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The Power of Language – An Activity Guide for Facilitators

Publication by the International Tolarance Network

The Power of Language – An Activity Guide for Facilitators, International Network Education for Democracy, Human Rights and Tolerance, Florian M. Wenzel, Michael Seberich (eds.), Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers, Gütersloh 2001, ISBN 3-89204-577-1.

05.12.2001 · Akademie Führung & Kompetenz


In educational contexts language is the most important means of communication. This base is not very often questioned. But language does have dramatic effects on how you work with a group. This became obvious in the multilingual setting of the International Network “Education for Democracy, Human Rights and Tolerance”.

The insight underlined the experiences of the 10 Network members in Brazil, Chile, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa and the USA. This is why the Network decided to develop, compile and test activities that can be used by facilitators to make people aware of the impact of language.

The activities show how closely related language is to such fundamental questions as culture, identity and power structure. By tracing these links, facilitators can make the essential connection between language and human rights, tolerance and democracy. The manual also presents insights into the situation of language and power in the institutions of the member countries and suggests sample workshops for using the material.

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