Lights, camera, action.

Last week was my chance to work closely with the 30 new grad students. My favorite evening was Wednesday  as it was totally hands on. I gave each small group of students some kind of recording device, blank media, power source, tripod or alternative mount, an equipment checklist, a consent form, a questionaire and a comic strip. First, they had to figure out how to make their devices work and optimize them for voice recording according to the latest language documentation standards. Then, they set about asking one of their members for permission to record, gathering biographical information and eliciting a story from the comic strip. Finally, each group turned everything off and gave it back with a brief report on their session.

The most popular accessory by far was the one pictured here called the Action Pod. There was endless speculation about its uses… go figure. Click to see Action Pod

A few reactions to the week´s activities – (translated from Spanish)

“At first our group thought using the (zoom h2n audio) recorder was too complex, but upon reading the manual we found we could manage it easily”

“I learned that we need to take ethics into account when gathering and publishing data”

“What I really want to know is, how do you revive an endangered language?”

“As native speakers we need to know how to document our languages in order to conserve and spread their use.”

“I wish we could have learned more about how to create databases, this is a gap in my preparation.”

“Come visit my homeland, you are always welcome.”


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