Author: Sasha Kuchuk

In February, CERCLL has co-sponsored the Where Are Your Keys?workshop presented by the American Indian Language Development Insitute (AILDI) at the University of Arizona. During this workshop, Evan Gardner, the original developer of Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK) – a game-based system for acquiring languages, and other WAYK team members have introduced about 40 participants to the WAYK system and have helped them to start acquiring Apache, O’odham, and Navajo.

WAYK is a game, a system, and a philosophy. WAYK sessions are interactive, fun games in which there are no students or teachers – only players. Without any textbooks, dictionaries or worksheets WAYK players acquire new langages rapidly through the use of a collection of techniques. Any method or technique that allows to teach and learn languages faster is welcome in this collection, and it is constantly growing. To learn more and see WAYK techniques in action, you can visit the WAYK website.

Evan Gardner and other members of the WAYK team give workshops across the US, so make sure to check their website often to see if one is coming to your area! Or, you can invite them to your community or institution to lead the events ranging from brief one-hour presentations to year-long language revitalization programs.

The WAYK workshop in February has been such a great success that AILDI is planning to bring it back some time in the future. So if you are in Arizona, you might want to keep an eye on the news from AILDI. And if you don’t want to wait, there is a WAYK workshop coming up in March at the Falmouth Institute Native American Language Revitalization Summit (Phoenix, AZ, March 28-29).