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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 »

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WAYK Summer Schedule (Updated!)

It can be hard to imagine what a language revitalization summer looks like, but working to strengthen a language is a full-time endeavor. Here’s an updated look at what to expect from the WAYK Summer Intensive Schedule in 2017. As with any program centered around language learning, it’s essential that we have daily contact with… 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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WAYK Summer Intern Expectations: 2017 Update

What you can expect as an intern: You will learn how to use WAYK. One of the main purposes of the WAYK Summer Intensive is to provide a comprehensive training in WAYK skills, something that is difficult to demonstrate or even explain in a week-long workshop or a few language lessons. WAYK interns will learn all… Read more »

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Announcing WAYK’s 2017 Summer Intensive: St. Paul Island, Alaska!

After months of preliminary planning with our host community and organizations, WAYK is excited to announce the details of our 2017 Summer Intensive. This summer, the WAYK team will be returning to St. Paul Island, Alaska! In 2017, we’ll continue to work with Unangam Tunuu (also known as Aleut), an Eskimo-Aleut language with a small… Read more »

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Robyn’s Chinuk Wawa Language Adventure 2.2

I’m happy to report that I finally hit one of my milestone conversations in chinuk wawa! I can make, and explain how to make, one of my favourite desserts–rice krispie treats–entirely in chinuk! Hooray! So why this is a milestone? Last summer Casey and I did a lot of cooking in chinuk and many dinnertime… Read more »

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Technique: Let It Go!

Before I tell you about the WAYK Technique Let It Go, I am going to talk about what a Technique is. A Technique is a tool or strategy we use to help us, mostly with learning language, but with other things beyond language too. A Technique usually has a hand sign that goes with it,… Read more »

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Why We Use Sign Language

Perhaps one of the most common questions I have had about Where Are Your Keys is about Sign Language and why we use it so much for language learning. Some people look at WAYK and assume that all we’re doing is adding hand signs to vocabulary in another language and then going around in a… Read more »

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How It’s “Biin” So Far

At the time I’m writing this post, it’s nearing the halfway point of my internship with WAYK and my summer in the community of Atka, Alaska. As the days go by, they only seem to pass ever more quickly. But new experiences have been plentiful, just as has my acquisition of knowledge regarding the WAYK… Read more »

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Use It Or Lose It

If you don’t use it you’ll lose it. That age-old adage we hear, especially about language learning, means that if you don’t speak the languages you know you will forget them. This has happened to me many times. Growing up in Canada, taking French was mandatory for me in school and I took it all… Read more »

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Immersion Bubbles: Finding Comfort and Fun in the Uncomfortable

By way of the prior experience I’ve gained through my involvement in the language revitalization efforts taking place within my own community, the Pueblo of Pojoaque, I’ve been able to correct many misconceptions related to the practice of learning and teaching a second language. My time as an intern with WAYK has further contributed to… Read more »

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Color-Coding at the WAYK house

One of my favourite things so far as a WAYK intern is the color-coded organization of the WAYK house. Months before we arrived in Atka, each member of the WAYK team was assigned a color. Now, in the WAYK house, we each have our own set of dishes in our individual colors. Our bedding and… Read more »

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Guest Post: Bobbi’s First Two Weeks in Atka

My first two weeks in Atka learning Niiĝuĝim Tuunu have been interesting. I am learning a whole new lauguage, meeting a lot of new people, eating new things, and learning about the Orthodox religion also. This experience isn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. I thought that it was going to be… Read more »

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Robyn’s Chinuk Wawa Language Adventure 2.1

If you’ve been following the WAYK blog for the past year you know that while I was interning last summer Evan, Susanna, and Sky taught Casey and I chinuk wawa and we shared our progress over the summer through our “language adventure” posts. Even though I don’t have Casey learning with me this summer and… Read more »