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(Many Paths)
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Hoocak Academy To Begin New Programs For Language Instruction
by Ken Luchterhand - Hocak Worak

There was a need to revitalize and restructure the Ho-Chunk language community classes and the Hoocak Academy was made to make that happen.

To meet that need, the Ho-Chunk Language Division has created the "Hoocak Academy," designed to teach the language in a structured environment as well as implementing culture into the classroom.

"To make sure the program is successful, we need to develop an assessment evaluation, as well as implement our cultural values or simply to have respect for our language and how we instruct," interim Hoocak Academy Manager Angelica Greendeer said.

"We've never had proficiency standards before. This is something new but we need to try it and go from there."

Registration for the classes begins on January 5 and will continue until January 22. Classes begin on February 2. A new Web site has been developed for the Hoocak Academy at and registration can be completed online, by phone or in person.

"It's brand new," Greendeer said. "We've had community classes, but the problem is retention. With this new format, our goal is retention within the program and student/instructor success."

The Hoocak Academy is a community outreach program designed to teach Ho-Chunk tribal members the Hoocak language.

The foundation of Hoocak Academy has been in the development stages for several months, working to create Hoocak Academy's vision and then implementing it into the community classes for the year. The development of retention planning for community classes has been underway. They will be utilizing instructor experience, technology and modern strategies to build retention to the community. Most importantly, they will look at ways to include cultural aspect within the program.

The problem with language instruction, according the Greendeer, is that there are few instructors compared to the Ho-Chunk population. With four "Instructor 1"s, the population to instructor ratio is about 1,750 to 1.

"We are working to bridge the gap as much as possible, but for now, we can only do so much. Eventually we will get to the point where we'll have many instructors and can accommodate more community needs," Greendeer said.

The Hoocak Academy will be offering three types of classes available to the community. When a student wants to enroll into a class, the Hoocak Academy will call each class a "program." Therefore, each student will have to enroll into a program. Each class is tailored to meet different schedules and learning styles.

"It's important that the Hoocak Academy keeps track of each student and what program he or she has enrolled in. Therefore, we can tailor each program according to classroom hours and assist in student success within each program," Greendeer said.

The Pathway Accelerated Program is an evening course in which students meet for 1.5 hours three times per week for 12 weeks. This course layout is designed for dedicated learners who want to engage in a more classroom style setting. The classes are offered by a Hoocak Academy instructor and an Eminent Speaker.

The Pathway Program is a course in which the participants meet during the day for one hour, three times per week, for nine weeks. This course is designed to move at a fast pace and is offered by a Hoocak Academy instructor and an Eminent Speaker.

The Direct Response Session will be offered for two hours per day Tuesday through Thursday. These classes will offer tutoring for both Pathway Accelerated Class and Pathway Class participants. The classes are offered by the Hoocak Academy instructors.

They are presently working on policies and a student handbook, in which the expectations for the students and instructors are clearly defined.

"We expect to be as consistent as possible," she said.

They will use a number of techniques, communication, white boards and handouts to help with instruction. They hope to implement social media in this endeavor, and they have developed an email account to handle all correspondence for the Academy:

The classes are being planned in Wisconsin Dells, Tomah and Black River Falls, with specific locations depending on the course.

Besides language courses in the three communities, Greendeer wants to provide instruction to people who live outside those areas.

"We need to develop an online class," Greendeer said. "We have a lot of tribal members who would like to attend a class but due to time scheduling and location, they're unable to. Therefore, we need to look into the future and work on creating online classes."

But just learning the language is not enough, she said. We need to use the language every day in everyday settings.

For now, the Hoocak Academy is a good start into developing a solid basis of learning. From the courses, other avenues can be developed.

Once participants complete the courses, Greendeer plans to present each with a certificate and a gift.

"I would like to have an event that combines the three areas for those people who completed the program. We could provide a reward for them," Greendeer said.

Instructors have been designated for certain areas and will have their own style and method of teaching And each of them are dedicated to seeing the students succeed.

"It will be really good for them to see the students' progression," said Hoocak Language Instructor 1 Dana DeBoer

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Hoocak Waaziija Haci Language Division
The Hoocak Waaziija Haci Language Division is dedicated to ensuring the Hoocak Language continues to be a "LIVING LANGUAGE". As a sign of respect to our elders, and the speakers that have come before us. We will continu to speak our language, celebrate our customs, respect The Hoocak value system and teach our future Generations the "HOOCAK WAY OF LIFE"

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