WAYK Summer Intensive Schedule: 2018 Update

It can be hard to imagine what a language revitalization summer looks like, but working to keep a language alive is a full-time endeavor. Here’s an updated look at what to expect from the WAYK Summer Intensive schedule in 2018. As with any program centered around language learning, it’s essential that we have daily contact with… Read more »

WAYK Summer Intern Expectations: 2018 Update

What you can expect as an intern: You will learn how to use WAYK. One of the main purposes of the WAYK Summer Intensive is to provide comprehensive training in WAYK skills, something that is difficult to demonstrate or even explain in a week-long workshop or a few language lessons. Communities that invite WAYK for a Summer Intensive… Read more »

Call for WAYK 2018 Interns!

This summer, we are once again fortunate to offer internship opportunities during the 2018 WAYK Summer Intensive. The internship positions are sponsored by our host community (APIA), in partnership with TAC, TAF, and a number of other regional organizations. Participating in a WAYK summer project is one of the best ways to be fully immersed… Read more »

Announcing WAYK’s 2018 Summer Intensive: Anchorage, Alaska!

WAYK is very excited to announce—after months (and years!) of planning with our host community—that our 2018 Summer Intensive will take place in Anchorage, Alaska! In 2018, we will continue our work with Unangam Tunuu, an Eskimo-Aleut language with a small number of speakers in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. Unangam Tunuu has been the… Read more »

A Day in the Life of a WAYK Team Member

I don’t know if it’s possible to share an “average” day, but here is a sample day as a WAYK Team Member, based on Thursday June 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Alaska. 8:15 AM Breakfast. The eight of us – Evan, Susanna, and the six visiting team members – eat our meals together at the WAYK house,… Read more »

Techniques and Metalinguistic Comments

Early on in teaching TQs (Techniques), Evan pointed out that an ASL (American Sign Language) sign can be used in at least two ways in WAYK. For example, the sign translatable as ‘again’ can be used as in the sentence ‘then the shark nibbled me on the finger again’. Or it can be used as… Read more »

Circle of Questions and Silly Conversations

At the beginning of the summer language intensive, Susanna and Evan introduced us to the Circle of Questions, a concept used in TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling; read more in Fluency Through TPR Storytelling). I find it an incredibly useful tool for learning and teaching. Below is a description of the concept with… Read more »

Fairy Killing or Linguistics Terminology?

As part of the Summer Language Intensive we took part in an excellent training in archiving practices (see Rachel Sprouse and Talia London’s blogs for more info). During this training, the local team decided on how to label the items in their archive; in other words, what “metadata” to attach to the items. My attention… Read more »

Mind Meadows

“Mind meadows” are an adaptation of Technique: Meadow brought to us by Justin Slocum-Bailey of Indwelling Language.  “Imagine you’re on an island,” our leader starts. The room fills with smiles and muffled laughs; being smack dab in the middle of the Bering Sea, it’s not hard to imagine such a far-fetched situation. “You’re on an… Read more »

Relationship Dynamics in Language Learning

I have been thinking about the relationship between a language learner and an “informant”, who may be a native speaker, a fluent speaker, or just someone more proficient than the learner. Here on St. Paul Island, local language team members have been improving their fluency by “language hunting” with some of the elders who either… 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 »

  • April 1st-3rd: WAYK workshop in Seattle area

    The good folks at SolutionsIQ are partnering with us to bring you our first public workshop in a while. Please check out the event details  and register for the April workshop at the SolutionsIQ Agile Learning Center. Register now for an early bird discount! Though this workshop will apply to all experienced levels, returning WAYK… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Irish Language (Gaeilge) 2

    [vimeo=19905263] Here’s the second video in our Irish Language series. Start with the first one. In order to take advantage of videos like this, you’ll need to have mastered the WAYK tutorial or played a WAYK game before. It’s worth noting that, as always, we are applying tq mumble to leading a game in Irish… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Irish Language (Gaeilge) 1

    [vimeo=19896067] For anyone who has either been to a WAYK workshop, language night, or mastered the WAYK tutorial, you can copy-cat along with this video and learn some Irish language, known in America as Irish Gaelic, and in Ireland as Irish or Gaeilge.   You may note that we haven’t completely made up our mind… Read more »

  • 13. “Same Conversation” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You’re fluency hunting a fluent fool,  and choose the most common activity in that skill to start at the beginning with the simplest level of performance, that first bite-sized piece. For the context you find it in, and driven by a few of your favorite things, you create a set-up and build a same conversation… Read more »

