Aligator room - Aligatorejo

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Limit: 17/25
When: 
Sat, 19/11/2011 - 12:00
Where: 
CAFE GUSTAV
Background: 

aligatori is a unique Esperanto word for speaking a language that is neither your native language nor Esperanto. The aligatorejo (literally: alligator-place) is a fun room for people who want to practise other languages at Esperanto meetings.

Target group and number of participants: 

The minimum number of participants could be 5, but there is not a maximum because you can split the group in smaller ones. During the TOOL fair I think the ideal number is 15-20 people. Note: because of the nature of this room, participants should have basic conversation skills in at least two foreign languages. We’re not going to discuss quantum mechanics, but you should be able to say something about yourself, your family, your city…

Aim and objectives: 

The general aim is to give the participants the opportunity to practice different foreign languages. It is also a good exercise to reflect about language barriers, and about language diversity.

Methodology: 

 

Duration and step by step process: 

I will start with a quick introduction on the topic of language barriers in international youth work. Then we will try this activity, which will help to reflect and discuss this issue. There are two rules in the aligatorejo: 1. You are not allowed to speak your native language. 2. You are not allowed to speak the common language of the meeting. Everybody wears a sticker with the languages they can speak, in descending order of fluency, so that you know what language you can use with them. So what will happen is for example you speak Japanese to a Japanese person, but that person is not allowed to answer in Japanese! He may answer in Spanish for example, and if need be we can have another member interpret that for you. It will be good to have a little debrief after the activity. The duration of the activity is quite flexible, I think that 1 hour is enough.

Material and Resources needed: 

A room with chairs. Stickers or Post-it, some pen or pencils.

Outcomes: 

what you wind up with is a lot of groups speaking a lot of languages that would otherwise be drowned out. Plus, nobody has to be afraid of making mistakes, because everybody is speaking a foreign language. People will have fun and get to know each other, but also will be able to discover and appreciate the language richness of the group.

Evaluation: 

 

Notes for further use: 

Sometimes the room is set with different tables for different languages, or different topics and people change their place during the activity. Other times people can freely move around in the room and search for a partnet to whom they can talk.