WAYK Summer Intensive Schedule: 2018 Update

It can be hard to imagine what a language revitalization summer looks like, but working to keep a language alive is a full-time endeavor. Here’s an updated look at what to expect from the WAYK Summer Intensive schedule in 2018. As with any program centered around language learning, it’s essential that we have daily contact with… Read more »

WAYK Summer Intern Expectations: 2018 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 comprehensive training in WAYK skills, something that is difficult to demonstrate or even explain in a week-long workshop or a few language lessons. Communities that invite WAYK for a Summer Intensive… Read more »

Call for WAYK 2018 Interns!

This summer, we are once again fortunate to offer internship opportunities during the 2018 WAYK Summer Intensive. The internship positions are sponsored by our host community (APIA), in partnership with TAC, TAF, and a number of other regional organizations. Participating in a WAYK summer project is one of the best ways to be fully immersed… Read more »

Announcing WAYK’s 2018 Summer Intensive: Anchorage, Alaska!

WAYK is very excited to announce—after months (and years!) of planning with our host community—that our 2018 Summer Intensive will take place in Anchorage, Alaska! In 2018, we will continue our work with Unangam Tunuu, an Eskimo-Aleut language with a small number of speakers in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. Unangam Tunuu has been the… Read more »

A Day in the Life of a WAYK Team Member

I don’t know if it’s possible to share an “average” day, but here is a sample day as a WAYK Team Member, based on Thursday June 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Alaska. 8:15 AM Breakfast. The eight of us – Evan, Susanna, and the six visiting team members – eat our meals together at the WAYK house,… Read more »

Techniques and Metalinguistic Comments

Early on in teaching TQs (Techniques), Evan pointed out that an ASL (American Sign Language) sign can be used in at least two ways in WAYK. For example, the sign translatable as ‘again’ can be used as in the sentence ‘then the shark nibbled me on the finger again’. Or it can be used as… Read more »

Circle of Questions and Silly Conversations

At the beginning of the summer language intensive, Susanna and Evan introduced us to the Circle of Questions, a concept used in TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling; read more in Fluency Through TPR Storytelling). I find it an incredibly useful tool for learning and teaching. Below is a description of the concept with… Read more »

Fairy Killing or Linguistics Terminology?

As part of the Summer Language Intensive we took part in an excellent training in archiving practices (see Rachel Sprouse and Talia London’s blogs for more info). During this training, the local team decided on how to label the items in their archive; in other words, what “metadata” to attach to the items. My attention… Read more »

Mind Meadows

“Mind meadows” are an adaptation of Technique: Meadow brought to us by Justin Slocum-Bailey of Indwelling Language.  “Imagine you’re on an island,” our leader starts. The room fills with smiles and muffled laughs; being smack dab in the middle of the Bering Sea, it’s not hard to imagine such a far-fetched situation. “You’re on an… Read more »

Relationship Dynamics in Language Learning

I have been thinking about the relationship between a language learner and an “informant”, who may be a native speaker, a fluent speaker, or just someone more proficient than the learner. Here on St. Paul Island, local language team members have been improving their fluency by “language hunting” with some of the elders who either… Read more »

Latest
  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 37: “Overwhelming Grandma”

    1 hour, 7 minutes, 5 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Tea with Grandma” Where do you start when you sit down with Grandma? 2. Technique “Start at the Beginning” 3. Technique “What is that?” 4. Technique “Hunting Party” Willem explains to the rest of the language hunters, not sitting with Grandma having tea, that they… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 36: “Let’s Hunt!”

    50 minutes and 43 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “the Meadow” 2. Technique “the Evaluation” We give attendees a blank piece of paper to (anonymously or not) give us feedback on the workshop experience. Because some attendees left earlier, we didn’t get feedback from them; we don’t know why they left. Next time we’ll put… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 35: A Culture of Interaction

    39 minutes and 52 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Full”/”Law of Two Feet” 2. Technique “the Meadow” A modification of technique “Pooh Corner”, developed for the SYL conference. A place for “full” lunatic-fringers to go to recuperate. Inspired by Open Space Technology gatherings. The Meadow is liberally sprinkled with interesting and topically relevant books and… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 34: Complexity of Play

    47 minutes and 48 seconds. [direct download] Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen discuss (once again, while on the road to the June Vancouver, B.C. “Save Your Language” Conference”) issues of building fluency, over proficiency, by making technique use more complex, rather than language use. WARNING: this podcast contains some mildly off-color humor of possibly the… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 33: Please Return WAYK Players

    22 minutes and 36 seconds. [direct download] Evan and Willem talk about the importance of returning, experienced WAYK players at workshops, while traveling to Vancouver, B.C., for the “Save Your Language” conference hosted by Dustin Rivers of Squamish Nation. 1. Technique “Please Return WAYK Players” Return players will help workshops and game experiences go faster…. Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 32: Killing Faeries

    32 minutes and 14 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Killing Faeries” Every time you ask for a translation, and receive it, you kill a faery. It’s not the end of the world, but it does indicate a lost opportunity for gaining more proficiency in the craft of language hunting, rather than just acquiring language. 2…. Read more »

