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Techniques and Metalinguistic Comments

Early on in teaching TQs (Techniques), Evan pointed out that an ASL (American Sign Language) sign can be used in at least two ways in WAYK. For example, the sign translatable as ‘again’ can be used as in the sentence ‘then the shark nibbled me on the finger again’. Or it can be used as… 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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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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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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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 »

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WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Mary Leighton

Hi! I’m from Vancouver, British Columbia, and I have worked in language education for about ten years, with a focus on English for newcomers to Canada and one-to-one language exchange programs. Just over a year ago, I heard the poet Lee Maracle joke about the absence of a good naturalization process to teach non-indigenous folks… Read more »

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WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Myles Creed

Hi! My name is Myles Creed and I am really excited to be involved with the WAYK Language Intensive on St. Paul Island (Tanax̂ Amix̂ in Unangam Tunuu) this summer. My ancestry is Irish, English and French, and my parents are John Creed and Susan Andrews, who grew up in Massachusetts, but moved to Alaska… Read more »

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Meet WAYK’s 2017 Summer Team

This year, we are delighted to expand the WAYK team for the 2017 Summer Intensive on St. Paul Island! Thanks to the support of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, the Aleut Foundation, the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, and the Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association we’ve been able to include sponsored positions for six… Read more »

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WAYK 2017 Summer Language Intensive

This summer the WAYK team, including at least 3 WAYK interns, and members of the regional Unangam Tunuu core team will travel to St. Paul Island to work with a team of local speakers and youths, organized by Aquilina Lestenkof and Anna Melovidov. The primary goals of the Summer Intensive (May 28th-August 20th) will be increased… Read more »

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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 »