Bubble Policy: How Can Immersion Bubbles Help an Indigenous Language Community?

In my last blog, I wrote about the obstacles to maintaining an immersion bubble. In this blog, I ask how the immersion bubble, as a kind of “language policy”, can further the interests of an Indigenous language community. There are two related benefits to immersion bubbles, as I see it. One benefit is that they… Read more »

Bubble Policy: Why Do People Break or Keep Up Immersion?

The idea of creating an “immersion bubble” is probably nothing new in language learning. Nor is it new within the field of language revitalization in the 20th and 21st centuries; creating immersion bubbles has been a goal of many revitalization movements at least since the kōhanga reo pre-school immersion initiatives in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the… Read more »

How to Use a Hunting Book

Take notes like a pro, or like a 5th grader, so long as you do it! In 2015, during my first summer with WAYK, Evan and Susanna gave me a hunting book to use for tracking the chinuk wawa I was learning. I’ll be honest: I didn’t really like or use it. I found it… Read more »

Keep Calm and Calendar On

Summer Language Intensives have a lot going on. All the time. Whether it’s lesson prep, an important conversation to be had, hunting language from elders over tea, or even just keeping the coffee station running, there’s always something that needs to be done. How does one keep everything going smoothly, especially with a larger team?… Read more »

WAYK Workshop versus Summer Language Intensive

I first met Evan and Susanna at a handful of WAYK workshops, which were each about two to five days long: three workshops at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage and one at the Songhees Wellness Center in Victoria, BC. Because of my attendance at these workshops, I was lucky enough to find out… Read more »

Technique: Angel

Learning a language is exciting, but it can also be scary. I get nervous when I stumble over new sounds, hoping no one nearby noticed. My cheeks feel hot every time I ask someone to pronounce a word so that I can understand and copy the sounds correctly. Suddenly it feels as if my ability… Read more »

Linguistic Terminology Part 2

Read Myles’ first post about linguistic terminology here. Working in the field of linguistics over the last few years, I have noticed some divisions in terminology that I would like to highlight in this blog. As North American linguistics begins to turns away from its roots in “salvage linguistics” and more towards collaborative community-based research,… Read more »

5 Group Immersion Activities

Before I arrived at the St. Paul Unangam Tunuu Summer Language Intensive, I wondered what we would do on a typical day. I knew that there would be no teacher standing at the front of the room, no textbooks. How would we fill our time from nine to five? I discovered here a variety of… Read more »

Relaxing in Immersion

Picture this: I grab a beautiful blue egg shell, a white feather, and two model birds, and join my group at a table in the back room for immersion time. Without any discussion or planning, we five young women blow up an imaginary immersion bubble to bid farewell to English – from here on out,… Read more »

Master Teachers and Techniques

Have you ever watched a master teacher at work? As a student teacher walking into a master teacher’s classroom for the first time, it is easy to have the misconception that the students are magically doing what they are supposed to be doing. The truth is that the teacher is using techniques to seamlessly facilitate… Read more »

Latest
  • Robyn and Casey’s Language Adventure: Part 4 (Cooking in chinuk)

    A fun way to practice TQ: Same Conversation is to cook in the language you are hunting. Fun fact about our super organized WAYK house on St. Paul: we have a meal rotation that assigns a pair of people to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So on nights that Robyn or I cook with Sky… Read more »

  • Guest Post: Teresa’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

    My name is Teresa Baker, I’m from the Pribilof Islands and I’m going to share with you a bit of my 2015 Summer Language Intensive experience.  For about 3 years now I’ve been working on our language in school, out of school, throughout the summer, and at work. Over a period of time I’ve watched… Read more »

  • Guest Post: Linnae’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

    Aang, Linnae Kozloff asax̂takuqing. I am from Saint Paul Island, Alaska. I happen to go to Saint Paul school.  I am interested in the Unangam Tunuu language project because I am willing to help keep my language alive because unfortunately it is going extinct. I have been involved with this language project for about three… Read more »

