Within conversation youngsters might be too attentive and careful to understand each word of the conversation, especially, if it happens in an international environment. The importance of language is overestimated when two human beings want to interact. Kids are amazing examples of how easy it is to communicate without understanding the language.
How does it work?
If we work individually with a youngster, then we give him/her a chance to be in the role of the client. If we work with a group of youngsters then they work in pairs. There is an important rule that they work in pairs that both have different mother tongue. They also can use languages that they don’t understand.
We continue to use the roles of client and coach.
The client has his/her topic and he/she shares it with his/her partner in mother tongue or another language, that other person, the coach, does not understand.
The coach asks the question in a language that they both understand.
The conversation lasts for 10 min. Then they change the roles. The second conversation also lasts for 10 min. Afterwards they share how it was for them for about 7 minutes.
During the exercise youngsters are surprised how good we can understand each other, how attentive and mindful we can be without having a common language. It boosts their tolerance and respect towards each other, as well as it develops other senses than just hearing.