Monday, May 14, 2012

Riddling out WAYK from the internet

One of my great challenges in living in Mongolia is that I am pretty far from everything. I won't be popping up at a spoken Latin conference any time soon. The flipside is I have a surprising amount of time (mostly), which means I can indulge in devouring the internet.

The last couple of days I have been trying to devour WAYK. I think I've mostly answered my questions from my last post.

1. Sign language?
It seems like sign, as much as you can, acts as an accelerator, but it's not necessary in the sense that I don't have to learn a sign for every noun in order to utilise every word of the Target Language in the game. So that is kind of comforting. But watching videos makes me realise how useful and practical signing is.

2. When you are the learner?
The best way to explain this is that you can learn the game well, and then utilise techniques to 'pull' language from fluent speakers, even if you don't necessarily teach them the game. This seems particularly helpful when, for example, your accessible fluent speakers may not be 'willing' to play the game. Better yet, is teaching the game to your fluent speaker.

3. Bootstrapping?
The going is going to be slower, but if you map out where a game is going to go, make sure one player (the leader) has the competency to handle the target language, and set up well, there's no reason you can't use this to develop oral proficiency in a 'dead' language. And it will only get faster.

4. Abstract?
The more concrete you keep the game, the better. So, the best way to teach verbs is to set-up situations where those verbs come into play. The great thing about gaining fluency, is that you do reach a point where you can explain in language more complex concepts. You see that in written form in the Ørberg books - he is quite good at giving in language explanations. The game gets as complex as the language skill of the players.

5. Skype?
Skype is less than ideal, but possible. It removes a lot of the concrete physicality and reshapes the interaction. But I found a good write-up of how to do it. So I just need some Greek and Latin guinea pigs for Skype WAYK!

6. More resources?
I read the blog with an infinite-like backstream, which was really helpful, and I watched as many videos as I could handle before getting full. I feel like there has been a bit of WAYK internet silence for the last 4 or 5 months though? Anyway, I am still keen to learn more and dive in somewhere.

I think this is a very exciting toolbox.

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