Instructions: Resource Content Collections

Resources are organized into Content Collections (Books). The contents of a collection are shown in two locations. At the bottom of a page of the collection and in the sidebar in a Contents menu organized to show organization levels in the collection. Click on a link to read a particular Resource. At the bottom of the page you are limited to seeing links to the page preceding and the page following the one you're currently at. You'll also see an up link that will take you back to the first page or the next higher level in the collection organization. You can add Comments at the bottom of any Resource, but not on the lead article of the collection.

To add a new resource into a collection, open the collection page under which you want to insert the new resource. At the bottom of that resource, you'll see an Add child page link. Click on this link to bring up a new Resource form. Fill out the form and then Save it. The resource you add will appear automatically in the collection's table of contents.

If the resource comes from a published source, you can cite the source and reference the web page where the complete resource can be found. If you can make the resource available to members as a downloadable file, then use the Attachment section to upload the file to the server. You can also upload an Image file to illustrate the resource. Lastly, if applicable, mark the resource for one or more languages and program focuses. You can edit any resource that you have originally submitted, but not the resources other members have posted.

Utility Menu

Where are your keys?

Where are your keys? (WAYK) is the name of a language teaching and learning program advocated by an organization of the same name. The program has a relatively short history, having been started in or around 2009 by its principal developer, Evan Gardner. The organization is based in Oregon and very early attracted the attention of some young Native Americans working either independently learning their ancestral languages or working with their communities in language revitalization programs -- or both. The appeal of WAYK lies in several characteristics of the program.

  • First, it reduces the "fear factor" in learning another language by treating the learning experience as a game in which a group of learners interacts with a teacher in a set of fun, low anxiety activities. 
  • Second, learning activities are built around the principle that objects and actions should be obvious and comprehensible. It does this in part by using signs, body language, and facial expressions simultaneously with using the language. The signs are mainly conventional signs in American Sign Language, which are taught and practiced by the group.
  • Third, language is introduced systematically via what are called "rides," to be understood basically as chunks of language approched through a particular teaching/learning approach. In other words, they kind of make up the structure of a traditional lesson plan. All the rides taken together make up the "Disneyland" or curriculum. Learners are coached to understand the rides, each of which has a "playful" name and a matching sign.
  • Fourth, rides are one example of a "technique." There is a basic set of techniques, which are not specific to any single language and make up the general rules of how teachers and learners interact in the game. 
  • Fifth, oral practice by learners, in chorus and then individually, happens from the very beginning. Encouragement and skill come from constant repetition by both the teacher and the learners, with various techniques incorporated to prevent boredom. Use of written materials is secondary to building oral fluency.
  • Sixth, the program encourages constant self-assessment, but assessment done in a non-judgmental way. The underlying learning philosophy is that all "mistakes" are valuable and to be celebrated as opportunities for improving learning. The assessment guidelines are built loosely around the language proficiency stages set up the American Council for Teaching Foreign Languages -- the so-called ACTFL Guidelines. These include beginner, intermediate, advanced, and superior levels.
  • Seventh, WAYK values each individual as both a teacher and a learner, so that even novice learners are encouraged to put themselves into a teacher role with those whose proficiency is even less than their own.
  • Eighth, the program is realistic but also optimistic in the effort and time involved in learning another language to reach an advanced or superior level, which with regular, dedicated playing can be as little as a year.
  • Ninth, at the point that learners have mastered the last of the planned rides, they go on to "hunt" new rides, with which to continue to advance their fluency. The hunt can involve normal conversational interactions with fluent speakers or reseachi into printed documentation on the language.

Since it's inception within American Indian communities, it has been actively adopted by learners of Chinuk Wawa, Squamish, Kootenai, Konkow Maidu, and Paiute. 

Evan Gardner has recorded and made available on Vimeo an excellent video of the core techniques of WAYK. Other videos are also available on the Vimeo site as well as from the program's main web site.

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Comments

WAYK has also been taught  to peoples from the Tohono O'odham Reservation, Navajo, Apache, Indigenous Mexicanos, Spanish, Latin, Irish and Indigenous Chinese to name just a few.

By maiduman