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
  • Languages Are Dying, Right Now; Yet Still We Hope

    In the past month, two critical members of the Hupacasath First Nation died; they numbered among the last who spoke the language native to Vancouver island fluently from childhood. Hupacasath speaker Dorothy Unger died Nov. 21 and Edward Tatoosh died more recently in December. This caused a triple tragedy; the loss felt by their families,… Read more »

  • Evan in Vancouver, B.C., for the Squamish WAYK Weekend

    We had so much fun – big thanks to Ray, Vanessa, Dustin, and all our wonderful new Squamish friends for hosting us. We look forward to returning! Here’s an article about the efforts by some of the Squamish people to revitalize their language, and the Squamish nation website.

  • Evan at the Chinuk Wawa Language Revitalization Weekend

    We had a great time at a gathering of Wawa speakers in Manzanita, OR, playing the other WAYK core conversation, “the Walk” over and over. Thanks everyone for playing!  

  • Cantonese Fluency Game

    With the help of Jason and everyone at the Watershed Clinic we ran a game in Cantonese a few weeks back. This video runs almost an hour, and starts with a “no pressure refresher” WAYK game just in sign with some discussion about techniques and play. For those really excited to just see the Cantonese… Read more »

  • “Language Hunting” 2: Evan’s response

    And now, Evan’s follow up: I am so excited for you Jay! Learning your own language from your own elder… A wonderful source of pride for your entire family and especially your grandma! I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard of people looking at books instead of talking to their elders… Read more »

  • Language Hunting

    Reader and fluency game player Jay Bazuzi commented recently: In a month I’ll be visiting my grandmother and want to learn her language from her, so I’m eager to learn how to use WAYK for other spoken languages. I’ve been following the roadmap myself, practicing with the videos, friends, and kids. I’m getting pretty comfortable… Read more »

  • Lolcats Play “Where Are Your Keys?”

    You can play “Where Are Your Keys?” to learn to speak Lolcat too!

  • “I Want Your Paddle…”

    Read the Vancouver Voice article on Evan’s recent session of the fluency game teaching Chinuk Wawa (a local Native American language) at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon, as part of their day of Canoe culture exhibits. Note in the picture above technique “Total Physical Response” in full play; one player giving a… Read more »

  • El Currículo Rápido Universal: Translating the “Universal Speed Curriculum”

    First, if you don’t already know, check out the original Universal Speed Curriculum for some background. Billy James Ulibarri and Walter Duran, two fluency game players introduced to the game at the Sunflower River Farm workshop, just sent us their Spanish translation of the Universal Speed Curriculum. Keeping in mind that you’ll want a Spanish… Read more »

  • Play the Game with Evan

    [We will update this information on the “Invite Evan” page in the header above] Strengthen the Grassroots Learning Community Where You Live Evan Gardner can help revitalize a grassroots, village-centered learning culture for yourself, your family, and your hometown. Though an initial accelerator for spreading the game, in the end, the medium of the internet… Read more »

  • Whose Drink Is That?

  • Who’s On First?

    The second question you ask in the WAYK game: “Who is that?/Whose is that?”, setting it up with a “Craig’s List” of pronouns: Me/Mine, You/Yours, He/His, She/Hers. Why do we start out so simply, and add bite-sized pieces, one at a time, constantly “starting over, starting at the beginning”? Abbot and Costello’s famous routine shows… Read more »

  • WAYK Techniques: “Obviously!”

    A core technique of the game, “Obviously!” shapes the props, setup, conversation, and play of the game. We strive to make everything as obvious as possible – we want the “right” answer to be the first thing that pops into the players minds, naturally and obviously. [vodpod id=Groupvideo.3427880&w=425&h=350&fv=clip_id%3D6601126%26server%3Dvimeo.com%26autoplay%3D0%26fullscreen%3D1%26md5%3D0%26show_portrait%3D0%26show_title%3D0%26show_byline%3D0%26context%3Duser%3A2215755%26context_id%3D%26force_embed%3D0%26multimoog%3D%26color%3D00ADEF%26force_info%3Dundefined] more about “WAYK Techniques: “Obviously!” on Vimeo”,… Read more »

  • “What is that?” in Greek

    After introducing the game to your players, in WAYK you always first ask, “What-is-that?”, beginning the first step of the conversation that will take you to fluency. This five-minute short by Constantin Pilavios reminds us why we always come back to that question, exemplifying the technique, “Start over, start at the beginning.” [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNK6h1dfy2o&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0]

  • The WAYK “Universal Speed Curriculum”

    I plan to make a free downloads page somewhere on the site, and to kick it off, I thought I’d post up Evan’s “Universal Speed Curriculum”, a conversational curriculum composed of English questions and answers, between two people. So, how do you use the “USC”? Essentially, you’ll recognize in it the base conversation occurring in… Read more »

  • The Fluency Game at Sunflower River Farm

    Enjoy watching the good time we had hosted by Alan Post and the good folks at Sunflower River Farm! Or try the direct download here. [vodpod id=Groupvideo.3290293&w=425&h=350&fv=clip_id%3D6293945%26server%3Dvimeo.com%26autoplay%3D0%26fullscreen%3D1%26md5%3D0%26show_portrait%3D0%26show_title%3D0%26show_byline%3D0%26context%3Duser%3A2215755%26context_id%3D%26force_embed%3D0%26multimoog%3D%26color%3D00ADEF%26force_info%3Dundefined] more about “”Where Are Your Keys?”: the Language …”, posted with vodpod

  • The Fluency Paradigm

    We seek Fluency, not Knowledge. We belong to a culture of “knowledge”, a culture of certification. The self-taught genius, the high-performing maverick, though we may regard them with awe and envy, we don’t encourage our children to follow that risky path. We see the safe route as a plodding journey of toil along a well-traveled… Read more »

  • “Where Are Your Keys?”

    We learn more, more quickly, and more deeply, once we redefine true learning as fluency, and play our way to getting there. Evan Gardner, a learning technology innovator, developed the language fluency game “Where Are Your Keys?” after observing for several years the teaching techniques that seemed to work most effectively for the greatest amount… Read more »

  • An Interview with Evan Gardner

    Listen to Willem interview Evan about “Where Are Your Keys?”.