Welcome to Field School 2018!

We've already finished the first week of this year's field school, so we have a lot to catch you up on!

This is the third annual trip to the Guatemala Field Station in Patzún for the summer field school.  Students and faculty visit Patzún for a month, including two weeks of intensive language classes and two weeks of mentored research and data collection. Last weekend the first group of linguists arrived in Patzún and settled in with their host families. On Monday, they began the immersion course in Kaqchikel. It's a diverse group of students from different universities and stages of training:
  • Akshay Aitha just graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Linguistics and Applied Math. 
  • Caleb Ewing is a graduate student in Linguistics at the University of Florida.
  • Brecken Keller is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, majoring in Linguistics and Computer Science. 
  • Polina Pleshak is a graduate student in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at Lomonosov Moscow State University.
  • Emily Speed is a graduate student in Educational Neuroscience at Utah State University, returning to the field school for a second summer.
  • Isabel Townsend-Last is an undergraduate student at Towson University, majoring in Spanish and Secondary Education and minoring in Linguistics. 
Group picture at dinner in Guatemala City.
The group arrives in Guatemala City. Clockwise: Akshay, Brecken, Isabel, Caleb, Emily, and Polina.

We're also joined by Stephen Alajajian, a nutritionist and language enthusiast who has been working with Wuqu'Kawoq. 

I'm here to represent the Language Science Center for the first two weeks; my main job is to make sure everyone stays safe and happy. But as a linguist myself, I can't pass up the opportunity to learn about Kaqchikel. I joined the class on the fourth day, so it's been quite a challenge to catch up with the other students. But I'm amazed at how much I can understand already--the immersion method is quite effective. (More on that in a future post!)