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  • Level 1: Introductory

Having a go

Updated Monday 23rd April 2012

The key to successful intercultural communication is very simple: just get out there and give it a go!

Where there's a will, there's a way. We communicate in many different ways, and language is only one of them. Whatever your language competence, the key to successful communication is simply a willingness to communicate. Throughout the series, the Hairy Bikers found themselves dealing with communication in many different ways: sometimes their European interlocutors were able to talk to them in English; some other times they were able to use a language that they studied in the past, provided that they did not worry too much about making mistakes; but on many occasions there was no common language and they just had to find other ways of communicating.

Daring to use whatever means are available is the key. Besides, research on language learning has shown that people who are not afraid of making fools of themselves are the ones who learn the fastest.

Having a go

Click each image to watch the Hairy Bikers 'having a go' with languages.

Dave and Si tell us just how easy communication is once you have a go! Copyright BBC Having a go also involves listening and actively trying to figure out what other people are saying to you. Follow the captions in this clip to see how many strategies speakers and listeners deploy. Copyright BBC Many people are afraid of making fools of themselves when they try to communicate with speakers of other languages. Dave and Si give us some valuable advice. Copyright BBC What about the film crew? Dan Slee, BBC programme director, explains why it's important that the crew don't let the language barrier put them off. Copyright BBC Dave studied French at school and takes the opportunity to practise when he and Si go to buy 'saucisson lyonnais'. Copyright BBC The most basic form of communication is use of gestures. Simon orders 'langos' in Hungary... and gets understood! Copyright BBC
 

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