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 »

Archiving Training: Taking a Community-Centered Approach

WAYK’s partnership with the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA) is now in its third year. This summer WAYK is visiting the Unangam Tunuu Speaking Listening and Teaching (UTSLT) team on St. Paul Island to achieve its main goal: to help novice and intermediate speakers in the community expedite their language acquisition and hone their teaching skills, so that… Read more »

Why I Came Back for Another Summer With WAYK

My name is Erin McGarvey and I am originally from London, Ontario, but am currently living in Edmonton, Alberta. This will be my second year as an intern with Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK). I was introduced to WAYK last summer as an intern during the Summer Language Intensive program on Atka Island, Alaska. As… Read more »

WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Rachel Sprouse

Allinllachu? Hola! Hello! My name’s Rachel, but to many of my close friends and colleagues, I’m affectionally known as Sprouse. I’m originally from Stonington, Connecticut and spent the majority of my adolescence bouncing around the Northeast, finally settling on New York City—where I’ve now lived for five years. I’ve long had an interest in languages…. Read more »

WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Robbie Penman

I’ve just come back from my first walk into the middle of Saint Paul, Alaska, where I could see to all corners of the island…and I was sure I could smell reindeer. The mossy subarctic landscape looks surprisingly like the Lake District back in the U.K., where I spent a lot of my childhood. So… Read more »

WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Talia London

Aang! My name is Talia London and I grew up as a guest on Lummi territory, a Native nation in the Pacific Northwest. I am a descendent of the Aleut village of Nikolski. Currently I am a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. My experiences as… Read more »

WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Mary Leighton

Hi! I’m from Vancouver, British Columbia, and I have worked in language education for about ten years, with a focus on English for newcomers to Canada and one-to-one language exchange programs. Just over a year ago, I heard the poet Lee Maracle joke about the absence of a good naturalization process to teach non-indigenous folks… Read more »

WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Myles Creed

Hi! My name is Myles Creed and I am really excited to be involved with the WAYK Language Intensive on St. Paul Island (Tanax̂ Amix̂ in Unangam Tunuu) this summer. My ancestry is Irish, English and French, and my parents are John Creed and Susan Andrews, who grew up in Massachusetts, but moved to Alaska… Read more »

Latest
  • Technique: Spare the Fairies

    Learning another language is tough—new sounds that our mouths are not used to pronouncing, unfamiliar words, and grammar structures that just don’t feel normal. It is completely natural to want an explanation or a translation for all the new concepts and patterns in our first language. Just tell me what it means! If the word… Read more »

  • Robyn’s Chinuk Wawa Language Adventure 2.2

    I’m happy to report that I finally hit one of my milestone conversations in chinuk wawa! I can make, and explain how to make, one of my favourite desserts–rice krispie treats–entirely in chinuk! Hooray! So why this is a milestone? Last summer Casey and I did a lot of cooking in chinuk and many dinnertime… Read more »

  • Guest Post: Teaching Students How to Hunt

    As I explained the concept and procedure of a “Bucket Brigade” to twenty-four slightly sleepy sophomores, I became nervous. They seemed nervous, lost, anxious. What if this lesson, which would be their first true foray into WAYK…failed? I pushed on though, remembering the valuable WAYK TQ of “How Fascinating!”—if this lesson failed, I would simply… Read more »

  • Report from the Road: Northway, January 2016

    Following our three week visit to Fairbanks this past January, the WAYK team continued our work with Doyon Foundation’s language revitalization program by traveling to the village of Northway, AK for one week. WAYK first traveled to this part of the interior in November of 2014 to present a workshop at the Interior Alaska Campus… Read more »

  • Technique: Let It Go!

    Before I tell you about the WAYK Technique Let It Go, I am going to talk about what a Technique is. A Technique is a tool or strategy we use to help us, mostly with learning language, but with other things beyond language too. A Technique usually has a hand sign that goes with it,… Read more »

  • Why We Use Sign Language

    Perhaps one of the most common questions I have had about Where Are Your Keys is about Sign Language and why we use it so much for language learning. Some people look at WAYK and assume that all we’re doing is adding hand signs to vocabulary in another language and then going around in a… Read more »

  • How It’s “Biin” So Far

    At the time I’m writing this post, it’s nearing the halfway point of my internship with WAYK and my summer in the community of Atka, Alaska. As the days go by, they only seem to pass ever more quickly. But new experiences have been plentiful, just as has my acquisition of knowledge regarding the WAYK… Read more »

