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 »

TQ: Full Sentences

2017 WAYK intern Mary Leighton explains Technique: Full Sentences, a simple trick for getting more language out of your immersion sessions.

Guest Post: Meet Unangam Tunuu Intern Timothy

My name is Timothy A. Zaochney and I’m from Atka, Alaska. I’ve been doing the Niiĝuĝim Tunuu language program for three years. I’m joining the team this summer in Anchorage as an APICDA intern. I got involved in the language program when Evan came down to Atka for the first time in 2013. I’m interested… Read more »

Guest Post: Meet Unangam Tunuu Intern Junior

Hi, my name is Junior Golodoff. I’m from Atka, Alaska. This here is my third year with the Summer Language Intensive. I’m joining the team as an APICDA intern. What got me involved with the language is my friends because without them I probably wouldn’t be here. What got me interested in the language was that… Read more »

Guest Post: Meet Unangam Tunuu Intern Nikkita

My first introduction with Unangam Tunuu came during the fall of 2015, when I heard of classes at the Aleutian Pribilof Island’s Association building here in Anchorage. The need for understanding the words and the sounds was something that I was excited about. The classes at that time worked with my schedule, so I continued… Read more »

Guest Post: Meet Ungangm Tunuu Intern Bobbi

Hello, my name is Bobbi Dushkin. I got involved with the language project 2 years ago when Crystal came up to me at a Christmas party and asked if I would like to learn the Aleut language. So I went to Atka in 2016 and that was my first summer in the language project. Summer… Read more »

Guest Post: Meet Unangam Tunuu Intern Kira

Hi, my name is Kira, and I live in Wasilla, AK, but I’m from St. Paul Island. Language has always been a part of my life since I was young; I got into the WAYK program three years ago with my mom and my brother. Since I got started, I have learned to teach beginners… Read more »

Guest Post: Meet Unangam Tunuu Intern Nate

Hello, my name is Nathaniel. I am from Atka, Alaska. For those who don’t know where Atka is located, Atka is a very remote island westward on the Aleutian chain. I’m 16 years old and I currently live in Anchorage, Alaska. This fall I will be starting my senior year of high school. I have… 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 »

  • Yiddish Language Hunt

    [vimeo=20128505] Here you can see Willem hunting Yiddish language for the first time, with the help of fluent speaker Selma Zack, in February 2011. Just moments before the video starts, Willem has begun by asking Selma, “How do you say ‘What is that?’”. Almost all of the rest of the language hunt is spent immersed… Read more »

  • 16. “Just in Time” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You are fluency hunting a skill comprised of uncountable bite-sized pieces, with the option of using and sharing hundreds of accelerating techniques. Yet this doesn’t overwhelm you, because you always bring up new information just in time. Information and ability is acquired most deeply and rapidly at the moment of its greatest relevance. If you… Read more »

  • WAYK: A Mental Martial-Art

    Over the past couple years, as we’ve been working to share WAYK with a larger audience, we’ve collected a lot of feedback on how to present the game. One piece of feedback, that we’ve received many times, has to do with WAYK itself. It runs something like this: “Do I have to learn sign language… Read more »

  • 15. “Mumble” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You may have hunted dozens of skills and languages – or none. But no matter what, every time you sit down with a new fluent fool to fluency hunt their skill, you will always start at the beginning, by copy-catting, and mumble your way to fluency. Attaining excellence requires you first embrace foolishness. Perfection is… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Irish language (Gaeilge) 4

    [vimeo=20063545] Here’s the fourth video in the series, which covers the third persons, He/She. It’s worth noting that, as always, we are applying tq mumble to leading a game in Irish – this is not perfect, fluent adult Irish, of any accent. But it is the Irish game that any new game leader will be… Read more »

  • 14. “Accent” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You want to hunt a target skill, so therefore you need to find a fluent fool. You choose the fluent fool according to the accent you’re hunting, or simply accept their particular accent as your target. “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Irish Language (Gaeilge) 3

    [vimeo=19914532] Here’s the third video in the Irish language series. Remember, you’ll need to start with the first video, and for most folks, completing the WAYK tutorial beforehand is a must. In this video we play through Craig’s Lists Give/Take and For/if/and. It’s worth noting that, as always, we are applying tq mumble to leading… Read more »