WAYK Podcast, Episode 27: The Olympics of Language Acquisition

We think this mascot’s name is a reference to the Chinook word “eat/food”.

35 minutes and 54 seconds.

[direct download]

Evan Gardner and Willem Larsen discuss some of the central issues of WAYK, such as its use of sign language, as a “bridge language“, for learning spoken language.

1. Technique “Bridge Language

  • WAYK doesn’t just use ASL; it is designed to help you learn new sign languages too, along with new spoken languages.

2. Technique “Your Lips Say No, But Your Body Says Yes

  • People tell the truth in sign, and lie in spoken language. Meaning, a student will sign what they really mean to say, whatever errors occur in their spoken language.

3. Technique “Technique

  • Every technique is an accelerator for teaching and learning.
  • Our goal is the most rapid acquisition of fluent proficiency in a group.
  • Every technique is its own skill. Each technique looks different to each proficiency level of WAYK player. As you become more experienced, you see more depth.
  • How do you know when to contract a new technique?

4. Technique “Hedging Your Bets

  • Stacking the deck, increasing the odds of the most successful learning experience possible.

5. Technique “Bridge Language

  • Let this blow your mind: the relationship of objects and people in your environment, is the “bridge language” for learning sign language!

6. Technique “Obviously!
7. Technique “Mentoring Language

  • Try to beat them at their own game. Be more ridiculously OCD than them. They are not the last word on WAYK.

8. Technique “Language Hunting

  • Why don’t Evan and Willem already know 20 languages each?
  • By focusing on developing a community of “language hunters“, rather than “trophy hunting” languages on their own, they feel they will learn languages faster in the end.
  • In the end, WAYK is a method for organizing the genius of a community.
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