The Big Picture
WAYK is actually much bigger than people first realize; it goes far beyond the basic table games that many beginners are familiar with. This is the grand scheme that can take whole communities from zero to fluent—that can build places where languages live.
Step 1: Technique "Bite-sized Pieces!"
The WAYK journey starts by breaking the target skill (or language) into bite-sized pieces—small, simple facets that beginners can pick up with no prior foundation.
Step 2: Technique "Let's Ride!"
Once players have identified a bite-sized piece, they package it in a Ride: a simple mini-game that specifically demonstrates and exercises the target piece while limiting as many other factors as possible. The ideal ride is straightforward, quick, repeatable, and easy to set up with everyday materials.
Players who have been to a few WAYK games will recognize common rides like "Make Me Say Yes," "Mine-Yours," and "Want-Have-Give-Take," but every language has its own idiosyncracies and requires a unique approach, so no two languages use identical sets of rides.
Step 3: Technique "Bucket Brigade!"
The beauty of a ride is that it's so simple, anyone can play it—which means that anyone can teach it. In a bucket brigade, rides are laid out through the game room from most basic to most advanced, and players then work their way from ride to ride, learning each game from the players just ahead of them so they can teach it to the players just behind.
When players first arrive at a new ride, they sit down in the "Lunatic Fringe"—a circle of seats arranged around the game for easy viewing. The "lunatic" newcomers then mimic the more advanced players seated in the "Inner Circle" as they go through the ride. Once the Inner Circle veterans sense that the newcomers have caught onto the game, the ride turns itself inside out—the veterans move out to the Lunatic Fringe, and the newcomers move into the Inner Circle. The veterans stick around long enough to ensure that the new Inner Circle players have got the game solidly, then "bust out" and move to the Lunatic Fringe of the next ride.
The ride has now reset itself—there is an Inner Circle of experienced players with a solid grasp of the game, and an empty Lunatic Fringe waiting for the next wave of newcomers to come and learn.
In this way, a WAYK game night is filled to the brim with teaching and learning, all at once. Rather than relying on a single person teaching the entire group, every player is simultaneously teacher and student, teaching and learning at exactly their own level, all at the same time.
Step 4: Technique "Wolf Pack!"
Of course, at some point players will reach the end of the bucket brigade and run out of rides to play. But the games don't stop there, because sitting at the last table is grandma with a cup of tea—or whoever else the master wielder of the target skill happens to be. Grandma needs no training as a teacher or even as a WAYK player to teach her language—instead, players use the techniques of the game to "hunt" new bite-sized pieces of language from her as a cooperative unit, or "pack." As soon as new bite-sized pieces are discovered, hunters split off to design new rides that can be added to the chain.
Step 5: Technique "Building Disneyland!"
As the hunters explore the language or skill and find all the bite-sized pieces necessary for fluency, the rides are organized into a full amusement park of well built, perfectly structured, thoroughly tested rides that are laid out in just the right order for maximum fun and simplicity. Newcomers can be strapped in and effortlessly launched through the bucket brigade until they stumble out of the room, amazingly able to fluently converse in the target language.
Step 6: Technique "Antigua!"
20 years ago, a tourist or traveler could get off the chicken bus in Antigua, Guatemala greeted by a host of taxi drivers and hustlers offering the "best food" and "cheap hotels." About 10 years later, arriving travelers are greeted by the same taxi drivers and hustlers, but now they peddle the new, sustainable, world famous Antigua attraction: Spanish lessons. There is an endless supply of schools, immersion programs, private tutors, and community classes all competing to get the best results and the most fame.
Lander, Wyoming will soon become the Latin "Antigua" of the world. Using WAYK, “Rome on the Range” will rival Antigua as a famous Latin tourism destination. Lander will have the most fluent Latin community full of the most effective WAYK players working together from one end of town to the other in a collective effort to get students fluent in a matter of days.
Imagine an entire town ready to take anyone on any ride they need, either at the coffee shop or the grocery check-out. Imagine a town full of teachers ready and willing to keep the rides going, wielding hundreds of techniques, pushing the visitors to the very edge of their ability.
This is a place where a language can live.
Step 7: Technique "World Domination!"
Don’t act like you didn’t see this coming.
Imagine a world full of "Where Are Your Keys?" towns ready to send and receive international exchange student-teachers, creating stronger communities which are more economically, socially, and politically secure.
As this fluency paradigm shifts, more people will become more fluent more quickly than ever before. This increased rate of fluency will exponentially increase as people all over the world are exposed to this cooperative, results-based system of learning and teaching, driven by the need for speed.