High stakes testing, bilingual education and language endangerment: A Yup'ik example

Leisy Wyman, Patrick Marlow, Ciquyaq Fannie Andrew, Gayle Miller, Cikigaq Rachel Nicholai, Yurrliq Nita Rearden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A growing body of research documents how educational policies and accountability systems can open or close 'ideological and implementational spaces' for bilingual education, shaping the language planning efforts of Indigenous communities. Using collaborative research, Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers investigated the intersection of policy, schooling, and language maintenance/shift within a school district serving 22 Yup'ik villages in Alaska. This article demonstrates how, as multiple communities are witnessing emerging signs of a language shift to English, high stakes testing practices accompanying No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation are simultaneously weakening support for bilingual programs in village schools. Yet the article also illuminates the ways in which Yup'ik educators are acting as local language planners, negotiating language maintenance/shift/revitalization, and testing regimes in contested school spaces. Authors discuss the urgent need for, and the promise within, spaces for locally directed language investigation and language planning in national contexts of educational standardization and high stakes assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-721
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010


  • Bilingual programming
  • Collaborative research
  • Indigenous language shift/maintenance/revitalization
  • Language planning
  • NCLB
  • Research ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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