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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
2017 WAYK intern Mary Leighton explains Technique: Full Sentences, a simple trick for getting more language out of your immersion sessions.
My name is Timothy A. Zaochney and I’m from Atka, Alaska. I’ve been doing the Niiĝuĝim Tunuu language program for three years. I’m joining the team this summer in Anchorage as an APICDA intern. I got involved in the language program when Evan came down to Atka for the first time in 2013. I’m interested… Read more »
Hi, my name is Junior Golodoff. I’m from Atka, Alaska. This here is my third year with the Summer Language Intensive. I’m joining the team as an APICDA intern. What got me involved with the language is my friends because without them I probably wouldn’t be here. What got me interested in the language was that… Read more »
My first introduction with Unangam Tunuu came during the fall of 2015, when I heard of classes at the Aleutian Pribilof Island’s Association building here in Anchorage. The need for understanding the words and the sounds was something that I was excited about. The classes at that time worked with my schedule, so I continued… 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 »
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]