Goodpush Member

What are some effective ways people have found to facilitate groups that speak several different languages? How do you pick a main language to teach in? Are you using translators? Do the kids help each other understand? 


My experience is mostly English (/Dutch) and signing. Kids are happy to translate and pick up on a language way faster than me haha. I know Amber (WSTW & FMSB) has started a list of skate-related words in Arabic, Kurdish and Farsi while she was out volunteering at projects. Happy to share and would be nice if other people can contribute in their language so that we can all profit from it while teaching in multi-language groups :) I'll e-mail her about it, in the main time, if someone is interested, you can contact me at nanja[at]

Following on from Nanja's offer, if any of you are working with Afghan youth, here is a list of phonetic Dari vocabulary that relates specifically to teaching skateboarding and arts, made by Skateistan volunteers. 

These sorts of 'cheat sheets' can be helpful short-term, though of course learning the language of your participants and/or handing over teaching to others who speak the same language makes more sense in the long-term!

Interesting topic. In the US we don't come across this issue much because I believe that in our state, Arizona, it's against the law to teach the kids in any language other than english. Nationalism is deeply ingrained here unfortunately. What I wanted to say though was that Kristin from Skate Like A Girl taught clinics in Japan where there was no ability for verbal communication between her and the participants and she brought up the idea of learning and practicing more non verbal skate instruction. Just an interesting idea that I hadn't considered but it has amazing implications for kids with hearing differences and of course languages.

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