Mary: until recently a newbie, now leading WAYK games in Chinuk Wawa

[direct download]

Evan Gardner interviews Justin Robinson, Mary Wydell (a steadily progressing new “speaker-teacher”), and others about the most recent Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon) night.

1. Technique “Colors and Numbers” conversation

  • Evan asks Mary about improving the props.
  • Better crayons!

2. Technique “33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99
3. Technique “Total Physical Response

  • Mary’s hands wanted to physically count and move the crayon props.

4. Technique “the Walk

  • Mary explains why “the Walk” is so effective for her.
  • Justin has noticed that random events accelerate learning.
  • Mary explains what inspired her to learn Chinuk Wawa.

5. Technique “Mentoring Language

  • Mary remembers her skepticism that the WAYK method would work.
  • Mary now wants to use the WAYK method in her own teaching: “it becomes second nature”.

6. Technique “For and To

  • Chinuk, like Spanish, has a funny way of dealing with the concepts “for” and “to”.
  • Donna “sorry, charlied” Mary by engaging her in a too-advanced conversation.

7. Technique “Start at the Beginning/Start Over

  • Evan deputizes everyone to say “What is that?”/”Ikta ukuk?” whenever they want to restart a conversation to avoid a “sorry, charlie”.

8. Technique “Lunatic Fringe
9. Technique “One-on-one/One-on-Two

  • Justin and Mary don’t like playing in an area too crowded with other paired games; it’s distracting.

10. Technique “Ten Feet
11. Technique “Learning Buddy
12. Technique “Travels with Charlie

  • Donna reached the Intermediate-low proficiency that night, by showing she could “create with language”, asking who was going to a book-signing that night in Chinuk Wawa.

Written by Evan Gardner


John Graham

Hi, here and in another podcast it seems to be suggested that yellow crayons can be made more ‘obviously’ yellow by having “yellow” written on them. Am I hearing right? Isn’t that “killing faeries”?


Myself, I consider it killing faeries, and I would choose crayons without writing on them. Sometimes (like when teaching the very beginning of the WAYK game) there is good reason to do kill faeries, however, like to create momentum, for example. Hopefully Evan will comment on why he thought faerie killing appropriate in this instance.

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