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
  • 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 »

  • Alina earns University Credit for WAYK at Portland State!

    The best part of summer has to be no school and homework to get in the way of me focusing on Hunting Navajo and gaining fluency in Chinuk Wawa. My journey and first interactions with Where are your keys?, occurred at Portland State University. I was a transfer student from Utah State University the term… Read more »

  • Meet Melissa

    Blog 1: What did WAYK at PSU give you? I was a Senior at Portland State University in my second to last term when I decided to attend a Chinuk Wawa language class held at the Native Center. There were two passionate teachers, Sky Hopinka and Stevie Lemke that made me feel welcome even though… Read more »

  • WAYK Travelogue: Sky and David in China – Part 6

    Xianqi on a Train Our next project was to go to a small town south of Shanghai called Dalan, or Dalanzhen, and work with a group of teenage volunteers who were running a three-week English summer camp in three villages surrounding Dalanzhen.  There were two or three volunteers assigned to each of the villages and… Read more »

  • Miguel San Pedro: Be Here Now

    This post is fourth in a series of entries about WAYK techniques as they occur in everyday life, beyond language-learning. The previous three are on “Craig’s List” and “Full,” and “Everybody Deals.” Imagine for a moment that you’re painting a sunset, pondering the precise color combinations from your palette that encapsulates the unique hues of the… Read more »

  • WAYK Travelogue: Sky and David in China – Part 5

    Getting to the Party at Chuangwei Elementary School The rest of our time at Chuanwei was exciting and interesting in finding ways to implement the game. We got set in our routine and made it through the rest of the week. The classes went great, and the kids really responded to WAYK, and in the… Read more »

  • Miguel San Pedro: Everybody Deals

    This post is third in a series of entries about WAYK techniques as they occur in everyday life, beyond language-learning. The previous two are on “Craig’s List” and “Full”. People say “the best way to learn is to teach”, the “natural conclusion” would be that everybody would be teaching all the time. WAYK accelerates this… Read more »

  • WAYK Travelogue: Sky and David in China – Part 4

    Brother, ima Bassist I didn’t have enough Mandarin to be able to speak to anyone but a few people and hunt from the friendliest of players, and I mostly took pictures, took video, and helped David with some table game pointers. The kids were great, really bright, and really sweet.  David had his posse of boys running… Read more »

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    Proficiency Testing and Measuring Fluency

    In this Video Sky and Evan demonstrate how the quest for rapid fluency can be measured in a systematic, universal, and accessible way using the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency Interview (ACTFL.org OPI). The WAYK system is based on the notion that fluency can be attained rapidly, passed on easily,… Read more »

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    Beyond the Script

    This video shows what advanced WAYK looks like.  This is no longer the simple “What is That?” game.  Now that Evan and Sky are both seasoned WAYK players, they can push and pull language using a wide range of techniques although the untrained eye may not notice the high level of cooperation they employ. The… Read more »

  • Miguel San Pedro: Technique “Full”

    This is the second in a series of blog posts about how WAYK techniques can be applied to learning in everyday life. The first post is “Craig’s List.” David Edwards, one of my fellow WAYK interns and Stanford alumni, is notorious for describing “full” in a way like this: “If you eat too much, you… Read more »