Last fall I wanted to raise funds to interview someone I feel really excited about. We didn’t reach our goal then, but with the new year, I figure it justifies a fresh attempt!
“Where are Your Keys?”
Evan Gardner, who rewilds in Molalla, OR, has made a breakthrough. But does anyone even feel ready for it? Over a period of years, he pieced together all the most effective language-learning techniques into one, seamless whole; a game called “Where are Your Keys”.
Everyone knows about the epidemic of endangered indigenous languages, all over the world, and yet linguists and teachers continue to use old, academic and schooling methods, that for those many of us who studied foreign languages in school and college, we know they don’t work. We never achieved fluency, and we struggled to learn them. For those that did gain some mastery of their chosen language, they did it by actually traveling to its home and immersing themselves in the culture.
But how do we do that for languages on the edge of extinction, with one 90 year-old fluent speaker left? How do we create the experience of immersion, as best we can?
Evan has the answer. So far, he has struggled with getting the message out there. Since “Where are Your Keys?”, by its very nature, creates not students, but Teachers, he knows in only a matter of time the game will spread like wildfire, as Teachers make more Teachers. But will it happen in time to save the endangered native languages where you live?