Korean Language Hunters: Play your way to Fluency

Posted on March 8, 2012 by


hang loose

Speaking Korean is one of the less developed skills I have. It’s hard to get Koreans to speak only Korean to me with this beautiful face.

Over the course of a week, I’ve learned about this game for language learning that spreads like wild fire. The best part is, it’s one of the fastest ways to learn languages naturally.

You know when you make Korean friends and you ask them to teach you their language? Sometimes it ends up with you guys speaking English for 95% of the time.

How do you turn the tide and learn Korean? Not just practice what you already know or get good at using the dictionary.

How do you learn without any technology at all?

Say you know a lot of Korean already. You want to teach your baby sister some Korean. How do you do it?

Let me tell you about a this game. It’s not magic, but it sure works like it. The game is called “Where are your keys?“(WAYK)

WAYK is a game developed to help save dying languages where there may be a few hundred speakers or less in the world. They needed a way to teach people quickly and develop many teachers quickly.

I had first heard of this game from a comment that was posted on a language learning blog called The Everyday Language Learner. On Thursday I tried to learn as much as possible. I showed a few friends. And then last night we taught it to our Korean friend. We were having an actual conversation (in Korean only) and learning at the same time.

And now we understand Korean a lot better.

The thing is, it’s played differently for each language. It’s a game that develops as the players move along. And the rules change and adapt to make the language learning go faster.

How does the game work?

It uses ASL and pidgin signed English to develop a bridge for your memory and grammar. It focuses on fluency over proficiency. You will get fluent first. You can become proficient later.

And this makes sense. Who cares if you know 6000 words if you can put them together? You will sound like Tarzan at a party.

It’s really hard to describe. There are videos teaching you about it here. Watching people play is great. PLAYING is the best way to learn. But I’ll try my best.

Step 1: The game is broken up into many different techniques. These techniques can be added or dropped to make the game work better. A base of techniques can be found here.

Watch the videos to learn techniques and use them for the game.

Step 2: Slowly implement the techniques. The game builds itself step by step. Slowly building correct grammar and full sentences.

Step 3: Play. Keep on playing. Play until you are full. You will know when you are full. You will start to see steam come out your ears because you have learned so much. (Actually that point may be passed full). So stop and chill.

Step 4: Make new techniques! The game doesn’t end. You keep on learning. You keep on setting up situations where language can naturally flow.

Warning: This game is highly addictive and viral. You may not check your email for a while. Have fun and happy playing!

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