Language and Translation
The IF.G Water Challenge program is relying English as the language to be used, NOT because English is better or easier to speak, but just because in the world we live in today, English is more commonly spoken around the world than any other language. It is NOT spoken by more people, but just by a wider range of people.
For some of the students in your team, English may be the second or third or even fourth language that they’ve learned. In addition, you will find that many students for whom English is their native language, will speak it with different accents and even use different words that you’ve never heard before. Not only is English spoken differently in different parts of the world, it is even written differently with the correct spelling of some words varying from country to country.
All of these things can add some difficulties to what you are doing as a team, but they will also make the activity of working with students from around the globe, a very educational and fun experience. Listen to your teammates carefully and hear the differences in their sounds and sentences.
However, the goal of the IF.G Water Challenge is for you, as part of a team, to not only solve a world drinking water problem, but for you, personally, to learn how to work with people from difference countries and cultures. In the end, that ability will probably be more valuable to you than anything else you learn the program.
But you may discover that from time to time, you cannot understand what another student is saying. In that case, it is perfectly OK to gently ask them to repeat what they are saying. In that way, you both will learn something. If someone has written something that you do not think is in perfect English, it is OK to gently suggest a better way to write the information. You may find that your teammates from other countries have a different opinion and as a team, you will have to resolve the issue and settle on a solution. We will all be learning from each other and supporting each other as we do that.
But in a situation where someone is having trouble finding the right words in English, we will have adults available who may be able to help translate. You can also use a translation App on your computer or phone to help with translations from one language to another.