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 »

Birds of St. Paul Island

This year the WAYK Summer Language Intensive is taking place on St. Paul Island, Alaska (Tanax̂ Amix̂ in Unangam Tunuu), nicknamed the “Galapagos of the North”, a name true to the beauty and diversity of the flora and fauna here. St. Paul Island is a small island in the Bering Sea off the western coast… Read more »

Learning a Language While “Low on Spoons”

If you read many of the WAYK blog posts, you may notice that language learning is a dynamic process that includes dozens of learning techniques, process tools, and juggling short-term and long-term planning. A day in the life of a summer language intensive is packed with scheduling, language hunting, taking care of administrative tasks, cleaning… Read more »

Language Hunting vs. Language Documentation

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been learning how to “hunt” language. When I first heard what people meant by “hunt” in WAYK-speak, I wondered: is this what I learnt to call “elicitation” in my classes on linguistic field methods at SOAS (my alma mater)? I’ve decided that the answer is: not exactly, but… Read more »

WAYK Terms & Linguistic Terms

In this post, I would like to explore some of the terminology used in WAYK versus that which is used in academic linguistics. This isn’t necessarily to put one up and disparage another but just to look at the different approaches each group of terminology uses. In general, I would say that academic language tends… Read more »

Latest
  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 33: Please Return WAYK Players

    22 minutes and 36 seconds. [direct download] Evan and Willem talk about the importance of returning, experienced WAYK players at workshops, while traveling to Vancouver, B.C., for the “Save Your Language” conference hosted by Dustin Rivers of Squamish Nation. 1. Technique “Please Return WAYK Players” Return players will help workshops and game experiences go faster…. Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 32: Killing Faeries

    32 minutes and 14 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Killing Faeries” Every time you ask for a translation, and receive it, you kill a faery. It’s not the end of the world, but it does indicate a lost opportunity for gaining more proficiency in the craft of language hunting, rather than just acquiring language. 2…. Read more »

  • Playing WAYK Without a Common Language

    What do you do when you don’t have a spoken Bridge Language? You play WAYK! Sometimes you can think of WAYK as really just the best game of charades you’ll ever play in your life. [vodpod id=Video.3814207&w=425&h=350&fv=]

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 31: Tea with Grandma

    45 minutes and 52 seconds. [direct download] 1. Technique “Tea with Grandma” 2. Technique “Same Conversation” Leanne Hinton’s work with the Master/Apprentice system. Hang out with your elder, as much as possible, to learn their language. It seems to be missing the apprentice’s training in rigorous language hunting to accelerate the acquisition of language from… Read more »

  • Using WAYK to Learn Norwegian at XP 2010

    For a very good reason, which they understand better than I, XP (Extreme Programming) and Agile Software Development enthusiasts see a connection between the mentoring language and play of the WAYK game system, and their work. This, I believe, has to do with the similarity of a “language of successful strategies” that the approaches share…. Read more »

  • “Save Your Language” Conference 2010

    Here’s a short video of the SYL 2010 conference, held on June 5th and 6th in Vancouver, B.C, hosted by Squamish Nation language revitalization activist Dustin Rivers. Evan and I graduated the biggest batch of language hunters yet, all ready to enter the world and apply their skills to their endangered heritage languages. [vodpod id=Video.3793523&w=425&h=350&fv=]

  • Children on “the Walk”

    [vodpod id=Video.3749780&w=425&h=350&fv=] We thought we’d share another video of “the Walk”. In this video you’ll see 7 year-old Jackson playing along with us on “the Walk”. Though for this “Walk”, you’ll only see one youngster, Evan runs this same walk with large groups of young children at other events besides Chinuk night. Keep in mind,… Read more »

  • People First Radio Interview on the “Save Your Language” conference

    From the People First Radio website: On saving traditional languages: Young activists are tackling the disappearance of traditional Aboriginal languages using a unique learning method May 27, 2010 “If our language dies, then our identity as a nation does,” according to Squamish Nation member Dustin Rivers. Dustin recently told the Vancouver Straight that land, culture,… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 30: Taking 3-D Holographic Notes

    58 minutes and 17 seconds. [direct download] Willem and Joel (a veteran of a Portland WAYK workshop), with Peter and Sara listening, talk over Joel’s experiences that Chinuk Night. Then later, Evan and Willem discuss how the evening of Chinuk Wawa games went. 1. Technique “the Walk” Joel experienced “the Walk” for the first time,… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 29: Mother May I?

