Archive for the ‘Chinook Jargon (chn)’ Category

sbuusaɫ sqʷuʔalikʷ dxʷʔal ti dxʷləšucid – 2

23 April 2013

Among the talks at the Fourth Annual Lushootseed Language Conference on Saturday was “Teaching Language Use” by Zalmai ʔəswəli Zahir, who has been teaching Lushootseed (lut) since 1989.

Noting that learning Lushootseed in the classroom does not translate into everyday use, Zahir focused on how to create a speaking environment.

He said that language nests are the only known method that works to revitalize a language. He also mentioned that in addition to  Maori and Hawaiian, languages that language nests have been applied to include Blackfoot, Cherokee, Chinook Wawa and Navajo. He also noted that modern Hebrew (heb) got its start with a language nest (see also Eliezer Ben-Yehuda).

His suggestion was to create a language nest in your home, preferably your kitchen. The steps he outlined are:

  1. Define the room or area where the language nest will be located, discussing the issue with all family members.
  2. Learn vocabulary for micro-domains, such as washing the dishes and cutting up vegetables. By working on one a week, a reasonable vocabulary can be built up in six months. Put up labels.
  3. Launch the nest, allowing only the target language to be spoken there. When friends and family members visit, tell them beforehand about the rules.

Once the nest is well established, language use can be expanded to other domains. Zahir also talked about the importance of maintaining motivation, and how talking to others in the home and the community about the progress of the nest and other aspects of language learning can keep people motivated.

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Wikipedia in Chinuk Wawa

29 July 2012

In December 2008, a trial was begun to see if a viable Chinuk Wawa or Chinook Jargon (chn) version of Wikipedia could be launched.

According to Catanalysis, there are 37 articles to date. Do you know Chinuk Wawa? Maybe you could create the 38th article.

Where Are Your Keys? – 2

29 July 2012

One of the most exciting posts on this blog was about a year ago, titled “Where Are Your Keys?” WAYK is a fast immersion learning technique invented by Evan Gardner and co-developed by Willem Larsen.

Checking in on them, I see there are two weekly WAYK events: one for Chinuk Wawa or Chinook Jargon (chn) and the other for Maidu (nmu).

Evan Gardner explains how “What’s that?” is always a great way to start a conversation:

Here’s a group session of WAYK using Western Abenaki (abe):

In this video, Dustin Rivers teaches Squamish (squ):

Earlier this month, there was also a three-day WAYK session on Latin (lat) (to prepare “for the explosion of Latin’s return as the world’s lingua franca).

 

Chinuk Wawa dictionary published!

23 May 2012

When people who speak different languages come together, they develop a somewhat systematic way of talking referred to as a pidgin language. If that pidgin is adopted as a regular way of speaking and children learn it as a native language, the pidgin becomes a creole. (Thus, “Pidgin” spoken Hawai’i is actually a creole language, not a pidgin.)

In the Pacific Northwest region of the US, a pidgin called Chinook Jargon (chn) developed in the Columbia River area and spread in the areas now known as Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska. It is debated whether Chinook Jargon existed before European contact, but it flourished in the contact period, and Chinook Jargon has lent words to English.

At some point, Chinook Jargon underwent creolization in the Grand Ronde Community, and survived while 27 native languages perished during the termination era.

In the 1970s, Chinook Jargon was taught in Grand Ronde, and in the 1990s, the language was renamed Chinuk Wawa with a new vision. Today, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde have preschool and kindergarten classes in Chinuk Wawa, and offer adult and family language learning opportunities as well.

As reported in the Seattle Times, a new Chinuk Wawa dictionary (presumably bilingual with English) is available. Titled in full “Chinuk Wawa / kakwa nsayka ulman-tilixam laska munk-kEmtEks nsayka / As Our Elders Teach Us to Speak It,” it is 494 page long and was compiled by the Chinuk Wawa Dictionary Project. It can be ordered from the University of Washington Press.

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.

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} gmail.com.