  • Guest Post: Kiana’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

    My name is Kiana.  I live in Saint Paul Island, Alaska and I go to the Pribilof School. I got involved in the Saint Paul Summer Language Intensive because I applied for a job as youth hire and I was involved for about a month.  The reason I was interested in this language project was… Read more »

  • Report from the Road: Port Graham (Spring 2015)

    The WAYK team made our first trip to Port Graham, Alaska in May of 2015. During a five-day workshop we introduced Port Graham’s Sugt’stun speakers, learners, and teachers to Where Are Your Keys? techniques. At the time, the community of Port Graham was in their second year of a three-year project funded by an ANA… Read more »

  • Guest Post: Maidu Language Classes Using WAYK

    I am Danny YellowFeather Manning, I have been working with the Weye-ebis project with Donna Clark and the Susanville Indian Rancheria language team since November 2014. My teacher is Wilhelmina Ives, one of the last Maidu speakers, and she has been having classes every Friday at the Greenville Rancheria. In early 2015, I had a… Read more »

  • Sky’s Video Tips for Cellphone Cameras

    When you’re language hunting, or even teaching, it helps to document those sessions in any way you can. With the ubiquity of smartphones it’s easier than ever to video record a language hunt, bucket brigade, TQ: Walk, or whatever you’re working on. Here are a few tips and tricks that may help you get started… Read more »

  • Guest Post: WAYKing up Unangam Tunuu

    This summer, WAYK (Where Are Your Keys) creator Evan Gardner, Susanna Ciotti, WAYK veteran Sky Hopinka and two language-loving interns, Casey and Robyn, battled unpredictable airline schedules and dreary weather patterns to facilitate the Unangam Tunuu Summer Language Intensive on the tiny remote island of St. Paul, AK situated far in the Bering Sea. This island… Read more »

  • WAYK Summer St. Paul on Instagram

    You may have noticed that Where Are Your Keys is now on Instagram!  We’ve been posting photos from workshops throughout the spring, including great Set Ups for teaching language that we’ve seen.  We’re also posting current shots from our Unangam Tunuu Summer Intensive on St. Paul Island.  Follow us @playwayk, and check out all of the… Read more »

  • Robyn and Casey’s Language Adventure: Part S.E.A.L.

    The hardest part of hunting Chinuk is easily the most rewarding at the same time – much like the three mile “marathon” going on next week that Sky has convinced me is worth doing for the t-shirt, if nothing else. Coming into the WAYK team already having spent a couple of years learning ASL has… Read more »

  • Robyn & Casey’s Language Adventure: Part 2

    “The only time you are speaking wrong is when you are not speaking at all.” These are the words on a sign up in the Civic Center which is the home-base of the Unangam Tunuu Summer Language Intensive on St. Paul Island. Although I completely agree with this sentiment sometimes it’s harder to live out… Read more »

  • Report from the Road: Alaska Native Heritage Center

    The WAYK team returned to the Alaska Native Heritage Center in late April for a week-long workshop. The ANHC has hosted WAYK on several occasions over the past four years, and this time the workshop was for speakers and learners of Yup’ik and Inupiaq as they embark on a three-year language project funded by the… Read more »

  • Sky Hopinka: Why I returned for another WAYK Summer

      Working with Evan, David Edwards, and April Charlo at the first WAYK summer program was a great experience. I learned a lot about language revitalization as well as community revitalization. Working with the seven high school students was great also, seeing language work from a different perspective. So when I had the chance to… Read more »

  • WAYK’s New Home Page

    Welcome to the new home page for Where Are Your Keys! Over the past four years, we’ve discovered that our blog has grown to be more versatile and practical than our static home page. And so, after many hours of dedicated volunteer efforts by Susanna Ciotti, Caylie Gnyra, David Edwards, and Sky Hopinka to make… Read more »

  • Robyn & Casey’s Language Adventure: Part 1

    When we signed up to be interns with WAYK we really had no idea what we were actually getting ourselves into…in a good way. It’s next to impossible to explain in a two hour interview or one hour teleconference what you do for 18ish hours a day, 7 days a week, while living in a… Read more »

  • 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 »