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
  • 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?”.