WAYK Summer Intensive Schedule: 2018 Update

It can be hard to imagine what a language revitalization summer looks like, but working to keep a language alive is a full-time endeavor. Here’s an updated look at what to expect from the WAYK Summer Intensive schedule in 2018. As with any program centered around language learning, it’s essential that we have daily contact with… Read more »

WAYK Summer Intern Expectations: 2018 Update

What you can expect as an intern: You will learn how to use WAYK. One of the main purposes of the WAYK Summer Intensive is to provide comprehensive training in WAYK skills, something that is difficult to demonstrate or even explain in a week-long workshop or a few language lessons. Communities that invite WAYK for a Summer Intensive… Read more »

Call for WAYK 2018 Interns!

This summer, we are once again fortunate to offer internship opportunities during the 2018 WAYK Summer Intensive. The internship positions are sponsored by our host community (APIA), in partnership with TAC, TAF, and a number of other regional organizations. Participating in a WAYK summer project is one of the best ways to be fully immersed… Read more »

Announcing WAYK’s 2018 Summer Intensive: Anchorage, Alaska!

WAYK is very excited to announce—after months (and years!) of planning with our host community—that our 2018 Summer Intensive will take place in Anchorage, Alaska! In 2018, we will continue our work with Unangam Tunuu, an Eskimo-Aleut language with a small number of speakers in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. Unangam Tunuu has been the… Read more »

A Day in the Life of a WAYK Team Member

I don’t know if it’s possible to share an “average” day, but here is a sample day as a WAYK Team Member, based on Thursday June 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Alaska. 8:15 AM Breakfast. The eight of us – Evan, Susanna, and the six visiting team members – eat our meals together at the WAYK house,… Read more »

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 »

Latest
  • News from the April WAYK workshop in Redmond, WA

    Thanks so much to SolutionsIQ for hosting us at their training center – a great space and a very supportive partnership. We had a diverse crowd at our April 1-3 workshop in the Seattle area. Some attendees came with fluency, wanting to learn more how to teach – Scots Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, Lushootseed, Latin. Others… Read more »

  • Invite WAYK for a Talk or Demo in Boston, April 17th-21st

    From April 14th-24th, I (Willem Larsen) will be presenting WAYK at various venues in Boston, MA. For the first few days, I’ll be at Agile Games 2011, April 14th-16th. From the 17th-21st I’m available to do talks and demos on “Where Are Your Keys?” and the Fluency Hunting Model of accelerated learning. If you’d like… Read more »

  • WAYK Book of “Fundamental Play Techniques”

    For all of you dying to get a written version of the WAYK techniques, we’ve self-published about 15 copies of a 60 page booklet. This book covers about half of the techniques we consider vital and fundamental to play, 24 in all, giving more in depth background. The technique entries are almost the same as… Read more »

  • Language Hunting and Responsible Travel

    From Lonely Planet’s website (maker of guidebooks, phrasebooks, and other media): ‘Responsible travel’ means assessing our impact on the environment and local cultures and economies – and acting to make that impact as positive as possible. We’re including more information in our guidebooks and on this website on how you can personally travel more responsibly…. Read more »

  • WAYK at “Life is Good” Homeschooling Conference, May 26-29

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txdBOES235k&w=480&h=390] WAYK staff Evan Gardner, Willem Larsen, and others, will be playing four days of WAYK at the Life (“Learning in Freedom Everyday”) Unschooling/Homeschooling conference in the Portland area. http://lifeisgoodconference.com Registration is only $60 for adults and $40 for children over 3, for 4 days. WAYK will staff an exhibitor booth with a game… Read more »

  • 24. “Riddle-me-this” – the Top WAYK Techniques

    When fluency hunting, you are never concerned with translations or explanations, because you are always looking to acquire an intuitive, whole-body understanding of the language or skill through riddle-me-this. Meaning is a complete, whole-body experience, not an intellectual one. Discovery, revelation, insight, the “Eureka!” moments of our lives are most richly felt, and most deeply… Read more »

  • 23. “Lunatic Fringe” – the Top WAYK Techniques

    During fluency hunting, you remain aware of everyone around you – young children playing, passers-by, and peers watching the hunt. You know that all these people are lunatic fringe, fully part of play, though they might not realize it, and you take care to hunt as obviously! as you can so they can follow along…. Read more »

