WAYK Glossary

This is a collection of terms used in the Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK) language-learning system that have been referenced on our WAYK: Cree blog. For more information on WAYK, visit whereareyourkeys.org.


TQ: again This is used to request that a sentence be repeated, or a bucket played again.
TQ: cat’s out of the bag This is used after TQ: copycat to get the learner to ask the question they just learned so their teacher can give them the response, which will typically be copycatted.
TQ: clear the battlefield The table players are playing on should be free of distractions (e.g., papers, water bottles, etc.) and have only the props the players need for the specific bucket they are on.
TQ: copycat Learners copy the hand signs and and the words that their teacher is saying.
TQ: Craigslist Craigslists are sets of related words that can be practiced together outside of a sentence (e.g., yes/no/maybe or I/you/he/she)
TQ: full check It’s tough to learn when your body is exhausted or your brain is full. A “full check” allows the group to check in with each other to ensure no one is being pushed to the point of mental exhaustion.
TQ: full sentences WAYK players attempt to play the game using full sentences as much as possible–no one-word answers here!
TQ: how fascinating Mistakes aren’t failures! We call “how fascinating” when we mix up word order, forget a word, or discover an amazing new thing about the language we’re learning–thereby blurring the line between success and what is often perceived as failure. Making a mistake is simply an awesome opportunity to learn, so we celebrate it!
TQ: in threes By repeating lines three times, learners get three times the chances to hear new words, and three times the opportunity to practice!
TQ: mumble “Close enough is good enough… for now.” TQ: mumble allows players to try out new words without the insistence that they get the pronunciations correct right off the bat
TQ: my turn, your turn This is used to ensure that each player gets a chance asking and answering in a round.
TQ: no-pressure refresher Before launching into a new ride, players may go through a quick review of what they’ve learned in previous rides.
TQ: set up In order to avoid “killing fairies” (i.e., translating words into English), we use props to “set up” the vocabulary we’re trying to teach.
TQ: slow This is used to request that a player slow down.

Other Terms

bucket A “bucket” is a round of play that tackles one very specific, bite-sized piece of language.
plus/deltas “Plus/deltas” is the name of a method used to outline what the group liked about their session and what they would change if they could do it over. 
ride A “ride” is a lesson designed to teach one specific piece of grammar.
technique WAYK is built on a series of “techniques,” which are essentially rules that the players come up with and agree to abide by together in order to move play along