Training Local People as Language Documentarians: A Docling Forum Live Chat

Hi everyone!
As many of you know, @rgriscom and I are working together on a documentation project which comprises 3 languages spoken in central Tanzania. A central part of our work involves training and supporting a team of around 10 members of the speaker communities to be “Local Researchers”, essentially conducting locally-based language documentations independent of Richard and I. We recently wrote a report detailing our experiences of holding a one-off training workshop for our Local Researchers, which is available here <[https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3971733]>. Eventually, this report will act as an appendix to a larger account of our project.
As part of this, we’re trying to be reflexive and deliberative about the work we do, and we’d like to use this as an opportunity to think critically about the event, as well as get some feedback from you, our community. As such, we’d like to schedule a chat in a couple of weeks’ time to talk about the processes involved in training “Local Researchers”, using our recent experience as a specific case study. We’re really excited about the prospect of connecting with you in real-time, as the commentary we get from you (experts in this field) will feed back into our project as it develops.
We’re proposing to hold this chat over Zoom during the week of October 19th. Here’s the link to a Doodle Poll - let us know when works, and we’ll decide on a date by the end of the week. We’ll attach a Zoom meeting link and password shortly thereafter.
[https://doodle.com/poll/g3wtmrwm4w3d2yc7]
Some main pieces of context:
1. The report (a 20-minute read) https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3971733 (this is the case study, and will be the backbone of our chat)
2. An ELAR blog post about the event (a 5-minute read) https://blogs.soas.ac.uk/elar/2020/10/02/the-haydom-language-documentation-training-workshop/ (a quick read to see if you’re interested in participating)
3. A recent talk given by Richard (a 1 hour, 15 minute watch on YouTube) https://youtu.be/-SGxp_7MzMA (this gives a lot of further context about what led up to and what followed after the training - it’s also featured in @pathall-'s earlier topic here [Richard Griscom on “Community-based research with the Hadza and Ihanzu”]
We’re looking forward to seeing where this goes, and meeting you you on-screen in the near future!

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This is a fantastic idea! I’ll be there and I’ll do the homework. :grin:

Thanks so much for taking this on, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if there’s anything I can do to help set up.

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This is super cool! I’d love to hang out with y’all for this :slight_smile:

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Hi all!
Thanks for all the interest, and for participating in the Doodle poll. Most people are available on:
Tuesday, October 20th, from 1000 - 1100 GMT
So please save the date!
@rgriscom and I will have a Zoom link and password ready soon, and will share both here. We’re really excited to see you all soon!

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Hi guys, here is the Zoom link for our chat tomorrow: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89846887020

See you there!

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Looking forward to it!

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As @pathall mentioned here (🙏 🙏 Thanks for participating this morning), our live chat was a really nice informal chat about @rgriscom and my work, specifically the training session we held in Haydom.
During the course of the discussion, I think @JROSESLA made a really good point about the (often) limited use of documentation experiences that are conceived of as broadly-construed “models”, supposedly with relevance for lots of different situations, versus the value of documentation experiences that are conceived of as specific, thickly-described “case studies”. Linguists are in such a wide range of situations when doing their work, and rather than searching for some sort of abstracted recipe, maybe we should aim to lay everything that we do out as clearly and explicitly as possible, and then leave it to each reader to take from that case study what they may.
@pathall also had lots of useful clarification questions, which I think will feed in to how we frame our project in the future. It links with the comment above that providing context is important!
As a reflection on the process, I think the chat went really well, and I think it’d be great to see some more of these synchronous, “in-person” events to go alongside the asynchronous, text-based basis that’s the backbone of this forum. It’s a great community!

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