One of the techniques in Where Are Your Keys? is called “Same Conversation.” By having the same conversation several times, covering the same vocabulary, grammar, questions, and responses, learners gain confidence in the words they are choosing, and are able to practice putting them together smoothly and correctly.

While Evan was teaching me Chinuk Wawa in Oregon, I convinced him to let us try out Podnah’s, a smokehouse barbecue restaurant in Portland that is rumoured to be the best in the city. The next day, as we considered what we wanted to accomplish for the day, we decided that a repeat visit to Podnah’s was necessary. “It’s for the language!” we slyly claimed, citing the “Same Conversation” technique as the reason we needed to return. Sure enough, I got to practice talking about my favourite meats! We even got in a little round of the “Translator” technique, when Evan asked me for a sharp knife in Chinuk and made me translate the request to our waiter.

We were charmed but also a little unsettled by the thought of the things we do “for the language,” and were certain that others have likely done funny or strange, but not always useful, things in the name of learning or protecting a language. Please share yours with us! Feel free to use the hashtag #itsforthelanguage—and we’d love to see accompanying pictures!

Post authored by Caylie

Written by Evan Gardner