  • Report From the Road: Fairbanks, January 2016

    The WAYK team once again returned to Fairbanks this winter for three weeks of training with speakers and learners of two Athabaskan languages: Gwich’in and Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana langauge). Our time in Fairbanks was followed by a week-long visit to Northway, AK to work with the local language team on the Upper Tanana language… Read more »

  • Use It Or Lose It

    If you don’t use it you’ll lose it. That age-old adage we hear, especially about language learning, means that if you don’t speak the languages you know you will forget them. This has happened to me many times. Growing up in Canada, taking French was mandatory for me in school and I took it all… Read more »

  • Report From The Road: St. Paul, December 2015

    The WAYK team returned to St. Paul, Alaska for our first follow up visit after the 2015 Summer Intensive, which focused on the St. Paul and St. George dialects of Unangam Tunuu. Our visits to St. Paul are part of a larger Unangam Tunuu project, sponsered by APIA (the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association) and funded… Read more »

  • Immersion Bubbles: Finding Comfort and Fun in the Uncomfortable

    By way of the prior experience I’ve gained through my involvement in the language revitalization efforts taking place within my own community, the Pueblo of Pojoaque, I’ve been able to correct many misconceptions related to the practice of learning and teaching a second language. My time as an intern with WAYK has further contributed to… Read more »

  • Color-Coding at the WAYK house

    One of my favourite things so far as a WAYK intern is the color-coded organization of the WAYK house. Months before we arrived in Atka, each member of the WAYK team was assigned a color. Now, in the WAYK house, we each have our own set of dishes in our individual colors. Our bedding and… Read more »

  • Guest Post: Bobbi’s First Two Weeks in Atka

    My first two weeks in Atka learning Niiĝuĝim Tuunu have been interesting. I am learning a whole new lauguage, meeting a lot of new people, eating new things, and learning about the Orthodox religion also. This experience isn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. I thought that it was going to be… Read more »

  • Report from the Road: Anchorage (October 2015)

    The WAYK team returned to Anchorage in October of 2015 for our biannual visit to work with the many members of the Unangam Tunuu core team that live in the city. We were especially excited for this visit, since we were able to bring back all of the lessons that the St. Paul team developed… Read more »

  • Robyn’s Chinuk Wawa Language Adventure 2.1

    If you’ve been following the WAYK blog for the past year you know that while I was interning last summer Evan, Susanna, and Sky taught Casey and I chinuk wawa and we shared our progress over the summer through our “language adventure” posts. Even though I don’t have Casey learning with me this summer and… Read more »

  • Guest Post: Meet Bobbi Dushkin!

    This summer, Bobbi Dushkin joins the local team and the WAYK team at the Atka Summer Intensive as APIA’s regional intern. We are thrilled that she’s here! Hello my name is Bobbi Dushkin, I was born and raised in Alaska. I grew up and lived in Sand Point, an Eastern dialect speaking community. My family… Read more »

  • WAYK Unangam Tunuu Summer Intensive 2.0

    My name is Robyn and this will be my second summer as a WAYK intern. Last summer I was a WAYK intern helping out with the Unangam Tunuu project on St. Paul Island Alaska, learning and teaching the Eastern dialect, Qawalangim Tunuu. My internship last summer was my first experience with WAYK. I had a… Read more »

  • Intern Introduction: Samuel Catanach

    Bahpibo! (Hello!) My name is Samuel and I am from P’osuwaegeh Owingeh (meaning ‘Water Drinking Place Village’), more commonly known as the Pueblo of Pojoaque, a Tewa speaking American Indian community located in northern New Mexico (the keyword being “new”). Furthermore, I am a graduate student in the master’s in American Indian Studies (AIS) program… Read more »

  • Intern Introduction: Erin McGarvey

    Hi, I’m Erin McGarvey.  I am originally from Jordan, a very small town just outside of St. Catharines, Ontario.    My school only had about 160 kids and my house had grape vineyards behind it and woods in front of it.  When I was nine, I moved to the city, but I have will always… Read more »

  • Meet WAYK’s 2016 summer intern team!

    When we opened up our application for summer WAYK interns in January, our summer intensive in Atka, AK seemed very far in the future. This year, it is wonderful that we are once again able to offer three sponsored intern positions for the summer, thanks to the support of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, the Aleut… Read more »