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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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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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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 »

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5th International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (ICLDC 5)

The 5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC), “Vital Voices: Linking Language & Wellbeing,” will be held March 2-5, 2017, at the Hawaiʻi Imin International Conference Center on the campus of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The 5th ICLDC is hosted by the Department of Linguistics and the National Foreign Language Resource… Read more »

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Tsleil-Waututh Nation Winter Visit

The WAYK team travels to Tsleil-Waututh Nation in North Vancouver, BC for 7 weeks to partner with the TWN language department in their work with the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language.

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Guest Post: Nate’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

Aang! Amilaayam Tunuu ilan Nathaniel asax̂takuq. Unangam Tunuu ilan Tanĝaaĝix̂ asax̂takuq. I am from Anchorage, Alaska but I live in Atka, Alaska. I go to Yakov E. Netsvetov School. I have always wanted to talk with my elders in Unangax̂. I was told about the Atka Summer Intensive by my Godmother, Crystal Dushkin. She has… Read more »

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Guest Post: Timothy’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

My name is Timothy and I am 15 years old. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and I was raised in Atka. I go to Yakov Netsvetov School and I am in 10th grade. When I heard about the 2016 Summer Intensive, I was interested in joining because I hear elders in our village speak… Read more »

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Guest Post: Junior’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

Aang! My name is Junior and I’m from Atka, Alaska. I go to school at Yakov E. Netsvetov School. The reason why I was interested in this Summer Language Intensive is because my language (Niiĝuĝim Tunuu) is dying and I want to keep it going. The activities I liked from this summer were the icebreakers… Read more »

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Call for WAYK 2017 Interns!

This summer, we are very lucky to again be able to offer at least three WAYK internship opportunities. These positions are sponsored by our host community (St. Paul Island) in partnership with ACSPI, APIA, and a number of other regional organizations. Participating in a WAYK summer project is one of the best ways to be… Read more »

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The Danger of Putting Endangered Languages on a “Shelf”

What does it mean to revitalize a language? What does it mean to secure its existence for the next generation of speakers? What does this look like and why is it important? As a Native person who is deeply concerned about the future of my heritage language, Tewa, these are the types of questions I… Read more »

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WAYK proves I’m not a language-learning dud!

When the community we planned to start working with in late May 2014 had its funding temporarily delayed, Evan and I decided to make the most of our free time and the +1500-km drive I had made from Edmonton to the Pacific Northwest. I met him in his hometown in rural Oregon, and we spent the next 10 days using Where Are Your Keys? Techniques to… Read more »

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What it’s like to be a WAYK Intern

Interning: do anything and everything #forthelanguage! Explaining what it’s like to be a WAYK intern is no easy task. To be perfectly honest, I really had no idea what I was in for when I boarded the plane that would take me to St. Paul Island, Alaska. Even once I figured out what I was… Read more »

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Call for WAYK Summer 2016 Interns!

This summer, we are very lucky to again be able to offer three WAYK internship opportunities.  These positions are sponsored by our host community (Atka, Alaska) in partnership with APIA and a number of other regional organizations. Participating in a WAYK summer project is one of the best ways to be fully immersed in another… Read more »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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It Takes Two to Tango

(by WAYK intern David Edwards) I had an epiphany yesterday. This Saturday, Sky and I are flying to China to help an NGO in Beijing run a summer WAYK training for local migrant English teachers. It’s been just over a year since I got back from China, and I’ve been absolutely giddy to get back… Read more »

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Squamish Language Revitalization

About a year ago we partnered with Dustin Rivers, to train him and his community in WAYK and support the revitalization of the Squamish Language. Squamish Nation is located in British Columbia, Canada. A few months ago Dustin began spear-heading weekly WAYK Squamish language classes. Dustin adapted the Zero to Intermediate scale to the Squamish… Read more »

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Learning a Language vs. Creating a Language Community

    There are a lot of people doing good work in language education; and you can find many talented language learners and polyglots. There are countless resources to learn a language out there, whether immersion programs, classes, software, CD sets, podcasts, online language mentoring forums, and on and on. We respect and value all these… Read more »

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Language Hunting in Latin

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/15491950] In this video you’ll see footage of the September 2010 Latin WAYK Weekend Workshop at Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, WY. Towards the end of the weekend at a typical WAYK workshop, the steadily improving language hunters participate in the “Tea with Grandma” scenario, where attendees hunt language from fluent elders with no… Read more »