  • 12. “How Fascinating!” – the Top 20 Techniques of WAYK

    You’re fluency hunting, and to maintain game flow and momentum, you call “How Fascinating!” every time you or another player gets stuck or struggles. You also call “How Fascinating!” to celebrate learning milestones as they whiz by. “Out beyond right doing, and wrong doing, there is a field – I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi… Read more »

  • WAYK ASL with RaVen Sequoia, Deaf ASL educator

    [vimeo=19727433] In this video, you’ll see Willem mentoring RaVen in WAYK game play over Skype videoconferencing, in exchange for mentoring in ASL. Willem and RaVen are probably signing too fast for beginners to learn – but for ASL educators this video provides a good example of how to apply the game to American Sign Language…. Read more »

  • 11. “Signing” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You’re fluency hunting with fellow players. In order to rapidly communicate team strategies in the form of techniques, you are all signing. You’re hunting a target language from your fluent fool, so you boost obviously! by using signing as a bridge language to carrying and remembering the spoken language. Gesture is likely the oldest and… Read more »

  • Fluency Fiddling with Michael Ismerio

    [vimeo = 19478895] In this video Willem Larsen sits down with Michael Ismerio, old time music fiddler and workshop leader, to discuss his recent workshop that they both boosted with an array of carefully chosen WAYK techniques. WAYK is a design system for generating and improving accelerated learning environments, not just a language fluency game!… Read more »

  • WAYK Farsi

    [vimeo = 19412787] In this video Willem and Holia explore doing a language trade, where Willem will learn Farsi, and Holia will improve his English, and also will be trained to rapidly teach and learn language through language hunting. Please keep in mind, that if you find this video confusing, then you probably need to… Read more »

  • 10. “Start at the Beginning/Start Over” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You’ve found a fluent fool, and you want to fluency hunt their ability. So you start at the beginning, and during your hunt, whenever you get lost or confused, you simply start over – at the beginning. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Where to begin? A key element of… Read more »

  • 9. “Full” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You’ve set-up a series of same conversations with a fluent fool, for fluency hunting their language. You know you’re at your best if you’re Warm/Fed/Rested/Safe/Willing, and after playing for a while you begin to feel yourself becoming Full. No one knows you better than yourself. Many people trained in mainstream public schools have had their… Read more »

  • Boston, MA WAYK April 22nd-24th

    Finally, WAYK is planning to host an East Coast workshop, in Boston, MA this April 22nd-24th. Come experience 3 days of high-energy fun and accelerated learning! This is far from the WAYK home base of Portland, so this is a grassroots effort; please help spread the word by encouraging your friends and family to register…. Read more »

  • Squamish Language Revitalization

    About a year ago we partnered with Dustin Rivers, to train him and his community in WAYK and support the revitalization of the Squamish Language. Squamish Nation is located in British Columbia, Canada. A few months ago Dustin began spear-heading weekly WAYK Squamish language classes. Dustin adapted the Zero to Intermediate scale to the Squamish… Read more »

  • 8. “Warm/Fed/Rested/Safe/Willing” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You are considering “setting-up” a game to pull or push language. To do this, you need players and/or “fluent fools”. For the most satisfying game, you ensure potential players are “Warm/Fed/Rested/Safe/Willing”. Humans are animals with bodies, and are therefore subject to biological constraints. It may seem laughably obvious to make the above statement. But for… Read more »

  • WAYK with New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and English

    Meet John Graham, a New Zealand player who has never met us in-person, but has learned WAYK through the on-line videos, podcasts, and blogs. Here you can see a short, off-the-cuff video with his japanese friend Mai, as they play in NZSL and English. Note that John has adapted the grammar of NZSL to act… Read more »

  • 7. “Copy-cat” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You’ve found a “fluent fool” in your target skill; you dive right in after “fluency”, by picking a common, accessible, “same conversation”, then “start at the beginning” by “copycatting” everything they do. “Art begins in imitation and ends in innovation” (Mason Cooley). According to research over the past couple decades, humans (along with some other… Read more »

  • 6. “Set-up” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    To maximize the players’ experience of “Obviously!”, we intentionally “Set-up!” as much of the environment as possible, removing variables and distraction, focusing their attention on play.   “I don’t think we got set up, I know we got set up! I mean, really, seriously, where did all those cops come from, huh?” – the Usual… Read more »

  • 5. “Limit” – the Top 20 WAYK techniques

      You’re “setting-up” a “TPR” environment, as close as possible to the real life objects and situation involved in your target skill. Yet starting with the real life, fully complex situation will overwhelm you and your players, so you “Limit” the scope of the environment and play to your current ability. The cost of information… Read more »