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 created by SALVI to help give Latin teachers the right tools to teach Latin as a vital and vibrant spoken language. WAYK has been a presence at SALVI’s immersion Rusticationes for the past several years, but this was the first time that an entire week was devoted to getting participants proficient in the method. In facilitating this workshop, Evan Gardner was joined by Jason Slanga and Justin Slocum Bailey (of Indwelling Language).


This Pedagogy Rusticatio was an amazing convergence of people who strive to support endangered languages. The Latin teachers who come to this event are often on the cutting edge of language pedagogy, well versed in the research behind language acquisition and ready to do whatever it takes to make Latin accessible to their students. By incorporating WAYK into their programs and, as a result, into Latin classrooms across the country, SALVI has enhanced an already terrific program. In return, Latin teachers have played a huge role in adapting WAYK field methods for the classroom. Teachers from the spoken Latin community have also donated their time and teaching expertise to support endangered indigenous languages including Chickasaw, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm, and Chinuk Wawa. And, finally, because Sky has had so much experience working on past WAYK projects and learning Native languages, he was able to capture the Pedagogy Rusticatio experience perfectly. It came as no surprise when he couldn’t resist sticking around for an extra week to use his WAYK skills to learn Latin.

We continue to be moved by the ways that people from the world of spoken Latin and the world of indigenous languages have worked for each other’s causes. Not only have our languages benefited from these connections, but so have our friendships.

Special thanks to all of the Latin teachers who have invited WAYK into their classrooms and communities: Dawn Mitchell, Jacque Myers, Keith Toda, John Young, Heather “Erica siphonis torquati” Mulhern, Rachel Ash, Jenni Glaser, Cathy Reed, Evan “Faber” Smith, Anna Andresian, Edie Barry, Bob Patrick, Miriam Patrick, Arianne & Keegan Potter, Stephanie Molchan, Patrick Owens, Scott Olsson, Natasha Marple, Justin Prinzbach, Luke Henderson, Thomas Howell, Josh Higginbotham, the late, great David Morgan, and especially to Nancy Llewellyn. Thanks also to everyone at SALVI, and all of the Latin teachers who have embraced WAYK and who work so hard to bring living Latin into their classrooms every day. We strongly urge any of our Latin speaking/teaching friends to consider participating in a SALVI program. It’s some of the best professional development available for Latin teachers today.

And, of course, huge thanks, as always, to Sky Hopinka. Be sure to check out Sky’s other great videos. You can find them here.

Written by Evan Gardner