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National Asssociation of Bilingual Education

National Association of Bilingual Education

Marilee Coles-Ritchie 1As part of the SLATE (Second Language Acquisition Teacher Education) grant, which is supporting Yup’ik Alaska Native) immersion teachers and English language teachers in rural Alaska, our goal was to expand on the current use of technology (courses primarily delivered by audio conferencing) to create a more collaborative and communicative classroom that would serve distance students more effectively. While distance delivery is challenging at times, we reflected on the advantages available in distance courses such as the ability to apply methods directly in the teaching context, draw on community funds of knowledge, and receive immediate personal written feedback on course work. Through communication with colleagues teaching by distance as well as students taking distance courses, we have learned something new each semester about how to teach a course via distance. With this feedback, we share our challenges and successes.

 AAAL -American Association of Applied Linguistics
M Coles-Ritchie 2

This paper, part of a longitudinal study, focuses on data generated in a summer intensive course, Assessment for Language Learners. The course focused on theories of assessment, issues K-12 teachers face in the era of No Child Left Behind, and practical development and implementation of authentic assessments based on local community resources. Using data collected through student and teacher reflections, field notes from the classroom, and portfolios, we demonstrate how the teachers combined elements of Funds of Knowledge Gonzalez, Moll, and Amanti, 2005), Authentic Assessment (Pierce & O’Malley, 1996) and Indigenous knowledge systems (Barnhardt & Kawagley, 2005; Deloria, 2001; Lomawaima & McCarty, 2006) to reconstruct ways to assess students’ language development in Yup’ik and English based on local Indigenous community practices. During the course, teachers collaboratively developed action plans to counter the current dominant discourse surrounding assessment which heavily emphasizes standardized tests over locally constructed assessments.