Interlingual Energizers/How to facilitate?

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Standing in a circle – a basic position when doing Interlingual Energizers

This page aims to give advice on how to facilitate interlingual energizers.

  • Be motivated: Especially when the participants don't exactly understand what you're saying, it's important to sweep the group along with your own motivation.
  • Be precise: Not only when you explain a movement but also when you introduce rules you should be as precise as possible. Use a couple of simple rules instead of long-winded explanations. When you show movements keep in mind what you're doing and move only the parts of your body which should also be moved by the participants.
  • Be prepared: The preparation phase of an activity is almost as important as the implementation itself. When you have to speak in a foreign languages you should look up words and phrases in advance. The texts in this book can be a starting point. When you're working with native speakers you should tell them before the activities start what you want to do. It's easier for them to explain to the participants when they have a clue about what's going to happen.
  • Choose wisely: Your choice for a certain energizer should always consider the needs and abilities of the participants, the available setting (space, materials, time) and the aimed outcome. Especially when you work with children or people with disabilities you should keep in mind what the participants are able to accomplish within an activity.
  • Involve everyone: No body should be left behind by an activity. Starting with choosing an energizers and later when facilitating it you should focus on motivating every participant as much as possible.
  • Ensure safety: Think about the safety of the participants. If the energizer includes running around and only a closed space is available, this energizer is probably not the best choice.

It's also good to take some general qualities which a facilitator should have in mind:

  • Be open for learning new things
  • Be sensitive to the needs of the participation
  • Keep the balance between proximity and distance

Methods for gaining the group's attention

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Especially children are constantly testing the limits and abilities of the facilitators. Often they loose focus if it's too exhausting for them to follow your instructions as not being a native speaker. This list should help you once you feel that you loose control:

  • Stop everything, just stand still, be quiet and wait. As soon as you gained some participant's attention you can involve them in a small activity. See Gaining attention.
  • Speak in your native language. Some times it helps just to communicate to them with a certain tone of voice. Often it is unexpected, this makes it work.

Keep generally in mind that you should not scream or be verbally violent.

Continue reading

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