WAYK Episode 15, “Honing Your Craft”. 29 minutes and 19 seconds.

[direct download here]

In this episode, Evan and Willem interview Ryan (a veteran of a 2 day WAYK workshop, and regular drop-in at Chinuk night) about the mission we gave him: to “language hunt” the first “fluent fool” he could find, especially if he had no special interest in learning their language!

1. Technique “Language Hunting

  • Ryan chooses an Italian language “fluent fool” for a short 10 minutes game of “what is that?“.

2. Technique “Bridge Language

  • Initially, Ryan has an interesting instinct – to play only in sign and Italian, without using English as a secondary bridge language.

3. Technique “How Fascinating!

  • We’ve asked Ryan to especially focus on his fluent use of “how fascinating!” – he tends to want to scrunch up his eyebrows, look away, and “try to remember” things, rather than staying in the game and “copy-catting” the other players.

4. Technique “Set-up

  • Ryan chose a busy, somewhat distracting environment to play in, with both advantages and disadvantages.

5. Technique “Speed Round!

  • Ryan innovates a new application of this technique, by making his impromptu game of Italian as quick and fun as possible, describing the end result as “thrilling!”.

6. Technique “No-pressure Refresher

  • Did the “fluent fool” teach Ryan, or did Ryan teach his “fluent fool“? Ah, how much fun to watch WAYK make traditional roles obsolete!
  • How fast can you learn language with WAYK? Is there a specific claim we can make?
  • How do we balance teaching the craft of “language hunting” with teaching actual ability in target language?

Written by Evan Gardner