Wakapoa field trip report

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Lokono Revitalization Workshop in Wakapoa. Photo by Osei Browne

By Tamirand Nnena De Lisser

On Saturday January 13, 2018, nine students of the Language and Society course (ENG3204) of the University of Guyana commenced a six-day field trip to Essequibo. The main objective of the field trip was to carry out two surveys, namely the General Language Attitudes Survey among Afro- and Indo-Guyanese in the Anna Regina and Queenstown villages, and the Revitalization Survey in the Lokono-speaking Amerindian villages of Mainstay, Capoey and Moshabo.

The students were also participants in a Lokono Revitalization Workshop in Wakapoa, where the orthography of Lokono was presented.  The field trip fostered inter-campus research collaboration as students were from both the Tain and Turkeyen campuses. Our aims included research in language planning, language revitalization and language attitudes, all which will be beneficial to not only our students, but also to the communities involved.

The field trip also allowed students the opportunity to make connections from the theoretical parts of the course to the practical aspects and the complexities of language. The trip was headed by the lecturers of the Language and Society course, Dr. Tamirand Nnena De Lisser and Mr. Alim Hosein. Also present were Prof. Ian Robertson, retired professor of linguistics and language educator at the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies; and Ms. Dhanaiswary Jaganauth, lecturer at the University of Guyana. Ms. Sinnika Henry, Ms. Charlene Wilkinson and Dr. Daidrah Smith – members of the Language Revitalization team – were also involved.

Following the field trip, students objectively reflected on their experience, examining its enhancement to academic learning, personal growth and skill, and intellectual development. In general all the objectives of the trip were met and the event was deemed a successful one. We are grateful to the Learning Resources Centre for making this trip a possibility.

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