNESCO-classified endangered language with only about 2,000 fluent speakers. In addition to creating an interactive, online database that would document the language, faculty and students at the college took steps to foster language acquisition in new speakers by developing a series of language materials. These included grammar booklets, online apps, and children’s books that could be used in the local summer reading program and in the college’s innovative language nest program for pre-K students. All of the language materials were developed by Ilisagvik students in partnership with the Iñupiaq-speaking community and reviewed by faculty who are also fluent Iñupiaq speakers.

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