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What Makes You Full?

The “What makes you full?” activity is invaluable for a group that will be working closely for a period of time. Past intern Robyn introduced it to Evan and Susanna, and they introduced it to this year’s visiting team, who are here on St. Paul Island for the summer of 2017. What do we mean… Read more »

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Why Non-Indigenous Alaskans Need to Care about Indigenous Languages

Note from Myles: This post is directed towards Alaskan readers of the WAYK blog.  In 2014, 20 Indigenous languages were made official languages of the State of Alaska. For many Indigenous speakers and learners, this was an important shift in Alaska’s history. This act is just a small piece of a larger movement that is… Read more »

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Four (Language) Fairies Worth Killing

One of my favorite things about WAYK is its desire to stay in immersion for as many minutes as possible by avoiding translation (e.g. TQ: Spare the Fairies). However, there were a few fairies that I gladly squished. Working with speakers (and partial speakers) of Tagalog who didn’t know the Techniques, and lacking the fluency… Read more »

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The Road So Far

After Kay joined us for a few weeks in North Vancouver, BC working with Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Songhees Nation, she returned to Chicago. Here’s an update! Before I left Vancouver, Evan and I crafted a detailed plan on how to get me fluent in Tagalog. Having a fluent speaker in my house—who was a really… Read more »

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Madeline’s Reflections on the Summer

Madeline Snigaroff, who joined the team for the 2018 Summer Intensive in Anchorage sent us this update in November.  It’s been four months since I left Anchorage, and I now find myself in quite another world. College, distance, and busyness make it difficult to keep the active language-learning mindset that WAYK taught me over the summer, but… Read more »

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Robbie’s 2018 Update from Trevelin, Esquel, & Bariloche

Here’s Robbie Penman’s update from the spring of 2018, several months after his summer with WAYK on St. Paul Island, Alaska. Thanks for the update, Robbie! In April, me and Caoife left Melipüllü, a.k.a. Puerto Montt (I’d been there for about three months, helping the local language revitalization team) for Argentina. We took a bit… Read more »

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What I’ve Been Up To Since the WAYK Summer Internship

Here’s Mary Leighton’s update from the winter of 2017, six months after her summer with WAYK on St. Paul Island, Alaska. Thanks for the update, Mary! The summer internship seems like a foggy dream from a long time ago – those long northern latitude days, the otherworldly flora and fauna, and the literal fog of… Read more »

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Going Cold Jerky*: Outside of the WAYK Bubble

Here’s Robbie Penman’s update from the fall of 2017, a few months after his summer with WAYK on St. Paul Island, Alaska. Thanks for the update, Robbie! *Jerky is one of the few Quechua words in English At the end of August 2017, I came back to the Ununited Kingdom (note to Susanna: that’s deliberate!)… Read more »

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The Unangam Tunuu Speaking Listening Teaching Team

I would like to give a shout out to the Unangam Tunuu Speaking Listening Teaching Team (UTSLT) on St. Paul Island. 2017 was WAYK’s third year partnering with the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, and I was brought here to be patient and supportive student for the UTSLT members. As a fellow Unangax̂, and… Read more »

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WAYK Workshop versus Summer Language Intensive

I first met Evan and Susanna at a handful of WAYK workshops, which were each about two to five days long: three workshops at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage and one at the Songhees Wellness Center in Victoria, BC. Because of my attendance at these workshops, I was lucky enough to find out… Read more »

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Relaxing in Immersion

Picture this: I grab a beautiful blue egg shell, a white feather, and two model birds, and join my group at a table in the back room for immersion time. Without any discussion or planning, we five young women blow up an imaginary immersion bubble to bid farewell to English – from here on out,… Read more »

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Master Teachers and Techniques

Have you ever watched a master teacher at work? As a student teacher walking into a master teacher’s classroom for the first time, it is easy to have the misconception that the students are magically doing what they are supposed to be doing. The truth is that the teacher is using techniques to seamlessly facilitate… Read more »

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WAYK and Community Organizing

They say that for the person with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. A few years ago I was formally introduced to community organizing, and yes, now I do see it as an answer to many conundrums. What about language revitalization? There are so many different approaches to it, including academic degrees and… Read more »

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Layering WAYK with Other Immersion Methods

I was first acquainted with WAYK in 2015, attending a Lingít language circle put on at the University of Alaska Anchorage. I really liked the technique as a way to make language learning fun and to facilitate immersion in a language circle setting. After being introduced to WAYK, I worked at the Alaska Native Heritage… Read more »

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Guest Post: Nate’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

Aang! Amilaayam Tunuu ilan Nathaniel asax̂takuq. Unangam Tunuu ilan Tanĝaaĝix̂ asax̂takuq. I am from Anchorage, Alaska but I live in Atka, Alaska. I go to Yakov E. Netsvetov School. I have always wanted to talk with my elders in Unangax̂. I was told about the Atka Summer Intensive by my Godmother, Crystal Dushkin. She has… Read more »

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Guest Post: Timothy’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

My name is Timothy and I am 15 years old. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and I was raised in Atka. I go to Yakov Netsvetov School and I am in 10th grade. When I heard about the 2016 Summer Intensive, I was interested in joining because I hear elders in our village speak… Read more »

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Guest Post: Junior’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

Aang! My name is Junior and I’m from Atka, Alaska. I go to school at Yakov E. Netsvetov School. The reason why I was interested in this Summer Language Intensive is because my language (Niiĝuĝim Tunuu) is dying and I want to keep it going. The activities I liked from this summer were the icebreakers… Read more »

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The Danger of Putting Endangered Languages on a “Shelf”

What does it mean to revitalize a language? What does it mean to secure its existence for the next generation of speakers? What does this look like and why is it important? As a Native person who is deeply concerned about the future of my heritage language, Tewa, these are the types of questions I… Read more »

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Guest Post: Teaching Students How to Hunt

As I explained the concept and procedure of a “Bucket Brigade” to twenty-four slightly sleepy sophomores, I became nervous. They seemed nervous, lost, anxious. What if this lesson, which would be their first true foray into WAYK…failed? I pushed on though, remembering the valuable WAYK TQ of “How Fascinating!”—if this lesson failed, I would simply… Read more »

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Guest Post: Meet Bobbi Dushkin!

This summer, Bobbi Dushkin joins the local team and the WAYK team at the Atka Summer Intensive as APIA’s regional intern. We are thrilled that she’s here! Hello my name is Bobbi Dushkin, I was born and raised in Alaska. I grew up and lived in Sand Point, an Eastern dialect speaking community. My family… Read more »