  • 22. “Travels with Charlie”/”Sorry, Charlie” – the Top WAYK techniques

    When fluency hunting, you use limit to move through ascending levels of complex performance, leaving a Travels with Charlie roadmap behind you, and calling sorry, charlie on yourself or others anytime bite-sized pieces come up out of order. One quick look at the Big Picture can make all the details fall into place. We call… Read more »

  • 21. “Craig’s List” – the Top WAYK Techniques

    While language hunting, when you periodically discover single words and concepts in your target language, you ask for them to be included in a Craig’s List (CL) of like concepts/words, accelerating your movement through the language and raising the chances of remembering the single word you discovered. Lists are an ancient mnemonic. There are many… Read more »

  • “Copy-cat”: the Heart of Accelerated Learning

    We often say, “WAYK is a copy-cat game, not a learning game. No learning allowed!”. This can seem rather tongue-in-cheek, as if we secretly mean, no really, we want you to learn, this is just a way to make it fun. But no – though seemingly paradoxical, we actually mean it. WAYK really is a… Read more »

  • WAYK Mandarin Chinese

    Here’s player David Edwards, at Stanford University, sharing Mandarin with a friend for the first time. It’s a lot of fun to watch, and with subtitles too! Keep in mind we’ve never played with David, which makes it all the more fun to follow the game. We’re always really excited when we see video of… Read more »

  • 20. “Contract” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    In the midst of play, you or another fluency hunter spots a way to accelerate the learning environment. You enshrine it as a technique by giving it a catchy name, and contract it as part of play from now on. Culture is an agreement between two or more people. One of the major goals of… Read more »

  • 19. “Bite-sized Pieces” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    In order to keep players fluently participating in the game, you ensure all new information emerges in bite-sized pieces. Q: “How do you eat an elephant?” A: “One bite at a time.” Massively complex skills or projects are almost effortless when tackled one bite at a time. Once you’ve learned this technique, you’ll begin to… Read more »

  • 18. “My Turn/Your Turn” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    While fluency hunting, you constantly double check your sense of the accent in play through my turn/your turn, maintaining a back and forth rhythm between yourself, your fellow players, and your fluent fool. Everything honest is a conversation. There are countless examples of alternating flows in the natural world. Back and forth exchanges are a… Read more »

  • 17. “You Go First” (Modeling) – Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    While fluency hunting, you want to share a technique with another player. To demonstrate its value and context, you go first, applying it in play. Later, you see your fellow player is ready to absorb another bite-sized piece of improved accent – so, you go first, modeling the accent you want to transmit. Lead from… Read more »

  • Yiddish Language Hunt

    [vimeo=20128505] Here you can see Willem hunting Yiddish language for the first time, with the help of fluent speaker Selma Zack, in February 2011. Just moments before the video starts, Willem has begun by asking Selma, “How do you say ‘What is that?’”. Almost all of the rest of the language hunt is spent immersed… Read more »

  • 16. “Just in Time” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You are fluency hunting a skill comprised of uncountable bite-sized pieces, with the option of using and sharing hundreds of accelerating techniques. Yet this doesn’t overwhelm you, because you always bring up new information just in time. Information and ability is acquired most deeply and rapidly at the moment of its greatest relevance. If you… Read more »

  • WAYK: A Mental Martial-Art

    Over the past couple years, as we’ve been working to share WAYK with a larger audience, we’ve collected a lot of feedback on how to present the game. One piece of feedback, that we’ve received many times, has to do with WAYK itself. It runs something like this: “Do I have to learn sign language… Read more »

  • 15. “Mumble” – the Top 20 WAYK Techniques

    You may have hunted dozens of skills and languages – or none. But no matter what, every time you sit down with a new fluent fool to fluency hunt their skill, you will always start at the beginning, by copy-catting, and mumble your way to fluency. Attaining excellence requires you first embrace foolishness. Perfection is… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Irish language (Gaeilge) 4

    [vimeo=20063545] Here’s the fourth video in the series, which covers the third persons, He/She. It’s worth noting that, as always, we are applying tq mumble to leading a game in Irish – this is not perfect, fluent adult Irish, of any accent. But it is the Irish game that any new game leader will be… Read more »