    27 minutes and 2 seconds. [direct download] Willem interviews Peter and Sara about the games they led for the most recent Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon) Night. We discover that yet another newbie has zoomed through language acquisition, but not mastered basic WAYK techniques. Peter then describes “the Walk” that he led, as documented in this… Read more »

  • “Save Your Language Conference” and WAYK on People First Radio

    This Thursday, May 27th, during the noon hour (12pm-1pm), the folks at People First Radio will be interviewing Dustin Rivers (Squamish Nation language activist) and Willem Larsen (partner in WAYK) about the “Save Your Language” conference in Vancouver, B.C. (June 5th and 6th), and the WAYK grassroots language revitalization method. Go to the People First… Read more »

  • One week to go till registration deadline: “Save Your Language” conference, June 5th/6th in Vancouver, B.C.

    http://saveyourlanguage.wordpress.com VANCOUVER, BC – Native languages are dying, but there is still hope. A recent report from the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council (First Peoples’ Council) revealed that fluent speakers represent only five per cent of B.C’s total population of First Nations, despite the Province being home to 60 per cent of Canada’s… Read more »

  • Squamish Activist Plans Language Conference in Vancouver, B.C.

    The upcoming “Save Your Language” conference is finally getting in the news. Check it out: Squamish Nation activist plans conference to save First Nations languages in B.C. By Stephen Hui Dustin Rivers knows that the language of his people has been described as “critically endangered” and “nearly extinct”. Unless drastic action is taken right now… Read more »

  • Help “Where Are Your Keys?” Help the World

    Thank you to everyone playing WAYK, and for getting the word out about the Fluency Revolution. Please keep it up – we’re making progress, but aren’t quite there yet. We’re realizing that the greatest obstacle to our mission at this time is funding. We believe that once we’re fully funded, we can help communities turn… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 28: WAYK Eye on the Straight Guy

    1 hour, 50 minutes, and 53 seconds. [direct download] Evan Gardner, Willem Larsen, Peter, and Joel interview each other on Chinuk Wawa Night (Chinook Jargon). Though this episode is almost two hours long, we really encourage you to  hang in there and soak it all up; many vital issues came up that should further illuminate… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 27: The Olympics of Language Acquisition

    35 minutes and 54 seconds. [direct download] Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen discuss some of the central issues of WAYK, such as its use of sign language, as a “bridge language“, for learning spoken language. 1. Technique “Bridge Language“ WAYK doesn’t just use ASL; it is designed to help you learn new sign languages too,… Read more »

  • “the Walk”: A Core WAYK Conversation

    [vodpod id=Video.3646521&w=425&h=350&fv=] The WAYK method/mentoring language generates an ever-growing (and complexifying) collection of “Same Conversations”; reliable, familiar, and consistently repeating back-and-forth dialogues of language play. The “WAYK?” core conversation, the specific conversation about the pens, stick, rock, around the low table, is the primary laboratory, and first “same conversation”, for learning and applying WAYK. I… Read more »

  • An Index of WAYK Videos, Podcasts, and more

    WAYK player Jay Bazuzi has put together a handy index of almost everything we’ve produced for WAYK. Check it out: http://wayk.bazuzi.com

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 26: “You’re Blowing My Mind!”

    [direct download] Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen interview each other regarding a visit to Kent Siebold’s “Theories of Knowledge” class at Cleveland High School, in Portland, Oregon. 1. Technique “Too Cool for School“ Kent has been the host of the monthly WAYK nights at his large, rambling, 100 year old house. They went to Kent’s… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 25: “Dictionary Addiction”

    [direct download] Evan and Willem meet Hunter, a new friend, at a coffee shop during a day of WAYK demonstrations for a local high school. They spend the lunch hour talking about a very important issue in WAYK – the addiction of mainstream-schooled language learners to books, over fluent speakers. 1. Technique “Dictionary Addiction“ Hunter… Read more »