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 »

Why Do We “Hunt” Language?

Why do we “hunt” language? I asked Evan why we use “hunting” as a primary metaphor for the Where Are Your Keys approach to language learning. We use the word a lot, and it’s a pretty loaded term (pun intended). In WAYK, language hunting is an activity that you do as a learner with a… Read more »

Latest
  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 11: Choosing Your Signed Bridge Language

    [direct download] As prompted by Stefan, a WAYK player from Germany, Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen discuss choosing the ideal signed language for using as a bridge language, in relation to your target spoken language. 1. Technique: “Bridge Language“ Stefan asks: which is more effective, using the WAYK ASL/Pidgin Signed English (PSE), or a local… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 10: Gamestorm and Fiercely Holding Space

    [direct download here] In this episode, Evan and Willem speak about Willem’s session of “Where Are Your Keys?” he ran for story-gamers at ‘Gamestorm 12‘ in Portland, OR. WAYK is a highly designed game environment for community-driven language revitalization. This conversation about Willem’s game gets highly technical and into some of the minutiae that we… Read more »

  • Training “Language Hunters” in San Francisco – Less than 2 weeks to go

    Here’s another reminder concerning our San Francisco workshop coming up in just under two weeks. We still have spots available! We as yet have no other public workshops on the schedule for the rest of this year. Last time we did a workshop in San Francisco (actually in Pleasanton, a nearby suburb) we had a… Read more »

  • Dustin brings Justin to “Want/Have/Give/Take” in Squamish

    [vodpod id=Video.3312342&w=425&h=350&fv=] This video marks the end of the second session, where Dustin Rivers (Squamish Nation WAYK instructor) brings Justin Robinson (Chinook Nation WAYK instructor) all the way to the goal conversation, “Do you want my black car? I give you my black car.” Every game they play sets a new speed record for learning… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 9: Chinuk Wawa Night 3

    [direct download here] [Note: This podcast isn’t designed to teach Chinuk Wawa. It is a demonstration of how to apply the WAYK method to an endangered language. By listening to it, you will improve your understanding of WAYK techniques, but you won’t receive any instruction in Chinuk specifically.] In this episode we debrief our most… Read more »

  • Dustin leads Justin’s second WAYK Squamish session

    [vodpod id=Video.3312271&w=425&h=350&fv=] This marks the beginning of Justin Robinson’s (a Chinook Nation WAYK instructor, who runs WAYK games with us in Chinuk Wawa) second session of WAYK Squamish, as led by Dustin Rivers (Squamish Nation). Dustin begins session two by “starting at the beginning” with “what’s that?“.

  • Estonian Universal Speed Curriculum

    Now we’re talking! WAYK community member Priit emailed us from his home country of Estonia recently, announcing he’s finished an Estonian Universal Speed Curriculum. This brings us to four USC, one in Estonian, one in Chinuk Wawa, one in Squamish Language, and the one Billy James Ulibarri and Walter Duran made in Spanish. Honestly folks:… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish #6: “Craig’s List: Mine/Yours”

    [vodpod id=Video.3289634&w=425&h=350&fv=] Squamish Nation WAYK instructor Dustin, now begins adding more and more complex language structure into the game, taking Justin (Chinook Nation WAYK instructor) all the way to “Is that my snake? No, that is not your snake, that is my snake”, using all the techniques he can to continue to stretch Justin’s fluent… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 8: “the Language Hunter”

    WAYK Podcast, Episode 8: “Hunting the Hunter”. 57 minutes and 35 seconds. [direct download here] In this episode, Evan and I debrief a session of WAYK Squamish language, where Dustin Rivers, a Squamish nation WAYK instructor led Justin Robinson, a Chinook Nation WAYK instructor (Chinuk Wawa). 1. Technique “Hunt the Hunter“ Dustin takes Justin farther,… Read more »

  • Experience WAYK in San Francisco, April 12th, 13th

    Looks like a game of WAYK to me! I’m sending out a reminder concerning our San Francisco workshop coming up in just a few weeks. We still have spots available! Last time we did a workshop in San Francisco (actually in Pleasanton, a nearby suburb) we had a fantastic time being hosted by Elisabeth Hendrickson’s… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish #5: “Craig’s List”, “No, not, don’t”

