Birds of St. Paul Island

This year the WAYK Summer Language Intensive is taking place on St. Paul Island, Alaska (Tanax̂ Amix̂ in Unangam Tunuu), nicknamed the “Galapagos of the North”, a name true to the beauty and diversity of the flora and fauna here. St. Paul Island is a small island in the Bering Sea off the western coast… Read more »

Learning a Language While “Low on Spoons”

If you read many of the WAYK blog posts, you may notice that language learning is a dynamic process that includes dozens of learning techniques, process tools, and juggling short-term and long-term planning. A day in the life of a summer language intensive is packed with scheduling, language hunting, taking care of administrative tasks, cleaning… Read more »

Language Hunting vs. Language Documentation

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been learning how to “hunt” language. When I first heard what people meant by “hunt” in WAYK-speak, I wondered: is this what I learnt to call “elicitation” in my classes on linguistic field methods at SOAS (my alma mater)? I’ve decided that the answer is: not exactly, but… Read more »

WAYK Terms & Linguistic Terms

In this post, I would like to explore some of the terminology used in WAYK versus that which is used in academic linguistics. This isn’t necessarily to put one up and disparage another but just to look at the different approaches each group of terminology uses. In general, I would say that academic language tends… Read more »

Why Do We “Hunt” Language?

Why do we “hunt” language? I asked Evan why we use “hunting” as a primary metaphor for the Where Are Your Keys approach to language learning. We use the word a lot, and it’s a pretty loaded term (pun intended). In WAYK, language hunting is an activity that you do as a learner with a… Read more »

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 »

Reinventing “Languagization”

One of the things that has struck me so far about this summer has been the “organization” of the team. That word alone doesn’t quite capture what I mean; maybe a better one would be “organizational culture”, a term I’m not that familiar with but seems to do the job. It’s something that has interested… Read more »

Use the Process Tools, but Don’t Let the Process Tools Consume You

One of many things that I appreciated while interning with the WAYK team is that they equip you not only with tools for learning and teaching language, but also with skills to make yourself an all around more effective person. There are many process tools that we use in various capacities, but I think my… Read more »

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 »

Archiving Training: Top Three Takeaways

“It’s got to be here somewhere. It just has to be,” I say to no one in particular. “Where did I put it? I swear someone must have moved it.” If you’ve ever worked on project with a lot of moving pieces or are simply a mere human such as myself, you know the feeling…. Read more »

Latest
  • 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 »

  • “the Walk”: A Core WAYK Conversation

    [vodpod id=Video.3646521&w=425&h=350&fv=] The WAYK method/mentoring language generates an ever-growing (and complexifying) collection of “Same Conversations”; reliable, familiar, and consistently repeating back-and-forth dialogues of language play. The “WAYK?” core conversation, the specific conversation about the pens, stick, rock, around the low table, is the primary laboratory, and first “same conversation”, for learning and applying WAYK. I… Read more »

  • An Index of WAYK Videos, Podcasts, and more

    WAYK player Jay Bazuzi has put together a handy index of almost everything we’ve produced for WAYK. Check it out: http://wayk.bazuzi.com

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 26: “You’re Blowing My Mind!”

    [direct download] Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen interview each other regarding a visit to Kent Siebold’s “Theories of Knowledge” class at Cleveland High School, in Portland, Oregon. 1. Technique “Too Cool for School“ Kent has been the host of the monthly WAYK nights at his large, rambling, 100 year old house. They went to Kent’s… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 25: “Dictionary Addiction”

    [direct download] Evan and Willem meet Hunter, a new friend, at a coffee shop during a day of WAYK demonstrations for a local high school. They spend the lunch hour talking about a very important issue in WAYK – the addiction of mainstream-schooled language learners to books, over fluent speakers. 1. Technique “Dictionary Addiction“ Hunter… Read more »

  • Deep Breaths. And a Long View.

    I’d like to say I’ve gotten better at not panicking when I hear of a language struggling. While mostly true, I still have a reaction – it now just feels like a dull ache in my gut, and a fluttering of my heart. It’s an odd feeling we have here, on the WAYK team, especially… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 24: “It becomes second nature”

    [direct download] Evan Gardner interviews Justin Robinson, Mary Wydell (a steadily progressing new “speaker-teacher”), and others about the most recent Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon) night. 1. Technique “Colors and Numbers” conversation Evan asks Mary about improving the props. Better crayons! 2. Technique “33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99“ 3. Technique “Total Physical Response“ Mary’s… Read more »

  • The diverse conversations of Chinuk Wawa Night

    [vodpod id=Video.3605227&w=425&h=350&fv=] This video demonstrates how speakers of all levels can come together and support each other; we don’t segregate speakers of different experience levels. On the contrary, they need to mix with each other, overhearing more advanced conversations, and watching how other “speaker-teachers” lead games for different proficiency levels. Remember: “We’ll All Get There… Read more »

  • “Save Your Language” WAYK conference in Vancouver B.C., June 5th and 6th

    Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen will be traveling to Vancouver, B.C., this June 5th and 6th, for a WAYK language revitalization training weekend amongst  a diverse community of B.C. First Nations. If you’ve wanted to learn the “Where Are Your Keys?” method of community mentoring, then this is your chance. Registration for this 2 day… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 23: Turning the Corner

    1 hr, 45 minutes, and 30 seconds. [direct download] In this really long episode, almost two hours long, we debrief our Chinuk Wawa conversation night, and realize that we’re experiencing the feeling of turning the corner on the revitalization of the language. We bask in the glow for a bit, and address many issues that… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 22: “My Abilities Have Skyrocketed”

    59 minutes and 24 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Backup“ Dustin brought Tiffany and her toddler son with him, two regulars from his Vancouver Squamish language night Squamish Valley is located in the country, about 80 kilometers from Vancouver 2. Technique “Set-up“ The game took place in a community/rec center He set up a “Lotus“… Read more »