If you want to create some interactive activities you will need a strategy.
Often, in interactive situations, people don’t want to talk. Especially when they use a foreign language. There are uncomfortable of being exposed. Some of the thoughts are: “I have this idea, but it will be ok if I present it in front of this people? They are going to laugh about this? My voice tone will be an appropriate one?”
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Therefore, it is important to create an atmosphere where people feel secure enough to speak.
A few methodes:
1. Set a good example and don’t worry if you make mistaked yourself. This way, you set the tone and people feel more confortable about not speaking the language perfectly either. Tell participants that language is only a tool and that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Try and prevent people laughing at others because of language mistakes. Be patient with people who need more time to find their words.
2. Work a lot in smaller groups. It is easier to dare to make mistakes in front of a few people than a big group. The more people get to know each other (use lots of group dynamic exercises), the more they will try to communicate with each other.
3. Give the young people some (backup) tools that they can use during the international activity or project: A little dictionary with basic words and phrases. You could even develop this together with the young people (asking them what expressions they would be likely to need). Or you can (continue to) build this dictionary the exchange.
Of course that are more methods that you can use in order to achieve your goal. Use this articol as an example and find more other methods.
Bibliography: “Youth and The City”. SALTO-YOUTH Inclusion Resource Centre. First Published In June 2008, updated in september 2012 by SALTO-YOUTH Inclusion Resource Centre.
Online info – Link: www.salto-youth.net/downloads – Youth and The City
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