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 »

  • 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 »

  • Guest Post: Sorry Charlie – Learned Helplessness

    Today as part of our professional development, we were presented with the following video: While watching this I got to think about Sorry Charlie.  When we throw someone a Sorry Charlie, or when we speak to quickly, we’re throwing them an impossible task.  This is the kind of thing that makes people Full, and unable… Read more »

  • Julia Stiles: A preview of Kodiak Alutiiq

        This past week, I was lucky to have the opportunity to fly up to Alaska and meet the community with which Will and I will be working over the summer. Throughout the flurry of introductions, everyone was incredibly kind and welcoming. I was struck by the palpable energy and enthusiasm of both the language learners… Read more »

  • Koyukon Language Training Media Coverage

    Here’s a little piece of local media coverage of a WAYK workshop in Anchorage, Alaska: http://www.ktuu.com/news/koyukon-language-training-held-at-alaska-native-heritage-center-ktuu-20130806,0,4740891.story

  • Will Monroe: Summer Intern

    Cama’i, everyone! My name’s Will, and I’m the newest addition to the Where Are Your Keys intern crowd. I’m in Kodiak with Julia, working with the Alutiiq language community. This is my first time spending an entire summer on a WAYK project, but I’ve actually been working with Evan for a few years, since shortly… Read more »

  • Stephen Printup—Chinuk Wawa Blogpost

    My name is Stephen and I was introduced to Chinuk Wawa and the Where Are Your Keys method about 2 years ago. I am a student at Portland State with Sky, Melissa, Alina, Stevie and have had some lessons with Evan. Although, I originally intended to simply satisfy my university language requirement with a native… Read more »

  • What “Where Are Your Keys?” Did for Me.

    After spending 5 weeks with Evan, while he was working with my language community, the opportunity came up. Evan asked me if I would like to go with him to the Unangax Language workshop in Anchorage. So I asked him “Well what do you think I will gain from it?” He replied “Hard to say”…. Read more »

  • Submit Your Stories!

    This is Sky Hopinka here. Long time no see. Keeping on top of blog posts has been a challenge, and something that we’ve discussed at great length. So we’re going to be starting a new format and we’d like you all to be involved. If you have: -ideas for a blog -language learning stories you… Read more »

  • Part One: Chinese Wrap Up and Decolonization in Language Revitalization

    Sky Hopinka wraps up the summer trip to China and discusses topics that have come up regarding WAYK, language revitalization, and decolonization.  Sky also wants to say that he is not speaking on behalf of Where Are Your Keys? These are just some of his thoughts about some stuff. Part One of Two…or Three. So… Read more »

  • Miguel San Pedro: Prove It

    This post is fifth in a series of entries about WAYK techniques as they occur in everyday life, beyond language-learning. How do you show someone you’ve learned something? Naturally, you repeat that knowledge to that person rather than simply stating “Yes, I’ve learned it.” You impress that person even more when you apply your newly-acquired… Read more »

  • Meet Qwina West and the Bishop Paiute language class of Bishop California

    In February I received a random email. Qwina said he watched the videos on you tube and vimeo and decided to take WAYK for a spin!  He taped the first sessions and sent them to me to look over.  I was astounded by Qwina’s ability to wield techniques and work through the USC’s first rides… Read more »