Department of Linguistics & TESOL | The University of Texas at Arlington
CoLang 2014: Institute on Collaborative Language ResearchFollow @CoLang2014
Why Attend CoLang?
In the past I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit trying to teach myself how to use
tools like Toolbox and ELAN. At CoLang, on the other hand, I learned in well-structured
classes from and with other people who do language documentation. I met other language
activists and got ideas for what I can be doing in my own community along with their
first-hand experiences of pitfalls and solutions. As a linguist, I learned
practical fieldwork skills that aren’t necessarily a regular part of academic
programs. As a Native language learner, I re-energized myself learning
about the positive work of fellow indigenous language activists. I highly
I attended the CoLang Institute 2012 at Lawrence, as a kind of ‘research leave’. I stayed through the workshops to the Practicum. I registered for FLEx, Lexicography, among other courses. I needed the FLEx knowledge for my dictionary project on Leggbo. The progress of this project has been greatly enhanced by the FLEx tool. The courses were ‘refreshing’, considering that I felt ‘rusty’ in some areas, and the exchange of practical field experiences was quite useful. Having designed orthographies for some Cross River languages, we could design one for Uda in the short period that we had.
I recommend CoLang to both professors and students. The elders learn from the young and the young benefit from the elders’ experience.
Imelda Icheji Lawrence Udoh
University of Uyo
I am a language activist. Before attending InField 2008, I and assisted by a group of other community members had struggled to write a dictionary of my community’s language for over six years. These would become the very first dictionary of Ekegusii language of Abagusii of Kenya. Over some past years there had been attempts at it without success.
The need for the dictionary was strong, being informed by many factors including obvious diminished use in major domains due to globalization.
Attending InField 2008 with my colleague was our defining moment. We trained on Lexicography, Grant Writing, Field Methods and Advocacy which catapulted us. We met friendly instructors who willingly assisted us in migrating the data we had accumulated into appropriate software for dictionary writing and language documentation. It was such a tremendous step. I was inspired.
Further training and practice during the InField/CoLang 2010 and 2012 enabled us to complete the writing of the dictionary which was launched last June. Visit www.ekegusiiencyclopedia.com InField/CoLang came with other benefits such as but not limited to appreciation of the efforts of committed individuals, institutions and organizations are doing to save endangered languages of the world. If we did benefit, you will too.
K. M. Bosire
“I was first introduced to InField/CoLang back in 2010 as a trainer, what come out of those weeks there was something I did not expect. That was the formation of working relationships and friendships that still continue today. It is one thing to pass on training to someone but it is another to be asked to be part of their journey especially when it is as special as this, documenting and doing everything we can in keeping our old languages alive.”
Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre
Attended inField 2010 in Eugene
I went to InField 2010 at the University of Oregon because I wasn't sure if I wanted to go to graduate school. I went because I wanted to get an idea of what a career in linguistics looked like. I went because I saw the names of some of my linguistic heroes on the schedule. What I experienced at InField changed the entire trajectory of my life. I learned so much from both the courses and the people I met; every day was an emotional as well as academic education. I never made it through a single morning plenary without tears in my eyes. I was determined that I would go to graduate school, and would educate myself to do the most good for the most people. I met my future advisor at InField 2010, and the goal of my dissertation is to create and perfect a rapid assessment toolkit for language programs. I came to InField a directionless and naive academic, and I left as an informed and determined human being.
I still have my notes from that last evening, when Chief Ferdinand Mande of the Kari'nja Indians spoke to us. Chief Mande said, "I have learned so many things I didn't know before. They give me power. They give me knowledge. Even as the dominant language speakers are developing their own language, [...] all those languages are developing themselves today, [...] I have respect for it all. I have respect for you because you have so many knowledge in your brain. Well my brothers and sisters in America, let me think very deep in my history, let me forget anything that 's happened to us, that's not needed today.
What is needed today is that we come together, talk together, meet together, that we meet together and learn together, and show the big world that we can, yet you must want to do that too, because if you don't have the will, you will never get to."
Melody Ann Ross