Archive for the ‘workshops’ Category

Where Are Your Keys?

4 June 2011

Where Are Your Keys or WAYK is a language learning technique focused on enjoying the flow and engaging the brain. Incorporating Total Physical Response elements with the idea that learners learn better with physical energy, WAYK is an immersion learning technique (that is, not using English, for example, to help teach) that has been used since 1992. In WAYK games, learners learn by copying the movements and speech of the person leading.

The technique gets its name because you can judge the language fluency of another person based on the response to everyday questions such as Where are your keys?

Developed originally by Evan Gardner and co-developed by Willem Larsen, WAYK is also an organization that provides workshops and support to help people spread language learning with WAYK.

To facilitate the learning process, ASL or American Sign Language is used during the sessions. Because of their visual nature, sign languages can provide important clues that aid the learner.

In the below video, David Edwards is showing Chris how to “play” WAYK, using Mandarin. This is the first time for Chris to play.


By the end of the video, Chris has developed a keen sense of how to use the language he has been practicing in the game.

One of the goals of WAYK is to assist communities in revitalizing their languages. While WAYK works best in a live situation such as above, they are also developing a video library for situations where live communication is not possible. Here is a video with a first lesson in Chinuk Wawa or Chinook Jargon (chn).

Chinuk Wawa 1: “ikta ukuk” from Willem Larsen on Vimeo.

It is clear that the person-to-person environment is an advantage to this method. Skype, a free videoconferencing program, is also used with WAYK.

As people gain proficiency in WAYK and can learn languages more quickly, they are referred to as “language hunters.”

WAYK has two upcoming workshops on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon, US, from July 18 to 22 and from July 25 to 29. The program will help speakers of Numu or Northern Paiute (pao) revitalize their language.

WAYK has built a community in a variety of media. See their About Us page for Facebook, Twitter, Google Groups and other resources.

June calendar

30 May 2011

From the June calendar:

13-24 – US – Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages (2011)
20-July 1 – US – NILI Summer Institute 2011
27-29 – Canada – 2011 Athabaskan Languages Conference

It appears that the National Native Language Revitalization Summit will not be taking place this year.

Update: the summit will be taking place. See “National Native Language Revitalization Summit on June 22” on this blog.

ANU Tone Workshop

14 April 2011

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language with tones—a change in the pitch of your voice while pronouncing a syllable. Tonal languages are common throughout the world, including Navajo (nav) in the United States and Swedish in Europe.

In February, a tone workshop was held at University of California, Berkeley on the topic of how to study a tone language.

Building on that knowledge, a follow-up workshop will be held in December at the Australian National University in Canberra. Participants will spend time learning about tones and then work on analyzing a specific language. The end product will be an edited collection of papers produced by the participants.

When: December 5-16, 2011, following the annual conference of the Australian Linguistic Society
Where: Australian National University, Canberra, AU
Registration: To be announced in May
Website: ANU Tone Workshop

April calendar items

3 April 2011

Dates from the calendar:

8 – US – submission deadline for 18th Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (2011)
13-15 – US – South Eastern Conference on Linguistics: SECOL LXXVIII (2011)
15 – Japan – Abstract submission deadline for the Himalayan Languages Symposium (2011)
18 – US – scholarship deadline for NILI Summer Institute 2011
30 – US – Lushootseed Conference

News in Brief: Australian Education, Quechua in US University, EL Week Approaching

26 March 2011

Government speaking the Goldfields’ language

In Australia, the government is working with indigenous language groups to create a national framework for teaching indigenous languages in the school.

Quechua Language Finds New Home At American University

The Office of International Affairs at the Ohio State University announced on February 8 that OSU would offer two classes in Quechua (que) in spring quarter, which begins Monday. The classes will be taught by Luis Morató, a native speaker of Quechua. The Incas used Quechua as a means to unify their empire, and with some 44 languages documented under the macrolanguage Quechua, there are more than 10 million speakers today. Despite this number, the language faces great challenged in Spanish-immersed Latin America.

Endangered Languages Week 2011

Once again, the School of Oriental and African Studies of London is holding its annual Endangered Languages Week. The dates this week are from May 9 to 14. Learn phrases and the background of at least 12 spoken and signed languages from around the globe, attend a workshop on documentation and more.