    [vodpod id=Video.3289465&w=425&h=350&fv=] In this video Squamish nation WAYK instructor Dustin continues leading Chinook Nation WAYK instructor Justin in a game of Squamish language WAYK. Dustin has now begun to add to the complexity of the language structure, by moving to using negation with “No, not, don’t”, as in “No, that is not a snake, that… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish #4: “Is that your…?”, “Start at the Beginning”, “Contract Sign”

    [vodpod id=Video.3288955&w=425&h=350&fv=] In this video Squamish nation WAYK instructor Dustin continues leading Chinook Nation WAYK instructor Justin in a game of Squamish language WAYK. Dustin has now begun to add to the complexity of the language structure, by moving to the question “Is that your [object]…? Is that my [object]?”, using techniques “Contract Sign” and… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 7: Technique “Money Talks”

    WAYK Episode 7: Technique “Money Talks”. 58 minutes and 28 seconds. [direct download here] It’s tempting to dismiss the more mundane reasons for using, learning, and teaching language, but at the heart of language acquisition, you’ll find the hunger to grow up, to get the necessities of life, and start a family. [UPDATE: Here’s a… Read more »

  • WAYK Instructor Vetting: Use of the WAYK Name/Logo

    When can you use the WAYK name and logo? What do we think about you accepting money for running games of WAYK? We encourage everyone to organize free community games and play WAYK as often as possible, using the WAYK logo and name. We encourage you to organize these kinds of events in a “feast-style”,… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish, Video #3: “Slow/Fast”, “Craig’s List: Positives”

    [vodpod id=Video.3285762&w=425&h=350&fv=] In this video Squamish nation WAYK instructor Dustin continues leading Chinook Nation WAYK instructor Justin in a game of Squamish language WAYK. To accelerate the acquisition of fluency, before making their conversation more complex, Dustin begins throwing more “techniques”, what we consider “the rules of the game”; in this case, techniques “Slow/Fast” and… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish, Video #2: “Pull me through it!”

    [vodpod id=Video.3286281&w=425&h=350&fv=] In this video Squamish nation WAYK instructor Dustin continues leading Chinook Nation WAYK instructor Justin in a game of Squamish language WAYK. To accelerate the acquisition of fluency, before making their conversation more complex, Dustin begins throwing more “techniques”, what we consider “the rules of the game”; in this case, techniques “Pull me… Read more »

  • WAYK Squamish language: “What’s that?”

    [vodpod id=Video.3278615&w=425&h=350&fv=] more about “WAYK Squamish language: “What’s that?””, posted with vodpod   Squamish language is a very endangered indigenous language, native to Vancouver, B.C., with about only 10 fluent speakers left, all over the age of 65. “Where Are Your Keys?” is a community language revitalization method, that uses a viral, collaborative game for… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 6: Dustin Starts the Squamish Language Night

    WAYK Podcast, Episode 6: Dustin Starts the Squamish Language Night. 52 minutes and 25 seconds. [direct download here] Dustin Rivers (@dustinrivers) talks about the first WAYK Squamish language night that he hosted at his house, following up from our visit there in North Vancouver, B.C. a week ago. This night is the first of a… Read more »

  • WAYK Podcast, Episode 5: Revitalizing Chinuk Wawa, Part 2

    WAYK Podcast, Episode 5: Revitalizing Chinuk Wawa, Part 2. 32 minutes and 18 seconds. [direct download] [Note: Chinuk Wawa is a very endangered indigenous language native to the Pacific Northwest. Please keep in mind that we make no attempt to teach anyone to speak Chinuk Wawa by podcasting about our Chinuk nights, and during the… Read more »

  • Conversations with Remarkable Grandmothers: Want/Have/Give/Take in Arabic

    More amazing work from Jay and his grandmother, a speaker of a Palestinian dialect of arabic. If you haven’t yet, please start with his 1st video, “What is that?”, and his second video, “Craigs List Me/Mine You/Yours”. [vodpod id=Video.3264055&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]