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
  • 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 »

  • 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 »