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
  • Report from the Road: Tanana, Alaska

    When the WAYK team was last in Tanana, in late October 2014, the Yukon River was just about to freeze solid. During our return trip this spring, in mid-April, the entire village was waiting for the ice to break up. Both life and language revolve around the river in Tanana! During our fall visit, the… Read more »

  • Intern Introduction: Casey Boyette

    I’m starting my third year at the University of  Virginia this fall, where I major in linguistics, which is how I ended up applying to work on this summer intensive. Other than languages, I spend a lot of time on the college radio station and buying/cooking/eating/thinking about food. I’m from North Carolina so I’ve already… Read more »

  • Intern Introduction: Robyn Giffen

    I am originally from Calgary, Alberta, but have been in Kelowna, BC for the past 6 years completing two degrees. I very recently (as in the week before I left for Alaska) defended my Master’s thesis in linguistic anthropology and am currently enjoying my newfound freedom as a non-student for the first time ever. My… Read more »

  • Report from the Road: Fairbanks, Alaska

    So many languages, so little time! The WAYK team returned to Fairbanks this spring for two weeks of training with speakers and learners of four Athabaskan languages: Hän, Gwich’in, Deg Xinag, and Denaakk’e. Prior to this visit, in the fall of 2014, the Doyon Foundation organized a series of introductory WAYK workshops in the Fairbanks… Read more »

  • Meet the WAYK 2015 St. Paul Island Summer Language Intensive interns!

    Our search for summer interns for our St. Paul summer project began in early February, when we opened applications for three WAYK interns sponsored by the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association. We had an amazing response, and found it very difficult to choose only three interns from all of the highly qualified applicants. After many hours… Read more »

  • Report from the Road: Susanville, California

    The WAYK team spent a week at the beginning of April in Susanville, California. The language program at Susanville Rancheria, led by Donna Clark, has been hard at work developing a new curriculum for Tosajdom (Mountain Maidu), and brought WAYK in to support their brand new teaching team. The first and last days of the… Read more »

  • Guest Post: Lingít Language Classes using WAYK

      I began learning my Native language, Lingít, about three years ago. At some point I came to the idea that I would like to eventually teach the language. However, I imagined doing so in a very distant future after many years of dedicated study of the language and time with fluent Lingít elders, when… Read more »

  • Call for WAYK Summer 2015 Interns!

    This summer, we are excited to offer three WAYK internship positions that will be sponsored by our host community of St. Paul Island, Alaska through APIA and ACSPI. Participating in a WAYK summer project is one of the best ways to be fully immersed not only in another language but also in the WAYK method… Read more »

  • WAYK Summer Schedule

    It can be hard to imagine what a language revitalization summer looks like, but working to strengthen a language is a full-time job. As with any program centered around language learning, it’s essential that we have daily contact with the language in an immersion environment. However, it’s equally important to have adequate time to relax,… Read more »

  • WAYK Summer Intern Expectations

    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 a comprehensive training in WAYK skills, something that is difficult to demonstrate or even explain in a week-long workshop or a few language lessons. WAYK interns will learn… Read more »

  • WAYK Summer 2015: St. Paul Island, Alaska

    WAYK is thrilled to finally announce the details of our 2015 Summer Intensive! After many weeks of behind-the-scenes work with our host community and organizations, we can officially say: we are headed to St. Paul Island, Alaska! The language we’ll be working with there is Unangam Tunuu (also known as Eastern Aleut), an Eskimo-Aleut language… Read more »

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    Pedagogy Rusticatio with WAYK

    We are pleased to share a gorgeous new video by Sky Hopinka, WAYK team member and a truly stellar filmmaker. Sky’s film is about how classroom teachers can strengthen one of the most misunderstood endangered languages…Latin. In July 2014, Sky traveled with WAYK to West Virginia to document the second annual Pedagogy Rusticatio, a program… Read more »

  • WAYK TQ Glossary Launch!

    For many months the WAYK team has been working on compiling the master list of TQs into a single glossary complete with explanations and visuals. At long last, we are ready to announce launch of this glossary! Our goal is to have a succinct but useable explanation for all of the 280 TQs that are… Read more »

  • New WAYK Logo

    WAYK is thrilled to unveil our brand-new logo, comprising a white silhouette of hands making the “technique” sign against a green background: As many of you may know, “techniques” form the foundation of the WAYK learning system, and we wanted to create a visual identity that reflected that. Slowly but surely, we are working towards… Read more »

  • Technique: Angel Boss

    TQ: angel on your shoulder is a clever little technique that provides support for learners whose turn it is to speak: all of the other players in the circle participate by signing, mouthing, and sometimes even speaking the words in tandem with the player whose turn it is. This combination of oral and verbal prompts often… Read more »

  • Why WAYK Works

    You probably already knew that raw intellect isn’t enough to learn a language. Ever tried memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules? You might pass a test, but try having a conversation. “Knowing” a language and actually speaking it are two different things, in the same way as knowing musical theory and how a piano works doesn’t… Read more »

  • “It’s for the Language!”

    One of the techniques in Where Are Your Keys? is called “Same Conversation.” By having the same conversation several times, covering the same vocabulary, grammar, questions, and responses, learners gain confidence in the words they are choosing, and are able to practice putting them together smoothly and correctly. While Evan was teaching me Chinuk Wawa in Oregon, I convinced him to… Read more »

  • Being a Stealth Hunter in Another Country

    When I moved to Israel this past year, I knew hardly anything about Hebrew, but I was determined not to let that stop me from living like an Israeli. I’ve been using WAYK for the last few years with friends on everything from Latin to Chinook Wawa, and I was ready to go stealth. No… Read more »

  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Speaking my Language

    Even though I’ve been a student of Latin since 1993, I only ever really learned about the language. It is likely that many Latin teachers around the globe have encountered the same problem: being the student of a language for decades without ever using the language for it’s original purpose: communication. Latin is too often… Read more »

  • Why You Should Intern for WAYK! by Julia

    1) You’ll meet cool people. If you want to get to know really awesome people, working on language revitalization projects is a great place to meet them. Together with my fellow intern Will Monroe, I spent this past summer in Kodiak, Alaska working with elders and learners of Kodiak Alutiiq.  I was blown away by… Read more »