US Conferences and Events

16 March 2011

There are three conferences coming up in the US:

A. The Protection of Cultural Diversity: Language Rights and Legal Pluralism

B. 18th Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium

C. NILI Summer Institute 2011

  • June 20-July 1
  • University of Oregon – Eugene, OR, US
  • Scholarship deadline: April 18
  • Fee: USD 1550 (not including housing)
  • Courses to include:
  1. Northwest languages, intermediate linguistics;
  2. Chinuk Wawa or Chinook Jargon (chn), Sahaptin (family), Lushootseed (lut), Tolowa (tol);
  3. Teaching methods; materials developments

See also the calendar page and the events page, listed at the top of this page. To have your conference posted, make a comment here or send an e-mail to wakablogger {the at symbol}

News in Brief: “The Young Ancestors” Film, LDLT3, Indigenous Language Student Brief, Languages in Columbia

28 February 2011

The Young Ancestors” is a film in progress about a small group of Native Americans who are learning their heritage language Tewa (tew). Currently in the post-production stage, the project is raising funds to complete the film. Inspired by a post Posed on Womanist Musings.

The Website for Language Documentation & Linguistic Theory 3 is now up. With a theme of “‘Empirical methodologies that drive forward theory building,” the conference will be held November 19 to 20 at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK. If you can, arrange an extra day, November 18, for the Workshop on Language Documentation and Archiving.

Heritage Languages in America has produced a brief titled “Indigenous Language Students from Spanish-Speaking Countries: Educational Approaches.” Written by Hannah Pick, Walt Wolfram, and Jacqueline López, the brief overviews situations in which Latin American immigrant children in the US transition from their home language to English, losing their native tongue. Contrary to common perceptions, some do not speak Spanish.

In conjunction with International Mother Language Day, the Ministry of Culture of Columbia released a report (English) on February 21 listing five languages as nearly extinct because there are less than 60 speakers. The languages are: Carijona (cbd), PisamiraTinigua (tit), with only one speaker, Nonuya and Totoro (ttk). Of the approximately 70 languages in Columbia, about half have less than 1000 speakers. Inspired by the mini-post at Native Strength and “Five Colombian Indigenous Languages ‘Nearly Extinct,’” a post with a map of Columbia on the Indian Country Today Media Network.

Workshops by CILO – US

28 February 2011

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided a grant last year to bring together four language revitalization organizations in the US, forming the CILO partnership. (The grant is apparently through the Tides Center.) CILO stands for Consortium of Indigenous Language Organizations.

The four organizations are:

  1. AICLS – Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival
  2. AILDI – American Indian Language Development Institute
  3. ONLA – Oklahoma Native Language Association
  4. ILI – Indigenous Language Institute

The mission of CILO is to provide training for those involved in language revitalization. Their primary project is Language Immersion for Native Children (LINC) to focus in particular on language transmission to children up through age eight. Their diverse range of workshops are fee-based and open to all interested, including teachers, parents and other advocates.

CILO has created a catalog listing their workshops, and are open to expanding their offerings and locations. Currently planned workshops include:

  • A three-day workshop for planning/starting an immersion program. Covers such situations as home immersion, day care center learning and Head Start education
  • A two-day workshop on setting up a Master-Apprentice Programs (2008 presentation)
  • A three-day workshop for parents, grandparents and other community people working with preschool and Head Start children
  • A three-day workshop on computer and multimedia technology, including computing (typing in NA languages) and creating audio books
  • A one-day seminar for administrators

A wide range of exciting options for training the trainers!

Workshop on Vanuatu Languages

16 February 2011

While Papua New Guinea and Mexico are commonly cited for their linguadiversity, the island nation Vanuatu has more languages per capita than any other country in the world, about 2200 speakers per language (assuming one speaker per language).

To discuss issues about Vanuatuan languages, a workshop will convene between October 21 and 23 this year at the Kioloa Coastal Campus of Australian National University, about two and-a-half hours outside of Canberra.

An invitation has been issued for talks 30 minutes in length. People wanting to present should contact the organizers as soon as possible. Invitations will then be sent to prospective presenters with a final submission deadline of March 15.

This workshop has been added to the Conferences and Calendar pages on this blog.

This blog post is based on the announcement on the Linguist List. According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 2000 speakers per language in Vanuatu.

Developing Orthographies for Unwritten Languages

26 January 2011

The papers and presentations for the 2011 LSA Orthography Symposium: Developing Orthographies for Unwritten Languages are now available on the SIL website. The presenters and papers are:

Michael Cahill – Non-linguistic factors in orthographies
Keith Snider – Orthography and phonological depth
Constance Kutsch Lojenga – Orthography and tone
Pamela Munro – Breaking Rules for Orthography Development
Gwendolyn Hyslop – Orthography development in Bhutan
Larin Adams – Making Orthography Decisions in Southeast Asia

What a nice set of resources!