WAYK Podcast, Episode 29: Mother May I?

27 minutes and 2 seconds.

[direct download]

Willem interviews Peter and Sara about the games they led for the most recent Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon) Night. We discover that yet another newbie has zoomed through language acquisition, but not mastered basic WAYK techniques. Peter then describes “the Walk” that he led, as documented in this video.

1. Technique “Obviously!”

  • Sara’s facial expressions and intonation kept (falsely) suggesting to Kirsten that Sara’s statements were actually questions. This made things less “obvious”, and slowed the game down.

2. Technique “Newbie in the Lunatic Fringe”

  • We want new people to sit, watch, and warm up for a bit, before playing.

3. Technique “Let’s Get This Party Started”

  • Willem and Peter started the night with an advanced game. It’s important to have a game already going when people walk in.

4. Technique “Killing Faeries”

  • Willem tries to describe the language they were “hunting” in the game, without translating and therefore “killing faeries”. Every time you translate a faery dies!

5. Technique “Sorry, Charlie”

  • You only “sorry, charlie” someone when you engage them in conversation, and expect a response; if newbies sit in the “lunatic fringe”, they can sit in on a more advanced conversation without necessarily getting overwhelmed/”sorry, charlied”.

6. Technique “Pull Them Through It”

  • Peter was sitting in on Sara’s game, helping her to lead the game, offering up “craig’s lists” and such at the appropriate time.

7. Technique “Immersion”

  • It continues to be noteworthy, the difference in skill, between someone who just attends language nights, and those who’ve attended the two-day immersive WAYK training.

8. Technique “Start at the Beginning”

  • Ack! Sara didn’t know about this technique. Somehow she acquired a lot of language proficiency, without acquiring techniques too.

9. Technique “Ten Feet”
10. Technique “the Walk”

  • Peter wanted to make sure Superior speakers could have superior conversations, rather than needing to run the room or manage newbie games; so he led a “Walk”.
  • Peter no longer considers “the Walk” an advanced conversation; he thinks you can make it as easy as needed, as long as you apply “limit” rigorously enough.

11. Technique “Craig’s List”

  • Peter is developing a CL of activities on “the Walk”; the “red light, green light” game is on the list.

12. Technique “Same Conversation”

  • On “the Walk”, we do our best to stop at the same places, every time.

13. Technique “Slow, Fast”

  • Peter would introduce this technique first thing, next time he leads “the Walk”.

14. Technique “Red Light, Green Light”

  • Peter made sure every player got a chance to run this game.
  • Do we need a technique “Mother May I”?
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