Revitalizing Language With Young Children

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What does it take to involve young children in the community-wide game of WAYK language revitalization? Well, it can be as simple as allowing them to watch the game out of the corner of their eye, while doing their own thing, and intermittently joining in.

If you can commit to holding a regular space for conversation, that’s when the magic really begins.

Evan has been playing simple WAYK conversations, like the one you see in this video, almost every Thursday since Tiva was born. This video was shot on her 3rd birthday (hence the unnerving green stain on her mouth left from the Spongebob birthday cake!).

Evan remarks towards the end of the video that this was the first time ever that Tiva initiated conversation with him. She’s well on her way to becoming a language teacher and WAYK game leader herself!

Jay, our intrepid WAYK explorer (who impressively still has never attended a workshop, or had us demonstrate a game for him), demonstrates below the productive mayhem that marks your first games with young children. You may only have 20 seconds of playing “what’s that?” at a time, but each one counts, and any games they witness as a rambunctious “lunatic fringe” off in the corner, counts too.

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