  • Playing WAYK Without a Common Language

    What do you do when you don’t have a spoken Bridge Language? You play WAYK! Sometimes you can think of WAYK as really just the best game of charades you’ll ever play in your life. [vodpod id=Video.3814207&w=425&h=350&fv=]

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 31: Tea with Grandma

    45 minutes and 52 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Tea with Grandma” 2. Technique “Same Conversation” Leanne Hinton’s work with the Master/Apprentice system. Hang out with your elder, as much as possible, to learn their language. It seems to be missing the apprentice’s training in rigorous language hunting to accelerate the acquisition of language from… Read more »

  • Using WAYK to Learn Norwegian at XP 2010

    For a very good reason, which they understand better than I, XP (Extreme Programming) and Agile Software Development enthusiasts see a connection between the mentoring language and play of the WAYK game system, and their work. This, I believe, has to do with the similarity of a “language of successful strategies” that the approaches share…. Read more »

  • “Save Your Language” Conference 2010

    Here’s a short video of the SYL 2010 conference, held on June 5th and 6th in Vancouver, B.C, hosted by Squamish Nation language revitalization activist Dustin Rivers. Evan and I graduated the biggest batch of language hunters yet, all ready to enter the world and apply their skills to their endangered heritage languages. [vodpod id=Video.3793523&w=425&h=350&fv=]

  • Children on “the Walk”

    [vodpod id=Video.3749780&w=425&h=350&fv=] We thought we’d share another video of “the Walk”. In this video you’ll see 7 year-old Jackson playing along with us on “the Walk”. Though for this “Walk”, you’ll only see one youngster, Evan runs this same walk with large groups of young children at other events besides Chinuk night. Keep in mind,… Read more »

  • People First Radio Interview on the “Save Your Language” conference

    From the People First Radio website: On saving traditional languages: Young activists are tackling the disappearance of traditional Aboriginal languages using a unique learning method May 27, 2010 “If our language dies, then our identity as a nation does,” according to Squamish Nation member Dustin Rivers. Dustin recently told the Vancouver Straight that land, culture,… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 30: Taking 3-D Holographic Notes

    58 minutes and 17 seconds. [direct download] Willem and Joel (a veteran of a Portland WAYK workshop), with Peter and Sara listening, talk over Joel’s experiences that Chinuk Night. Then later, Evan and Willem discuss how the evening of Chinuk Wawa games went. 1. Technique “the Walk” Joel experienced “the Walk” for the first time,… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 29: Mother May I?

    27 minutes and 2 seconds. [direct download] Willem interviews Peter and Sara about the games they led for the most recent Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon) Night. We discover that yet another newbie has zoomed through language acquisition, but not mastered basic WAYK techniques. Peter then describes “the Walk” that he led, as documented in this… Read more »

  • “Save Your Language Conference” and WAYK on People First Radio

    This Thursday, May 27th, during the noon hour (12pm-1pm), the folks at People First Radio will be interviewing Dustin Rivers (Squamish Nation language activist) and Willem Larsen (partner in WAYK) about the “Save Your Language” conference in Vancouver, B.C. (June 5th and 6th), and the WAYK grassroots language revitalization method. Go to the People First… Read more »

  • One week to go till registration deadline: “Save Your Language” conference, June 5th/6th in Vancouver, B.C.

    http://saveyourlanguage.wordpress.com VANCOUVER, BC – Native languages are dying, but there is still hope. A recent report from the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council (First Peoples’ Council) revealed that fluent speakers represent only five per cent of B.C’s total population of First Nations, despite the Province being home to 60 per cent of Canada’s… Read more »

  • Squamish Activist Plans Language Conference in Vancouver, B.C.

    The upcoming “Save Your Language” conference is finally getting in the news. Check it out: Squamish Nation activist plans conference to save First Nations languages in B.C. By Stephen Hui Dustin Rivers knows that the language of his people has been described as “critically endangered” and “nearly extinct”. Unless drastic action is taken right now… Read more »

  • Help “Where Are Your Keys?” Help the World

    Thank you to everyone playing WAYK, and for getting the word out about the Fluency Revolution. Please keep it up – we’re making progress, but aren’t quite there yet. We’re realizing that the greatest obstacle to our mission at this time is funding. We believe that once we’re fully funded, we can help communities turn… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 28: WAYK Eye on the Straight Guy

    1 hour, 50 minutes, and 53 seconds. [direct download] Evan Gardner, Willem Larsen, Peter, and Joel interview each other on Chinuk Wawa Night (Chinook Jargon). Though this episode is almost two hours long, we really encourage you to  hang in there and soak it all up; many vital issues came up that should further illuminate… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 27: The Olympics of Language Acquisition

    35 minutes and 54 seconds. [direct download] Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen discuss some of the central issues of WAYK, such as its use of sign language, as a “bridge language“, for learning spoken language. 1. Technique “Bridge Language“ WAYK doesn’t just use ASL; it is designed to help you learn new sign languages too,… Read more »