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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 »

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Guest Post: Sorry Charlie – Learned Helplessness

Today as part of our professional development, we were presented with the following video: While watching this I got to think about Sorry Charlie.  When we throw someone a Sorry Charlie, or when we speak to quickly, we’re throwing them an impossible task.  This is the kind of thing that makes people Full, and unable… Read more »

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Stephen Printup—Chinuk Wawa Blogpost

My name is Stephen and I was introduced to Chinuk Wawa and the Where Are Your Keys method about 2 years ago. I am a student at Portland State with Sky, Melissa, Alina, Stevie and have had some lessons with Evan. Although, I originally intended to simply satisfy my university language requirement with a native… Read more »

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Meet Qwina West and the Bishop Paiute language class of Bishop California

In February I received a random email. Qwina said he watched the videos on you tube and vimeo and decided to take WAYK for a spin!  He taped the first sessions and sent them to me to look over.  I was astounded by Qwina’s ability to wield techniques and work through the USC’s first rides… Read more »

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Alina earns University Credit for WAYK at Portland State!

The best part of summer has to be no school and homework to get in the way of me focusing on Hunting Navajo and gaining fluency in Chinuk Wawa. My journey and first interactions with Where are your keys?, occurred at Portland State University. I was a transfer student from Utah State University the term… Read more »

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Meet Melissa

Blog 1: What did WAYK at PSU give you? I was a Senior at Portland State University in my second to last term when I decided to attend a Chinuk Wawa language class held at the Native Center. There were two passionate teachers, Sky Hopinka and Stevie Lemke that made me feel welcome even though… Read more »

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WAYK Travelogue: Sky and David in China – Part 3

These Colors Don’t Run Basically, why we were in Fangshan was that the Principal runs a school for the children of under privileged migrant workers, the Boshi school.  She was working with Irene’s NGO (non-governmental organization) to put together a project where the teachers who work at these schools for migrant children use the WAYK method… Read more »

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Miguel San Pedro: Spanish Discoveries and a New Technique Name

While I was helping Evan over the past few weeks improve his house to sell, I had some time to learn Spanish from him. We didn’t have to set aside some time for lessons. After all, language is about communication, not classroom exercises. We simply made a deal that if I wanted to help out… Read more »

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Miguel San Pedro: What’s Been Going On

  Oregon’s been treating me well lately, and I’ve been approaching this summer with a lot of wonder. Here’s what I’ve been up to the past several weeks so you can catch up with me to the present. Late June David, Sky, and I were in Bend. Evan was accompanying us most of the time,… Read more »

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WAYK Welcomes an Intern, Miguel San Pedro

Hi, everyone! My name’s Miguel, and I’m one of the Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK) interns this summer. I’ve been in the beautiful state of Oregon since Monday, June 25, spending time with fellow interns David Edwards and Sky Hopinka while meeting with Evan Gardner and so many other exciting people. Since three weeks ago, David and… Read more »

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It Takes Two to Tango

(by WAYK intern David Edwards) I had an epiphany yesterday. This Saturday, Sky and I are flying to China to help an NGO in Beijing run a summer WAYK training for local migrant English teachers. It’s been just over a year since I got back from China, and I’ve been absolutely giddy to get back… Read more »

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A Fascinating Story: A Summer with Where Are Your Keys?

This past summer, while we were in Warm Springs, Sky Hopinka was filming and interviewing us for a short documentary he wanted to do on WAYK.  Now that the editing and everything is done, we’d like to share it with you all.  This 20 minute film gives an overview of the Techniques, the community building… Read more »

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WAYK News From Stanford

Greetings, friends.  Today we have a guest blog from Julia Fine, a WAYK regular, sharing what they’ve been doing at Stanford University, and a bit about what we’ll be doing this upcoming summer… Hello WAYK-players! Here at Stanford, there have been several exciting WAYK-related developments over the past few weeks. “We Still Live Here” At… Read more »

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Status Report: Chinuk Wawa Language Nights in Portland

In this blog post, Sky Hopinka tells about his experiences so far with the Chinuk Wawa group at Portland State University. For the past eight weeks now, the Chinuk Wawa language group has been meeting two nights a week at the Native American Student and Community Center (NASCC) on the Portland State University campus here… Read more »

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Warm Springs WAYK High School students in the Bend Bulletin

The Bend Bulletin, the central Oregon newspaper, ran an article last week about the continuation of the summer language program at Madras High School.  Since the completion of the WAYK Summer Institute, several of the Warm Springs students and their teacher, Becky Dudney, were able to incorporate WAYK into their Native American Culture class:  … Read more »