The diverse conversations of Chinuk Wawa Night

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This video demonstrates how speakers of all levels can come together and support each other; we don’t segregate speakers of different experience levels. On the contrary, they need to mix with each other, overhearing more advanced conversations, and watching how other “speaker-teachers” lead games for different proficiency levels.

Remember: “We’ll All Get There Together” is a primary technique of WAYK.

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4 thoughts on “The diverse conversations of Chinuk Wawa Night

  1. This is great, helps me and I think will help others in my community imagine what an NZ Maori language night could be like.

    Could you let us in on what Evan’s doing with the superior level group there, that makes it distinctively WAYK?

    John

  2. John-

    That’s why I wrote the comment at the end of video about the more “subtle”, invisible, yet rigorous uses of WAYK at the higher levels.

    Superior is the level of Economic, Social, Political discourse. Of speeches, and “how would it affect society if parties were illegal”.

    The easiest way to understand how to apply WAYK at a higher level, is to think of the Charlie Rose interview, which is probably what the superior conversation indeed looked like in the video.

    How might Charlie Rose, who we will consider an expert interviewer, apply “limit” to a Superior conversation, to get the best possible interview?

    How about “Sorry, Charlie”?

    How about “obviously!”?

    How about “set-up”?

    And so on. In your “language hunt” at the higher proficiencies, you’re not much different than a Larry King or Charlie Rose; you want to get certain information out as enjoyably, clearly, and skillfully as possible.
    In fact, your conversations at that level will look like a high-quality interview.

    Using sign as a “bridge language” tends to naturally drop off as you rise through the levels, and you tend to save it for those occasions when you need a spike in “obviously!”. You don’t need to mark techniques in order to use them – that’s just how we teach them and make them transparent. We are always using more techniques than we are marking. A lot more. Dozens more!

    I can be in the middle of a “superior conversation”, with no signing, and then realize I haven’t made my point clearly, and out come my hands to make it as “obviously!” as possible.

    It’s difficult to describe WAYK at advanced to superior, but it will be self-evident once you arrive there how to apply the techniques. One thing just naturally flows into the other. Keep leading games with newbies and hunting “fluent fools” to improve your “language hunting”, but also make sure to have a language in which you are steadily climbing through “Travels with Charlie” with a reliable “fluent fool” that you’ve chosen, so that you can experience WAYK at the higher language proficiency levels.

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