Bubble Policy: How Can Immersion Bubbles Help an Indigenous Language Community?

In my last blog, I wrote about the obstacles to maintaining an immersion bubble. In this blog, I ask how the immersion bubble, as a kind of “language policy”, can further the interests of an Indigenous language community. There are two related benefits to immersion bubbles, as I see it. One benefit is that they… Read more »

Bubble Policy: Why Do People Break or Keep Up Immersion?

The idea of creating an “immersion bubble” is probably nothing new in language learning. Nor is it new within the field of language revitalization in the 20th and 21st centuries; creating immersion bubbles has been a goal of many revitalization movements at least since the kōhanga reo pre-school immersion initiatives in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the… Read more »

How to Use a Hunting Book

Take notes like a pro, or like a 5th grader, so long as you do it! In 2015, during my first summer with WAYK, Evan and Susanna gave me a hunting book to use for tracking the chinuk wawa I was learning. I’ll be honest: I didn’t really like or use it. I found it… Read more »

Keep Calm and Calendar On

Summer Language Intensives have a lot going on. All the time. Whether it’s lesson prep, an important conversation to be had, hunting language from elders over tea, or even just keeping the coffee station running, there’s always something that needs to be done. How does one keep everything going smoothly, especially with a larger team?… Read more »

WAYK Workshop versus Summer Language Intensive

I first met Evan and Susanna at a handful of WAYK workshops, which were each about two to five days long: three workshops at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage and one at the Songhees Wellness Center in Victoria, BC. Because of my attendance at these workshops, I was lucky enough to find out… Read more »

Technique: Angel

Learning a language is exciting, but it can also be scary. I get nervous when I stumble over new sounds, hoping no one nearby noticed. My cheeks feel hot every time I ask someone to pronounce a word so that I can understand and copy the sounds correctly. Suddenly it feels as if my ability… Read more »

Linguistic Terminology Part 2

Read Myles’ first post about linguistic terminology here. Working in the field of linguistics over the last few years, I have noticed some divisions in terminology that I would like to highlight in this blog. As North American linguistics begins to turns away from its roots in “salvage linguistics” and more towards collaborative community-based research,… Read more »

5 Group Immersion Activities

Before I arrived at the St. Paul Unangam Tunuu Summer Language Intensive, I wondered what we would do on a typical day. I knew that there would be no teacher standing at the front of the room, no textbooks. How would we fill our time from nine to five? I discovered here a variety of… Read more »

Relaxing in Immersion

Picture this: I grab a beautiful blue egg shell, a white feather, and two model birds, and join my group at a table in the back room for immersion time. Without any discussion or planning, we five young women blow up an imaginary immersion bubble to bid farewell to English – from here on out,… Read more »

Master Teachers and Techniques

Have you ever watched a master teacher at work? As a student teacher walking into a master teacher’s classroom for the first time, it is easy to have the misconception that the students are magically doing what they are supposed to be doing. The truth is that the teacher is using techniques to seamlessly facilitate… Read more »

Latest
  • French Language Hunting Camp in Quebec, August 21-27

    Join us at WAYK French Camp, in Quebec, for seven days of high-energy fun, music, campfires, good food, and accelerated French language learning on the farm with the “Where Are Your Keys?” learning game design system. For this event, we will be hosted on Claude Duhamel’s farm-land in Ulverton, Quebec, having conversations with local French… Read more »

  • Our Interns: Becoming Language Hunters, Revitalizing Languages

    We’re now filling intern positions at WAYK; we rely on these volunteer interns to help us carry WAYK games deeper into the community, and develop the WAYK system further. Thanks to all our interns: David Edwards (a student at Stanford, helping with our Numu/Paiute language program this summer), Sky Hopinka (Hochunk and a student at… Read more »

  • Building a Video Curriculum for an Endangered Language

    [vimeo=21673263] How do you apply WAYK techniques to building a video curriculum? As you know, WAYK is a design system for accelerating and improving the learning in any environment. So then how do you apply techniques obviously!, set-up, limit, and so on, to video? Video presents certain challenges – the biggest is the loss of… Read more »

  • The Fluency Hunter’s Eye

    Experiencing accelerated learning can be magnificent, meaningful, emotionally moving, exhilarating. And yet, the techniques and principles of accelerated learning are simple and concrete. Recently, I watched a video of speaker/author Stephen Covey talking about the power of what he called the “Indian talking stick”. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUxi-Zc45tA&w=480&h=390] By definition, self-sufficient indigenous communities have mastered creating and… Read more »

  • News from Boston WAYK, April 22-24th

    Willem (me) ran the workshop, and I wanted to try a new experiment. As my skill increases as a language hunter, I find that I need to keep upping the scale and challenge of my experimentation to “stay in the zone”: neither overwhelmed (sorry, charlie!), nor bored (heaven forfend such a thing!). This is an… Read more »

