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
  • Dustin leads Justin’s second WAYK Squamish session

    [vodpod id=Video.3312271&w=425&h=350&fv=] This marks the beginning of Justin Robinson’s (a Chinook Nation WAYK instructor, who runs WAYK games with us in Chinuk Wawa) second session of WAYK Squamish, as led by Dustin Rivers (Squamish Nation). Dustin begins session two by “starting at the beginning” with “what’s that?“.

  • Estonian Universal Speed Curriculum

    Now we’re talking! WAYK community member Priit emailed us from his home country of Estonia recently, announcing he’s finished an Estonian Universal Speed Curriculum. This brings us to four USC, one in Estonian, one in Chinuk Wawa, one in Squamish Language, and the one Billy James Ulibarri and Walter Duran made in Spanish. Honestly folks:… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish #6: “Craig’s List: Mine/Yours”

    [vodpod id=Video.3289634&w=425&h=350&fv=] Squamish Nation WAYK instructor Dustin, now begins adding more and more complex language structure into the game, taking Justin (Chinook Nation WAYK instructor) all the way to “Is that my snake? No, that is not your snake, that is my snake”, using all the techniques he can to continue to stretch Justin’s fluent… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 8: “the Language Hunter”

    WAYK Podcast, Episode 8: “Hunting the Hunter”. 57 minutes and 35 seconds. [direct download here] In this episode, Evan and I debrief a session of WAYK Squamish language, where Dustin Rivers, a Squamish nation WAYK instructor led Justin Robinson, a Chinook Nation WAYK instructor (Chinuk Wawa). 1. Technique “Hunt the Hunter“ Dustin takes Justin farther,… Read more »

  • Experience WAYK in San Francisco, April 12th, 13th

    Looks like a game of WAYK to me! I’m sending out a reminder concerning our San Francisco workshop coming up in just a few weeks. We still have spots available! Last time we did a workshop in San Francisco (actually in Pleasanton, a nearby suburb) we had a fantastic time being hosted by Elisabeth Hendrickson’s… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish #5: “Craig’s List”, “No, not, don’t”

    [vodpod id=Video.3289465&w=425&h=350&fv=] In this video Squamish nation WAYK instructor Dustin continues leading Chinook Nation WAYK instructor Justin in a game of Squamish language WAYK. Dustin has now begun to add to the complexity of the language structure, by moving to using negation with “No, not, don’t”, as in “No, that is not a snake, that… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish #4: “Is that your…?”, “Start at the Beginning”, “Contract Sign”

    [vodpod id=Video.3288955&w=425&h=350&fv=] In this video Squamish nation WAYK instructor Dustin continues leading Chinook Nation WAYK instructor Justin in a game of Squamish language WAYK. Dustin has now begun to add to the complexity of the language structure, by moving to the question “Is that your [object]…? Is that my [object]?”, using techniques “Contract Sign” and… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 7: Technique “Money Talks”

    WAYK Episode 7: Technique “Money Talks”. 58 minutes and 28 seconds. [direct download here] It’s tempting to dismiss the more mundane reasons for using, learning, and teaching language, but at the heart of language acquisition, you’ll find the hunger to grow up, to get the necessities of life, and start a family. [UPDATE: Here’s a… Read more »

  • WAYK Instructor Vetting: Use of the WAYK Name/Logo

    When can you use the WAYK name and logo? What do we think about you accepting money for running games of WAYK? We encourage everyone to organize free community games and play WAYK as often as possible, using the WAYK logo and name. We encourage you to organize these kinds of events in a “feast-style”,… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish, Video #3: “Slow/Fast”, “Craig’s List: Positives”

    [vodpod id=Video.3285762&w=425&h=350&fv=] In this video Squamish nation WAYK instructor Dustin continues leading Chinook Nation WAYK instructor Justin in a game of Squamish language WAYK. To accelerate the acquisition of fluency, before making their conversation more complex, Dustin begins throwing more “techniques”, what we consider “the rules of the game”; in this case, techniques “Slow/Fast” and… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish, Video #2: “Pull me through it!”

    [vodpod id=Video.3286281&w=425&h=350&fv=] In this video Squamish nation WAYK instructor Dustin continues leading Chinook Nation WAYK instructor Justin in a game of Squamish language WAYK. To accelerate the acquisition of fluency, before making their conversation more complex, Dustin begins throwing more “techniques”, what we consider “the rules of the game”; in this case, techniques “Pull me… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish language: “What’s that?”

    [vodpod id=Video.3278615&w=425&h=350&fv=] more about “WAYK Squamish language: “What’s that?””, posted with vodpod   Squamish language is a very endangered indigenous language, native to Vancouver, B.C., with about only 10 fluent speakers left, all over the age of 65. “Where Are Your Keys?” is a community language revitalization method, that uses a viral, collaborative game for… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 6: Dustin Starts the Squamish Language Night

    WAYK Podcast, Episode 6: Dustin Starts the Squamish Language Night. 52 minutes and 25 seconds. [direct download here] Dustin Rivers (@dustinrivers) talks about the first WAYK Squamish language night that he hosted at his house, following up from our visit there in North Vancouver, B.C. a week ago. This night is the first of a… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 5: Revitalizing Chinuk Wawa, Part 2

    WAYK Podcast, Episode 5: Revitalizing Chinuk Wawa, Part 2. 32 minutes and 18 seconds. [direct download] [Note: Chinuk Wawa is a very endangered indigenous language native to the Pacific Northwest. Please keep in mind that we make no attempt to teach anyone to speak Chinuk Wawa by podcasting about our Chinuk nights, and during the… Read more »

  • Conversations with Remarkable Grandmothers: Want/Have/Give/Take in Arabic

    More amazing work from Jay and his grandmother, a speaker of a Palestinian dialect of arabic. If you haven’t yet, please start with his 1st video, “What is that?”, and his second video, “Craigs List Me/Mine You/Yours”. [vodpod id=Video.3264055&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 4: Revitalizing Chinuk Wawa

    WAYK Podcast, Episode 4: Revitalizing Chinuk Wawa. 39 minutes and 41 seconds. [direct download] [Note: Chinuk Wawa is a very endangered indigenous language native to the Pacific Northwest. Please keep in mind that we make no attempt to teach anyone to speak Chinuk Wawa by podcasting about our Chinuk nights, and during the podcast we… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 3: Debriefing the Game, Part II

    WAYK Podcast, Episode 3: Debriefing the Game, Part II. 40 minutes and 37 seconds. [direct download] As we mentioned for Episode 2, this continues a series of debriefs podcasted to give folks insight into how the game works, and how we improve the game. Big issues covered in this podcast: – Technique: “Mumble“ (where Evan… Read more »

  • Conversations with Remarkable Grandmothers

    Jay returns with his second video on “Me/mine, You/yours” with his Grandmother who speaks his heritage language, a dialect of Palestinian Arabic. Jay would love to learn it and has begun learning it using the WAYK method. Check out his first video if you haven’t already: “What is that?”. We really can’t say enough how… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 2: Debriefing the Game

    WAYK Podcast, Episode 2: Debriefing the Game. 32 minutes and 10 seconds. [direct download] We’ve decided to start sharing the debriefs of games we run with all of you in the WAYK community. This podcast really counts as Part I of a lengthy debrief we did, of our community game night at Kent’s, a WAYK… Read more »

  • Squamish Language and Holding a Regular Space for Conversation

    As we’ve mentioned before, you take the first, most critical step in revitalizing a language (or achieving any goal) by holding a regular space for conversation. The first night of the Squamish Language Team Orientation went so well that they immediately decided on a weekly night to meet. This was incredibly important. See video from… Read more »