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Guest Post: MFLA Spring Outreach 2015

    In addition to fall and spring conferences, every year, the Maryland Foreign Language Association travels to a different region of the state, to bring professional development directly the language teachers in those areas. This year I had the opportunity to work with teachers on Maryland’s eastern shore, and share with them some of… Read more »

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WAYK proves I’m not a language-learning dud!

When the community we planned to start working with in late May 2014 had its funding temporarily delayed, Evan and I decided to make the most of our free time and the +1500-km drive I had made from Edmonton to the Pacific Northwest. I met him in his hometown in rural Oregon, and we spent the next 10 days using Where Are Your Keys? Techniques to… 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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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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Guest Post: Teresa’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

My name is Teresa Baker, I’m from the Pribilof Islands and I’m going to share with you a bit of my 2015 Summer Language Intensive experience.  For about 3 years now I’ve been working on our language in school, out of school, throughout the summer, and at work. Over a period of time I’ve watched… Read more »

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Guest Post: Linnae’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

Aang, Linnae Kozloff asax̂takuqing. I am from Saint Paul Island, Alaska. I happen to go to Saint Paul school.  I am interested in the Unangam Tunuu language project because I am willing to help keep my language alive because unfortunately it is going extinct. I have been involved with this language project for about three… Read more »

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Guest Post: Kiana’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

My name is Kiana.  I live in Saint Paul Island, Alaska and I go to the Pribilof School. I got involved in the Saint Paul Summer Language Intensive because I applied for a job as youth hire and I was involved for about a month.  The reason I was interested in this language project was… Read more »

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Guest Post: Maidu Language Classes Using WAYK

I am Danny YellowFeather Manning, I have been working with the Weye-ebis project with Donna Clark and the Susanville Indian Rancheria language team since November 2014. My teacher is Wilhelmina Ives, one of the last Maidu speakers, and she has been having classes every Friday at the Greenville Rancheria. In early 2015, I had a… Read more »

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Guest Post: WAYKing up Unangam Tunuu

This summer, WAYK (Where Are Your Keys) creator Evan Gardner, Susanna Ciotti, WAYK veteran Sky Hopinka and two language-loving interns, Casey and Robyn, battled unpredictable airline schedules and dreary weather patterns to facilitate the Unangam Tunuu Summer Language Intensive on the tiny remote island of St. Paul, AK situated far in the Bering Sea. This island… 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 »

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Intern Introduction: Casey Boyette

I’m starting my third year at the University of  Virginia this fall, where I major in linguistics, which is how I ended up applying to work on this summer intensive. Other than languages, I spend a lot of time on the college radio station and buying/cooking/eating/thinking about food. I’m from North Carolina so I’ve already… Read more »

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Intern Introduction: Robyn Giffen

I am originally from Calgary, Alberta, but have been in Kelowna, BC for the past 6 years completing two degrees. I very recently (as in the week before I left for Alaska) defended my Master’s thesis in linguistic anthropology and am currently enjoying my newfound freedom as a non-student for the first time ever. My… Read more »

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Guest Post: Lingít Language Classes using WAYK

  I began learning my Native language, Lingít, about three years ago. At some point I came to the idea that I would like to eventually teach the language. However, I imagined doing so in a very distant future after many years of dedicated study of the language and time with fluent Lingít elders, when… Read more »

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Technique: Angel Boss

TQ: angel on your shoulder is a clever little technique that provides support for learners whose turn it is to speak: all of the other players in the circle participate by signing, mouthing, and sometimes even speaking the words in tandem with the player whose turn it is. This combination of oral and verbal prompts often… Read more »

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Why WAYK Works

You probably already knew that raw intellect isn’t enough to learn a language. Ever tried memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules? You might pass a test, but try having a conversation. “Knowing” a language and actually speaking it are two different things, in the same way as knowing musical theory and how a piano works doesn’t… Read more »

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“It’s for the Language!”

One of the techniques in Where Are Your Keys? is called “Same Conversation.” By having the same conversation several times, covering the same vocabulary, grammar, questions, and responses, learners gain confidence in the words they are choosing, and are able to practice putting them together smoothly and correctly. While Evan was teaching me Chinuk Wawa in Oregon, I convinced him to… Read more »

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Being a Stealth Hunter in Another Country

When I moved to Israel this past year, I knew hardly anything about Hebrew, but I was determined not to let that stop me from living like an Israeli. I’ve been using WAYK for the last few years with friends on everything from Latin to Chinook Wawa, and I was ready to go stealth. No… Read more »