032 – Language of Object

  1. Sit in a circle with an object in the middle. Describe the object in any language, preferably not in English, unless only English speaking. Relate the information to topics such as:
    a. Use and function of the object
    b. How it makes you feel
    c. What it reminds you of
  2. Once the first round of explanations has taken place, discuss how much was understood in a language you are unfamiliar with from non-verbal communication, that is, the tone, facial expressions, gestures.


Questions: How important was non-verbal communication during this exercise for both the speaker and the listeners? How did you feel when others were laughing and seeming to understand what was being said but you could not understand? Was it easier or harder in a different language to express yourself? Were you aware of getting non-verbal feedback when you were talking?

Example: During this session, a very recognisable black cup was used. We suggest trying this exercise with a recognisable object as well as an unfamiliar object to the group. Notes: Some participants will recognise many languages, particularly if many of them come from cultures with Latin roots. Others might feel displaced as the roots of their languages will be less recognisable for others. Help the group identify and welcome their differences.

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