Jabber Talk

no materials
15 min.


  • The learner can use intonation to enforce communication.
  • The learner can use communication strategies, such as non-verbal communication.


  • Start talking gibberish as an introduction to this exercise, using non-verbal communication to underline your message (body language, intonation, facial expressions).
  • Ask the learners what they think you are talking about.
  • Divide the group into pairs.
  • Tell them that one learner is going to tell something in a self-created, unclear language or in his/her mother tongue.
  • The other learner has to translate his/her interpretation into the target language.
  • Let them switch roles.
  • Evaluate while the learners are practicing.
    How are you doing?
    What is difficult?
    Which division of roles suits you best?
  • The pairs practice the best division of roles before presenting their ‘act’ to the whole group.


  • Give the learners a specific word or situation, e.g.
    pepper, elephant’, motor cycle …
    One learner wants to steal a phone and the other doesn’t like it.
    One learner tells an exciting story and the other does not believe it.
    One learner wants to leave together on a scooter and the other does not.

Closing up

Evaluate the importance of non-verbal communication: use of voice (tempo, pitch, duration, colour) and body language, and why one act was easier to understand than another.