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How It’s “Biin” So Far

At the time I’m writing this post, it’s nearing the halfway point of my internship with WAYK and my summer in the community of Atka, Alaska. As the days go by, they only seem to pass ever more quickly. But new experiences have been plentiful, just as has my acquisition of knowledge regarding the WAYK… Read more »

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Use It Or Lose It

If you don’t use it you’ll lose it. That age-old adage we hear, especially about language learning, means that if you don’t speak the languages you know you will forget them. This has happened to me many times. Growing up in Canada, taking French was mandatory for me in school and I took it all… Read more »

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WAYK Unangam Tunuu Summer Intensive 2.0

My name is Robyn and this will be my second summer as a WAYK intern. Last summer I was a WAYK intern helping out with the Unangam Tunuu project on St. Paul Island Alaska, learning and teaching the Eastern dialect, Qawalangim Tunuu. My internship last summer was my first experience with WAYK. I had a… Read more »

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Intern Introduction: Samuel Catanach

Bahpibo! (Hello!) My name is Samuel and I am from P’osuwaegeh Owingeh (meaning ‘Water Drinking Place Village’), more commonly known as the Pueblo of Pojoaque, a Tewa speaking American Indian community located in northern New Mexico (the keyword being “new”). Furthermore, I am a graduate student in the master’s in American Indian Studies (AIS) program… Read more »

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Intern Introduction: Erin McGarvey

Hi, I’m Erin McGarvey.  I am originally from Jordan, a very small town just outside of St. Catharines, Ontario.    My school only had about 160 kids and my house had grape vineyards behind it and woods in front of it.  When I was nine, I moved to the city, but I have will always… Read more »

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Meet WAYK’s 2016 summer intern team!

When we opened up our application for summer WAYK interns in January, our summer intensive in Atka, AK seemed very far in the future. This year, it is wonderful that we are once again able to offer three sponsored intern positions for the summer, thanks to the support of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, the Aleut… Read more »

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Is Any Project Ever “Simple”?

Very early in the summer Evan mentioned to me that there were some Unangam Tunuu books that had been read by speakers but to date no one had figured out how to, or at least had not gotten around to, combining the audio with the scanned copies of the books. This meant that anyone wanting… Read more »

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What it’s like to be a WAYK Intern

Interning: do anything and everything #forthelanguage! Explaining what it’s like to be a WAYK intern is no easy task. To be perfectly honest, I really had no idea what I was in for when I boarded the plane that would take me to St. Paul Island, Alaska. Even once I figured out what I was… Read more »

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Call for WAYK Summer 2016 Interns!

This summer, we are very lucky to again be able to offer three WAYK internship opportunities.  These positions are sponsored by our host community (Atka, Alaska) in partnership with APIA and a number of other regional organizations. Participating in a WAYK summer project is one of the best ways to be fully immersed in another… Read more »

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WAYK Summer Intern Expectations: 2016 Update

What you can expect as an intern: You will learn how to use WAYK. One of the main purposes of the WAYK Summer Intensive is to provide a comprehensive training in WAYK skills, something that is difficult to demonstrate or even explain in a week-long workshop or a few language lessons. WAYK interns will learn… Read more »

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The Best Part of My WAYK Summer

By far the best part of my WAYK summer was getting to work with the local team on St. Paul Island. Our group was a lot of fun because we had so many high school students and rising college freshmen working with us on the project. The last time I was around so many high… Read more »

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A Day in the Life

A day in the life of a WAYK intern is a lot like that of anyone else working on our Unangam Tunuu project – we start with a stand up meeting, we make a schedule, then begin working on whatever we’ve got on the schedule. But what’s on the schedule is a little up in… Read more »

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Technique: Mumble

  When you’re learning a language it can be really easy to get bogged down trying to pronounce everything correctly, especially when you’re learning entirely new sounds. For example, if English is the only language you speak then you’ve got a rather limited inventory of sounds that you’re used to making and if you’re learning… Read more »

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Surprise, you’re a teacher.

Something that has made the WAYK Summer Intensive special for me is the role of teaching. Before WAYK, I had a lot of misconceptions regarding what it is to teach. Most importantly, I never really considered myself a “teacher.” Even in situations where I was quite literally teaching another person something, I would consider myself… Read more »

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The Intersection of Language and Food

Food is often the social spark that brings people together. I learned very quickly when planning events in university that if you want people to show up to a meeting or presentation to always provide food, and just mention in the flyer that there will be free food and chances are more people will show… Read more »

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Robyn and Casey’s Language Adventure: Part 4 (Cooking in chinuk)

A fun way to practice TQ: Same Conversation is to cook in the language you are hunting. Fun fact about our super organized WAYK house on St. Paul: we have a meal rotation that assigns a pair of people to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So on nights that Robyn or I cook with Sky… Read more »

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Robyn and Casey’s Language Adventure: Part S.E.A.L.

The hardest part of hunting Chinuk is easily the most rewarding at the same time – much like the three mile “marathon” going on next week that Sky has convinced me is worth doing for the t-shirt, if nothing else. Coming into the WAYK team already having spent a couple of years learning ASL has… Read more »

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Robyn & Casey’s Language Adventure: Part 2

“The only time you are speaking wrong is when you are not speaking at all.” These are the words on a sign up in the Civic Center which is the home-base of the Unangam Tunuu Summer Language Intensive on St. Paul Island. Although I completely agree with this sentiment sometimes it’s harder to live out… Read more »

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Sky Hopinka: Why I returned for another WAYK Summer

  Working with Evan, David Edwards, and April Charlo at the first WAYK summer program was a great experience. I learned a lot about language revitalization as well as community revitalization. Working with the seven high school students was great also, seeing language work from a different perspective. So when I had the chance to… Read more »

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Robyn & Casey’s Language Adventure: Part 1

When we signed up to be interns with WAYK we really had no idea what we were actually getting ourselves into…in a good way. It’s next to impossible to explain in a two hour interview or one hour teleconference what you do for 18ish hours a day, 7 days a week, while living in a… Read more »