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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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TQ: Full Sentences

2017 WAYK intern Mary Leighton explains Technique: Full Sentences, a simple trick for getting more language out of your immersion sessions.

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St. Paul Island Spring Visit 2018 (Tentative Dates)

Tentative Dates: April 22, 2018 – May 6, 2018 (N.B. At this time, these dates are not confirmed.) In partnership with Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (ACSPI, supported by ANEP and CBSFA) the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA, supported by ANA) the WAYK team returns to St. Paul Island for 15 days in the spring of 2018. During this visit,… Read more »

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A Day in the Life of a WAYK Team Member

I don’t know if it’s possible to share an “average” day, but here is a sample day as a WAYK Team Member, based on Thursday June 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Alaska. 8:15 AM Breakfast. The eight of us – Evan, Susanna, and the six visiting team members – eat our meals together at the WAYK house,… Read more »

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St. Paul Island Fall Visit 2017

In partnership with Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (ACSPI, supported by ANEP) and the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA, supported by ANA) the WAYK team returns to St. Paul Island for 10 days in the fall of 2017. During this visit, the WAYK team will continue to provide training and support for members of the local core team who have worked with… Read more »

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Fairy Killing or Linguistics Terminology?

As part of the Summer Language Intensive we took part in an excellent training in archiving practices (see Rachel Sprouse and Talia London’s blogs for more info). During this training, the local team decided on how to label the items in their archive; in other words, what “metadata” to attach to the items. My attention… Read more »

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Mind Meadows

“Mind meadows” are an adaptation of Technique: Meadow brought to us by Justin Slocum-Bailey of Indwelling Language.  “Imagine you’re on an island,” our leader starts. The room fills with smiles and muffled laughs; being smack dab in the middle of the Bering Sea, it’s not hard to imagine such a far-fetched situation. “You’re on an… Read more »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Archiving Training: Taking a Community-Centered Approach

WAYK’s partnership with the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA) is now in its third year. This summer WAYK is visiting the Unangam Tunuu Speaking Listening and Teaching (UTSLT) team on St. Paul Island to achieve its main goal: to help novice and intermediate speakers in the community expedite their language acquisition and hone their teaching skills, so that… Read more »

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Why I Came Back for Another Summer With WAYK

My name is Erin McGarvey and I am originally from London, Ontario, but am currently living in Edmonton, Alberta. This will be my second year as an intern with Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK). I was introduced to WAYK last summer as an intern during the Summer Language Intensive program on Atka Island, Alaska. As… Read more »

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WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Rachel Sprouse

Allinllachu? Hola! Hello! My name’s Rachel, but to many of my close friends and colleagues, I’m affectionally known as Sprouse. I’m originally from Stonington, Connecticut and spent the majority of my adolescence bouncing around the Northeast, finally settling on New York City—where I’ve now lived for five years. I’ve long had an interest in languages…. Read more »

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WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Robbie Penman

I’ve just come back from my first walk into the middle of Saint Paul, Alaska, where I could see to all corners of the island…and I was sure I could smell reindeer. The mossy subarctic landscape looks surprisingly like the Lake District back in the U.K., where I spent a lot of my childhood. So… Read more »

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WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Talia London

Aang! My name is Talia London and I grew up as a guest on Lummi territory, a Native nation in the Pacific Northwest. I am a descendent of the Aleut village of Nikolski. Currently I am a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. My experiences as… Read more »