Bubble Policy: How Can Immersion Bubbles Help an Indigenous Language Community?

In my last blog, I wrote about the obstacles to maintaining an immersion bubble. In this blog, I ask how the immersion bubble, as a kind of “language policy”, can further the interests of an Indigenous language community. There are two related benefits to immersion bubbles, as I see it. One benefit is that they… Read more »

Bubble Policy: Why Do People Break or Keep Up Immersion?

The idea of creating an “immersion bubble” is probably nothing new in language learning. Nor is it new within the field of language revitalization in the 20th and 21st centuries; creating immersion bubbles has been a goal of many revitalization movements at least since the kōhanga reo pre-school immersion initiatives in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the… Read more »

How to Use a Hunting Book

Take notes like a pro, or like a 5th grader, so long as you do it! In 2015, during my first summer with WAYK, Evan and Susanna gave me a hunting book to use for tracking the chinuk wawa I was learning. I’ll be honest: I didn’t really like or use it. I found it… Read more »

Keep Calm and Calendar On

Summer Language Intensives have a lot going on. All the time. Whether it’s lesson prep, an important conversation to be had, hunting language from elders over tea, or even just keeping the coffee station running, there’s always something that needs to be done. How does one keep everything going smoothly, especially with a larger team?… Read more »

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 »

Technique: Angel

Learning a language is exciting, but it can also be scary. I get nervous when I stumble over new sounds, hoping no one nearby noticed. My cheeks feel hot every time I ask someone to pronounce a word so that I can understand and copy the sounds correctly. Suddenly it feels as if my ability… Read more »

Linguistic Terminology Part 2

Read Myles’ first post about linguistic terminology here. Working in the field of linguistics over the last few years, I have noticed some divisions in terminology that I would like to highlight in this blog. As North American linguistics begins to turns away from its roots in “salvage linguistics” and more towards collaborative community-based research,… Read more »

5 Group Immersion Activities

Before I arrived at the St. Paul Unangam Tunuu Summer Language Intensive, I wondered what we would do on a typical day. I knew that there would be no teacher standing at the front of the room, no textbooks. How would we fill our time from nine to five? I discovered here a variety of… Read more »

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 »

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 »

Latest
  • WAYK Western Abenaki, “What is that?” to “Want/Have/Give/Take”

    Here’s two videos from the Western Abenaki Language Camp, that took place this July 2010. It’s exciting to see adults and kids playing together, with a lunatic fringe that seems to occasionally shake their heads in amazement at the proficiency of the young players. Keep in mind that these folks pulled this game together all… Read more »

  • WAYK Abenaki: the “Want/Have/Give/Take” song

    Youtube user westernabenaki has produced some great videos recently, applying WAYK to the Abenaki language. Another great example of someone we’ve never met or personally mentored taking the WAYK skillset and running with it! We get a thrill every time this happens. This first video is a Craig’s List song (yes, you can make CL… Read more »

  • Upcoming WAYK Events for Summer/Fall 2010

    For August and September, we have three different WAYK events coming up. We are actively seeking experienced WAYK players to back us up at these events, as we spoke about in the “Please Return WAYK Players”podcast. We place a priority on filling the workshops with Native American/First Nation attendees seeking to learn the WAYK method… Read more »

  • WAYK Unangax (Aleut) Language Revival in Bellingham, WA

    Save the Date! From August 24th through the 30th, in Bellingham, WA, Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen will be facilitating a week-long WAYK training and Unangax language revival event. If you are a WAYK player and would like to support Unangax language revival, along with honing your WAYK play to an unbelievable degree (7 days!… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 38: Abigail’s Antidote

    42 minutes and 56 seconds. [direct download] Evan, Peter, and Lisa gather for another Chinuk Night debriefing conversation. 1. Technique “Same Conversation” Peter and Evan collaborated on the conversation of “sharpening tools” 2. Technique “Craig’s List” Peter and Evan created a new CL, “How Do They Move” 3. Technique “Where Are Your Keys?” Lisa tells… Read more »

  • 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 »