Validity of Socioculturally Responsive and Culturally Sustaining Assessments: Issues and Practice in an Alaska School District

WCER Working Paper No. 2024-3

Rosalie Grant

July 2024, 9 pp.

ABSTRACT: Over a 6-year period, a sociolinguistic and sociocultural project was undertaken by Alaska Native expert educators and linguists (aka the Yup’ik Expert Group) from the Yup’ik community in the Lower Kuskokwim School District, Central Alaska. The native experts developed their own culturally sustainable, valid, and reliable Kindergarten through Grade 6 Alaska Native language (Yugtun) assessment. Yup’ik experts named their assessment the Yugtun Piciryaranek Qaneryaranek-llu Cuqyun (aka Yup’ik Culture and Language Measurement). This paper focuses on a foundational component of the assessment, the Yup’ik Cultural Awareness subtest, which has two components, Nonverbal Communication and Yup’ik Worldview.

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keywords: Language assessment, language testing, Alaska Native languages, Yup’ik culture, Yugtun language