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
  • 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 »

  • 4. “Total Physical Response (TPR)” – Top 20 Techniques of WAYK

    You’re looking at your “Set-up!”, working to make play as “Obviously!” as possible. You want the “Fluency” your players acquire to apply to the real world. To do so, you create a “Total Physical Response” amongst players through the actual physical objects and situation involved in using the skill.     If fluency is acquired… Read more »

  • 3. “Fluency” – the Top 20 Techniques of WAYK

    We want to acquire a new competency, a new target skill. To do so we begin sharing and naming “Techniques” that will accelerate our acquisition of the target skill. The first principle for acceleration is to remove every barrier between us and the performance of that skill by “Obviously!” removing all ambiguity, uncertainty, and guessing… Read more »

  • 2. “Obviously!” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

      Once we agree to share accelerators that work through tq “Technique!”, it leads us to tq “Obviously!”: the mother of all other techniques. Every technique in the WAYK system exists to serve this primary principle. Success drives learning – failure undermines it. Many people in our culture are very familiar with negative feelings around… Read more »

  • 1. “Technique!” – Top 20 WAYK Techniques

      “Technique!” is the fundamental structural element of the WAYK system. With it players can name and share the techniques that will accelerate learning and teaching, incorporated as “rules of the game”.     The line between students and teachers is the biggest obstacle in education. The teacher is the boss. The students are the… Read more »

  • January Spotlight: Top 20 Accelerated Learning Techniques

    When explaining WAYK, we like to say, “There are a million specific ways to accelerate learning. We know 200.” This month we’ll be blogging 20 accelerated learning techniques, one at a time. These techniques are also known as “the rules of the game”, that we share back and forth, and through which we hunt language… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 40: Irish Night Blues

    19 minutes and 25 seconds. [direct download] After several months meeting, the Irish Language night has been facing a series of issues due to an unideal location and a temporary spell of absence of our fluent speaker. TQ: Road Map Looking for material to add to the road map without the input of the fluent… Read more »

  • The Wide World of WAYK

    Here we go again – yet another introductory video to the world of WAYK. If you struggle explaining WAYK to your friends, try this video out. [vimeo http://vimeo.com/17222407]

  • Advanced WAYK Play at December’s Seattle Workshop

    As some of you know, we are having an open WAYK workshop in Redmond, WA (near Seattle) December 3-5, 2010. We’d like to underscore how much of an opportunity this is for experienced players. We’re now entering a phase where we have enough experienced language hunters that in this workshop we can set a special… Read more »

  • Seattle Area WAYK Workshop, December 3-5, 2010

    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 at the December workshop event page.

  • Focus on the Game

    It’s easy to forget to just “play the game”, when using WAYK for the first time. The temptation to “remember” and “learn” is always lurking, ready to pounce on an unwary player. “But don’t we play WAYK so we can learn a language?” Most new players are surprised when we answer, “No! Don’t learn anything…. Read more »

  • Learning a Language vs. Creating a Language Community

        There are a lot of people doing good work in language education; and you can find many talented language learners and polyglots. There are countless resources to learn a language out there, whether immersion programs, classes, software, CD sets, podcasts, online language mentoring forums, and on and on. We respect and value all these… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 39: Irish Gaelic Night

    24 minutes and 33 seconds. [direct download here] This is the first podcast concerning our weekly WAYK Irish Language Night, with fluent speaker and Marylhurst University instructor Bob Burke. WAYK players have come together to “hunt” Bob’s Irish language, and build a roadmap to fluency in Irish. For whatever reason, in the USA we call… Read more »

  • Put Yourself on the Map

    If you don’t know yet, as a WAYK player you have a couple resources for connecting up with the community of  language play out there. We have a WAYK google group, with a few months of discussion by experienced players and WAYK staff. Recently, Dave, one of our distant WAYK players, set up a google… Read more »

  • The Race to “Getting to the Party”

    So, owing to our recent work with helping revitalize Ecclesastical Latin at Wyoming Catholic College, Evan and I finally decided to put  pen to paper and make a written USC road-map from zero to “Getting to the Party”. It’s been an “oral document” (as anthropologists like to say) up till now. We’ve noticed that even… Read more »

  • The Playful World of “Conlangs”

    WAYK has found play in some unusual corners of the linguistic internet. For a language game that was developed to maintain an unbroken lineage of conversational life, it’s especially odd that players would find it useful for languages that have never been spoken before. These languages are called “conlangs”, short for “constructed languages”. In this… Read more »