WAYK Podcast, Episode 12: Dustin Rivers’ 2nd Squamish Language Night

[direct download here]

Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen interview Dustin Rivers, a Squamish Nation WAYK instructor, in the ongoing progress of establishing a community WAYK Squamish language night, and other issues in applying WAYK to revitalizing language in his community.

1. Technique “Set-up

  • Dustin describes his “set-up“; attendees, game flow, “the Walk“, use of technique “limit“, how he played past “Make me say no” to introducing “Craig’s List: Yours/Mine“.
  • How young children interact with the WAYK game
  • Dustin: “If one person shows up, I’m happy. If ten show up, I’m ecstatic”.
  • Evan tells a story about the dangers of expecting young children to learn language the way adults  do.

2. Technique “Travels with Peter

  • the Canadian version of “Travels with Charlie“, a reference to TV interviewer Peter Mansbridge.

3. Technique “the Big Set-up

  • The power of translating WAYK techniques into your target language.
  • Evan and Dustin discuss how simple it is to prepare for a WAYK conversation night.
  • Dustin is creating “Craig’s Lists” for his canoe family, to use canoeing as a “same conversation“.
  • Dustin has picked his “limited” five objects for his canoe family “same conversation“: Drum, Drumstick, Paddle, Bailer, Water.
  • Dustin has applied “the Walk” to canoeing, creating “the Pull“.
  • Evan predicts you will turn “Craig’s Lists” into canoe songs. He sees the possibility of an emerging culture of canoe-song “Craig’s Lists” spreading from canoe family to canoe family via song.
  • Dustin’s best moment from his Thursday conversation night: seeing the kids speaking Squamish language effortlessly to the WAYK group, in the midst of their raucous play about the room.
  • For starting his second conversation night a couple hours away in rural Squamish Valley (apart from the one at his home in Vancouver, B.C.), Dustin has decided to focus on a grassroots living-room approach – Evan and Willem really encourage this as a warmer starting point, everytime, rather than using cooler-feeling institutional settings or community center-type buildings.

4. Technique “Accent

5. Technique “Nip it in the Bud

6. Technique “Make Me Say…

  • The dangers of using a dictionary…
  • As a priority, always choose to “Language Hunt” “Fluent Fools” over dictionaries or other media, whenever you have the chance.
  • Dustin speaks to what it means to have an extremely endangered language – on paper, Squamish language has 10 fluent speakers left, but in reality Dustin only has part-time access to a single fluent speaker.
  • The predictable intervention of totally random factors that make it difficult to maintain a space for regular conversation nights.  Predicting the unpredictable!
  • Dustin reveals he is now playing WAYK Squamish language 6 days a week!
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2 thoughts on “WAYK Podcast, Episode 12: Dustin Rivers’ 2nd Squamish Language Night

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