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
  • WAYK Lojban!

    I knew we’d forget some amazing stuff – Alan Post, host of our first New Mexico workshop, has applied WAYK not only to Spanish, but to the conlang (constructed language) of Lojban: lo do ckiku ma zvati [Where are your Keys?] “lo do ckiku ma zvati” is Lojban for “Where are your Keys?” Lojban is… Read more »

  • WAYK Links Round-up

    Here’s a run down of links, by folks who’ve played (or played with) the fluency game. The most recent, by Joel Shempert, an attendee of our February Portland Workshop (a private, experimental affair, if you wonder why you hadn’t heard of it): Where Are Your Keys? In my brain, that’s where. James Brown, of Blankshield Press,… Read more »

  • Wrapping up our Portland WAYK Workshop

    We set some (we thought…) reasonable but challenging goals for the weekend workshop and then proceeded to blast past them in the first day. Great, but dizzying! Please download the February 20th/21st WAYK Workshop Charter, laying out the vision, mission, success indicators (and more!) of this weekend’s workshop. You’ll notice in the charter that we… Read more »

  • WAYK 30 Second Elevator Speech

    Our most recent iteration: “Where Are Your Keys?” is a collaborative game of high speed language learning, that uses sign language as a bridge for learning a targeted spoken language, along with employing a system of transparent teaching techniques used by both teachers and students to accelerate the learning process. This means we treat everyone… Read more »

  • Jay and his Grandmother

    We see the “open source” nature of the fluency game as one of its biggest strengths – the fact that we look to no central authority for teaching or learning, but rather embrace an open process of improving how we teach and learn. An open process of improvement that prioritizes doing over theorizing. Certainly Evan… Read more »

  • “Same Conversations”: the WAYK Curriculum

    The WAYK toolkit doesn’t provide a preset curriculum for any particular language; it provides the tools for generating this curriculum. In a sense, for us, “curriculum” has become somewhat of a dirty word, because of its conventional connotation as a prepared-materials-heavy, top-down, mostly static delivery of subject matter. But, we have to admit, the WAYK… Read more »

  • The First Step: Hold a Regular Space for Conversation

    For any thing that we want to learn (or revitalize), we first need to open up a regularly occurring space for it in our lives. This first step, even if you don’t quite know what to do next, opens up all the possibilities. It gives you a learning laboratory in which to explore and play…. Read more »

  • WAYK workshop in San Francisco, Jan 23rd and 24th, 2010

    Agilistry Studio just sent us the following event announcement for us to share – hope to see all you budding WAYK revolutionaries there! Where Are Your Keys Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:00 AM – Sunday, January 24, 2010 5:00 PM (Pacific Time) Agilistry Studio at Quality Tree Software, Inc. +1 (925) 426-9726 4713 First Street… Read more »

  • Revitalizing an Endangered Language in 8 weeks

    Language revitalization doesn’t happen once; it signifies a necessary and continual process throughout the life of a language. Revitalization happens every time a new person learns the language, every time a child becomes an adult and attains a “Superior” proficiency. Language and culture must constantly internally expand and renew, in order to account for the… Read more »

  • Turning Around the Destiny of an Endangered Language

      We now live in a time where, in the next 5-10 years, we will see a massive die-off of language diversity as globalization and modern forces have their final impacts among aging speakers of the world’s traditional, wisdom-bearing, indigenous languages. Unless we act now. In this article, following forward from the triage of a… Read more »

  • 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 »