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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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There Is No Why

David Edwards has worked with WAYK at several summer revitalization programs. He works as a software engineer in New York City and spends most of his time pulling language from unsuspecting passersby. Last year, I spent a few months working in Washington D.C. with a coworker who spoke fluent French. I spoke no French at… Read more »

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Guest Post: Teaching Students How to Hunt

As I explained the concept and procedure of a “Bucket Brigade” to twenty-four slightly sleepy sophomores, I became nervous. They seemed nervous, lost, anxious. What if this lesson, which would be their first true foray into WAYK…failed? I pushed on though, remembering the valuable WAYK TQ of “How Fascinating!”—if this lesson failed, I would simply… Read more »

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The Intersection of Language and Food

Food is often the social spark that brings people together. I learned very quickly when planning events in university that if you want people to show up to a meeting or presentation to always provide food, and just mention in the flyer that there will be free food and chances are more people will show… Read more »

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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 »

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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 »

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Two new videos: Advanced WAYK Push/Pull in Mandarin and in Spanish

We’re happy to announce that two new videos are on the WAYK Vimeo account. Both feature Evan and David pushing and pulling Intermediate-level expressions in two different languages from each other using advanced WAYK techniques. One is of Evan hunting Mandarin from David, and the other is of David hunting Spanish from Evan; both are below. These… Read more »

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WAYK Podcast, Episode 43: Y’all Are Lappin’ Me

35 minutes and 41 seconds. [direct download] Recorded July 28th, 2011 In this episode, the overarching theme is getting everyone to manage their Full levels and really examine why we are here.  We’ve reached a point in the program where the facilitation techniques and methods of WAYK are being handed off to the students and… Read more »

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News from Boston WAYK, April 22-24th

Willem (me) ran the workshop, and I wanted to try a new experiment. As my skill increases as a language hunter, I find that I need to keep upping the scale and challenge of my experimentation to “stay in the zone”: neither overwhelmed (sorry, charlie!), nor bored (heaven forfend such a thing!). This is an… Read more »

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Yiddish Language Hunt

[vimeo=20128505] Here you can see Willem hunting Yiddish language for the first time, with the help of fluent speaker Selma Zack, in February 2011. Just moments before the video starts, Willem has begun by asking Selma, “How do you say ‘What is that?’”. Almost all of the rest of the language hunt is spent immersed… Read more »

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WAYK Podcast, Episode 38: Abigail’s Antidote

42 minutes and 56 seconds. [direct download] Evan, Peter, and Lisa gather for another Chinuk Night debriefing conversation. 1. Technique “Same Conversation” Peter and Evan collaborated on the conversation of “sharpening tools” 2. Technique “Craig’s List” Peter and Evan created a new CL, “How Do They Move” 3. Technique “Where Are Your Keys?” Lisa tells… Read more »

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WAYK Podcast, Episode 31: Tea with Grandma

45 minutes and 52 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Tea with Grandma” 2. Technique “Same Conversation” Leanne Hinton’s work with the Master/Apprentice system. Hang out with your elder, as much as possible, to learn their language. It seems to be missing the apprentice’s training in rigorous language hunting to accelerate the acquisition of language from… Read more »

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WAYK Podcast, Episode 30: Taking 3-D Holographic Notes

58 minutes and 17 seconds. [direct download] Willem and Joel (a veteran of a Portland WAYK workshop), with Peter and Sara listening, talk over Joel’s experiences that Chinuk Night. Then later, Evan and Willem discuss how the evening of Chinuk Wawa games went. 1. Technique “the Walk” Joel experienced “the Walk” for the first time,… Read more »

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WAYK Podcast, Episode 28: WAYK Eye on the Straight Guy

1 hour, 50 minutes, and 53 seconds. [direct download] Evan Gardner, Willem Larsen, Peter, and Joel interview each other on Chinuk Wawa Night (Chinook Jargon). Though this episode is almost two hours long, we really encourage you to  hang in there and soak it all up; many vital issues came up that should further illuminate… Read more »

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WAYK Podcast, Episode 27: The Olympics of Language Acquisition

35 minutes and 54 seconds. [direct download] Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen discuss some of the central issues of WAYK, such as its use of sign language, as a “bridge language“, for learning spoken language. 1. Technique “Bridge Language“ WAYK doesn’t just use ASL; it is designed to help you learn new sign languages too,… Read more »

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WAYK Podcast, Episode 25: “Dictionary Addiction”

[direct download] Evan and Willem meet Hunter, a new friend, at a coffee shop during a day of WAYK demonstrations for a local high school. They spend the lunch hour talking about a very important issue in WAYK – the addiction of mainstream-schooled language learners to books, over fluent speakers. 1. Technique “Dictionary Addiction“ Hunter… Read more »

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WAYK Podcast, Episode 23: Turning the Corner

1 hr, 45 minutes, and 30 seconds. [direct download] In this really long episode, almost two hours long, we debrief our Chinuk Wawa conversation night, and realize that we’re experiencing the feeling of turning the corner on the revitalization of the language. We bask in the glow for a bit, and address many issues that… Read more »

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WAYK Podcast, Episode 22: “My Abilities Have Skyrocketed”

59 minutes and 24 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Backup“ Dustin brought Tiffany and her toddler son with him, two regulars from his Vancouver Squamish language night Squamish Valley is located in the country, about 80 kilometers from Vancouver 2. Technique “Set-up“ The game took place in a community/rec center He set up a “Lotus“… Read more »