WAYK Summer Intensive Schedule: 2018 Update

It can be hard to imagine what a language revitalization summer looks like, but working to keep a language alive is a full-time endeavor. Here’s an updated look at what to expect from the WAYK Summer Intensive schedule in 2018. As with any program centered around language learning, it’s essential that we have daily contact with… Read more »

WAYK Summer Intern Expectations: 2018 Update

What you can expect as an intern: You will learn how to use WAYK. One of the main purposes of the WAYK Summer Intensive is to provide comprehensive training in WAYK skills, something that is difficult to demonstrate or even explain in a week-long workshop or a few language lessons. Communities that invite WAYK for a Summer Intensive… Read more »

Call for WAYK 2018 Interns!

This summer, we are once again fortunate to offer internship opportunities during the 2018 WAYK Summer Intensive. The internship positions are sponsored by our host community (APIA), in partnership with TAC, TAF, and a number of other regional organizations. Participating in a WAYK summer project is one of the best ways to be fully immersed… Read more »

Announcing WAYK’s 2018 Summer Intensive: Anchorage, Alaska!

WAYK is very excited to announce—after months (and years!) of planning with our host community—that our 2018 Summer Intensive will take place in Anchorage, Alaska! In 2018, we will continue our work with Unangam Tunuu, an Eskimo-Aleut language with a small number of speakers in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. Unangam Tunuu has been the… Read more »

A Day in the Life of a WAYK Team Member

I don’t know if it’s possible to share an “average” day, but here is a sample day as a WAYK Team Member, based on Thursday June 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Alaska. 8:15 AM Breakfast. The eight of us – Evan, Susanna, and the six visiting team members – eat our meals together at the WAYK house,… Read more »

Techniques and Metalinguistic Comments

Early on in teaching TQs (Techniques), Evan pointed out that an ASL (American Sign Language) sign can be used in at least two ways in WAYK. For example, the sign translatable as ‘again’ can be used as in the sentence ‘then the shark nibbled me on the finger again’. Or it can be used as… Read more »

Circle of Questions and Silly Conversations

At the beginning of the summer language intensive, Susanna and Evan introduced us to the Circle of Questions, a concept used in TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling; read more in Fluency Through TPR Storytelling). I find it an incredibly useful tool for learning and teaching. Below is a description of the concept with… Read more »

Fairy Killing or Linguistics Terminology?

As part of the Summer Language Intensive we took part in an excellent training in archiving practices (see Rachel Sprouse and Talia London’s blogs for more info). During this training, the local team decided on how to label the items in their archive; in other words, what “metadata” to attach to the items. My attention… Read more »

Mind Meadows

“Mind meadows” are an adaptation of Technique: Meadow brought to us by Justin Slocum-Bailey of Indwelling Language.  “Imagine you’re on an island,” our leader starts. The room fills with smiles and muffled laughs; being smack dab in the middle of the Bering Sea, it’s not hard to imagine such a far-fetched situation. “You’re on an… Read more »

Relationship Dynamics in Language Learning

I have been thinking about the relationship between a language learner and an “informant”, who may be a native speaker, a fluent speaker, or just someone more proficient than the learner. Here on St. Paul Island, local language team members have been improving their fluency by “language hunting” with some of the elders who either… Read more »

Latest
  • 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 »

  • Guest Post: MFLA Spring Outreach 2015

        In addition to fall and spring conferences, every year, the Maryland Foreign Language Association travels to a different region of the state, to bring professional development directly the language teachers in those areas. This year I had the opportunity to work with teachers on Maryland’s eastern shore, and share with them some of… Read more »

  • WAYK proves I’m not a language-learning dud!

    When the community we planned to start working with in late May 2014 had its funding temporarily delayed, Evan and I decided to make the most of our free time and the +1500-km drive I had made from Edmonton to the Pacific Northwest. I met him in his hometown in rural Oregon, and we spent the next 10 days using Where Are Your Keys? Techniques to… Read more »

  • Is Any Project Ever “Simple”?

    Very early in the summer Evan mentioned to me that there were some Unangam Tunuu books that had been read by speakers but to date no one had figured out how to, or at least had not gotten around to, combining the audio with the scanned copies of the books. This meant that anyone wanting… Read more »