The Hoocak Waaziija Haci Language Division is committed to the preservation of Hoocak traditions and the continuation of the functionality of the Hoocak Language. The Language Apprentice Program (LAP) is a vehicle that will be used to assist in this effort. It is the mission of the LAP to move the Language Apprentices toward its goal of creating new teachers of the language, the language learning process will be supported by providing safe learning environments as well as efficient modes of instruction. Instruction will be distinctively adapted to the learner by using materials and methods that are relevant to the learners. This method of teaching the language contrasts the more traditional, dated methods of teaching language that were formerly used and focuses on a more modern approach to teaching and measuring language acquisition. The program seeks to expand the functionality of the language into everyday life, foster the spirit of the language the Creator has given to us, cultivate lifelong learning and to enable learners to develop knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their teaching goals, improve the productivity of the Language Division and provide leadership and service to the Hocak Nation.
It is our belief that the Hoocak Language is a “Living Language”, ever evolving and progressing through today and toward the future generations. Our program will change the way the Hoocak language is acquired, measured and taught. As we move toward our goal of creating new teachers of the language, we will support language learning by providing and following a quality program in optimal learning environments.
Language Apprentice Program
The Ho-Chunk Nation understands that the future of any language lies in its ability to be passed on to successive generations. In order for passing of the language from generation to generation to be successful the Ho-Chunk Nation also recognizes the need for modernization of the language. With these two ideas in mind the Language Apprentice Program LAP seeks to use Ho-Chunk Nation resources to facilitate an apprentice and eminent speaker pairing where the objective is to speak Hoocąk. It also seeks to provide opportunities for training to become effective 21st century teachers of Hoocąk.
The Apprentices must understand the importance of attaining communicative proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Hoocąk. The LAP aims to facilitate the learning and acquiring of essential knowledge and skills to apprentices who are discovering the fulfillment of learning their own language and culture. If apprentices along with eminent speakers are to attain these goals together, the goals must be clearly defined and stated.
Communication is the target of language acquisition in the LAP. Communication takes place in different modes, face-to-face, writing, listening, presenting information and reading. Successful communication comes from developing “ability” in the language, by increasing knowlege in the culture, and by being aware of the ways in which the language is used. Learners apply this knowledge when they use the language. Understanding and practicing these first ideas will set the base for literacy learning. Literacy is a key element in keeping a language current; being able to communicate ideas, in Hoocąk, in the 21st century. With this thought in mind, it is important for apprentices to be able to use Hoocąk in real-world settings. This last concept is reached through supervisors and eminent speakers helping apprentices set language learning goals for themselves.