  • News from the April WAYK workshop in Redmond, WA

    Thanks so much to SolutionsIQ for hosting us at their training center – a great space and a very supportive partnership. We had a diverse crowd at our April 1-3 workshop in the Seattle area. Some attendees came with fluency, wanting to learn more how to teach – Scots Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, Lushootseed, Latin. Others… Read more »

  • Invite WAYK for a Talk or Demo in Boston, April 17th-21st

    From April 14th-24th, I (Willem Larsen) will be presenting WAYK at various venues in Boston, MA. For the first few days, I’ll be at Agile Games 2011, April 14th-16th. From the 17th-21st I’m available to do talks and demos on “Where Are Your Keys?” and the Fluency Hunting Model of accelerated learning. If you’d like… Read more »

  • WAYK Book of “Fundamental Play Techniques”

    For all of you dying to get a written version of the WAYK techniques, we’ve self-published about 15 copies of a 60 page booklet. This book covers about half of the techniques we consider vital and fundamental to play, 24 in all, giving more in depth background. The technique entries are almost the same as… Read more »

  • Language Hunting and Responsible Travel

    From Lonely Planet’s website (maker of guidebooks, phrasebooks, and other media): ‘Responsible travel’ means assessing our impact on the environment and local cultures and economies – and acting to make that impact as positive as possible. We’re including more information in our guidebooks and on this website on how you can personally travel more responsibly…. Read more »

  • WAYK at “Life is Good” Homeschooling Conference, May 26-29

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txdBOES235k&w=480&h=390] WAYK staff Evan Gardner, Willem Larsen, and others, will be playing four days of WAYK at the Life (“Learning in Freedom Everyday”) Unschooling/Homeschooling conference in the Portland area. http://lifeisgoodconference.com Registration is only $60 for adults and $40 for children over 3, for 4 days. WAYK will staff an exhibitor booth with a game… Read more »

  • 24. “Riddle-me-this” – the Top WAYK Techniques

    When fluency hunting, you are never concerned with translations or explanations, because you are always looking to acquire an intuitive, whole-body understanding of the language or skill through riddle-me-this. Meaning is a complete, whole-body experience, not an intellectual one. Discovery, revelation, insight, the “Eureka!” moments of our lives are most richly felt, and most deeply… Read more »

  • 23. “Lunatic Fringe” – the Top WAYK Techniques

    During fluency hunting, you remain aware of everyone around you – young children playing, passers-by, and peers watching the hunt. You know that all these people are lunatic fringe, fully part of play, though they might not realize it, and you take care to hunt as obviously! as you can so they can follow along…. Read more »

  • 22. “Travels with Charlie”/”Sorry, Charlie” – the Top WAYK techniques

    When fluency hunting, you use limit to move through ascending levels of complex performance, leaving a Travels with Charlie roadmap behind you, and calling sorry, charlie on yourself or others anytime bite-sized pieces come up out of order. One quick look at the Big Picture can make all the details fall into place. We call… Read more »

  • 21. “Craig’s List” – the Top WAYK Techniques

    While language hunting, when you periodically discover single words and concepts in your target language, you ask for them to be included in a Craig’s List (CL) of like concepts/words, accelerating your movement through the language and raising the chances of remembering the single word you discovered. Lists are an ancient mnemonic. There are many… Read more »

  • “Copy-cat”: the Heart of Accelerated Learning

    We often say, “WAYK is a copy-cat game, not a learning game. No learning allowed!”. This can seem rather tongue-in-cheek, as if we secretly mean, no really, we want you to learn, this is just a way to make it fun. But no – though seemingly paradoxical, we actually mean it. WAYK really is a… Read more »

  • WAYK Mandarin Chinese

    Here’s player David Edwards, at Stanford University, sharing Mandarin with a friend for the first time. It’s a lot of fun to watch, and with subtitles too! Keep in mind we’ve never played with David, which makes it all the more fun to follow the game. We’re always really excited when we see video of… Read more »

  • 20. “Contract” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    In the midst of play, you or another fluency hunter spots a way to accelerate the learning environment. You enshrine it as a technique by giving it a catchy name, and contract it as part of play from now on. Culture is an agreement between two or more people. One of the major goals of… Read more »

  • 19. “Bite-sized Pieces” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    In order to keep players fluently participating in the game, you ensure all new information emerges in bite-sized pieces. Q: “How do you eat an elephant?” A: “One bite at a time.” Massively complex skills or projects are almost effortless when tackled one bite at a time. Once you’ve learned this technique, you’ll begin to… Read more »

  • 18. “My Turn/Your Turn” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    While fluency hunting, you constantly double check your sense of the accent in play through my turn/your turn, maintaining a back and forth rhythm between yourself, your fellow players, and your fluent fool. Everything honest is a conversation. There are countless examples of alternating flows in the natural world. Back and forth exchanges are a… Read more »

  • 17. “You Go First” (Modeling) – Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    While fluency hunting, you want to share a technique with another player. To demonstrate its value and context, you go first, applying it in play. Later, you see your fellow player is ready to absorb another bite-sized piece of improved accent – so, you go first, modeling the accent you want to transmit. Lead from… Read more »