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
  • 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 »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 21: We Are Family

    1 hr, 1 minute and 46 seconds. [direct download] In this episode, Evan interviews Peter and Pulikli, two Chinuk Wawa WAYK game leaders. Listen in on how WAYK “curriculum” design works, by joining this discussion about how WAYK players designed the Chinuk Wawa “family” conversation. 1. Technique “Set-up“ Peter describes the “set-up” – rigorously using… Read more »

  • The Squamish Universal Speed Curriculum

    The “Universal Speed Curriculum” is a way of transcribing the core WAYK conversation, designed to go up to “want/have/give/take” transactional conversation in the target language. We have several examples of this online; the original English version, Estonian, and Spanish. Dustin Rivers has been hard at work, improving the Squamish language Universal Speed Curriculum (USC) with… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 20: April’s San Francisco Workshop

    1 hour, 15 minutes, and 51 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Agile“ Why did we offer a WAYK workshop for IT professionals who belong to the Agile software development community? WAYK teaches “teacher-trainers”. WAYK is a pattern language; a mentoring language that (in an open source, ever-improving fashion) codifies the successful strategies involved in teaching… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 19: Grandma takes the Linguist by his lapels

    50 minutes and 56 seconds. [direct download here] 1. Technique “Where Are Your Keys?” What Evan means when he asks “Does she play WAYK?” 2. Technique “Fluent Fool“ Does Johann play “WAYK?“. The ideal “fluent fool” has no conventional training in teaching at all. 3. Technique “Shared Experience“ Finding the ideal “same conversation” for Willem… Read more »

  • Joining the WAYK community

    For everyone either wanting to be, or already involved, in the WAYK community, we have some good news. WAYK player Jay Bazuzi, creator of the series of Palestinian Arabic WAYK videos with his grandmother, has gone ahead and started his own “unofficial” google group for discussing and sharing the game and the craft of “language… Read more »