Do You Speak Jargonian?

Purpose: To help participants understand the importance of using jargon when talking to people who might not understand it.
Participants: 6 - 18
Time Required: 30 minutes
Materials Needed: "Do You Speak Jargonian?" handouts, pens.

Steps to Follow:
a) Ask participants if they use jargon words at work, when communicating with colleagues. Ask them to give a few examples of jargon words they frequently use.
b) Divide the group into teams of three. Pass a copy of the “Do You Speak Jargonian? #1” handout to each team.
c) Tell them that to write down sentences using the jargon words. They are not allowed to look the words up in any reference sources. They have 5 minutes to complete the task.
d) When the 5 minutes are up, give each team a copy of the “Do You Speak Jargonian? #2” handout. Ask each team to read their text, replacing the jargon words with their explanation. Most of the sentences should make no sense.

Questions for Debriefing:
• Why didn’t the sentences turn out as you intended them?
• What would you have needed in order to compose a better text?
• How can such situations be prevented?

Tips on Making This Activity Go Well:
• The handouts of this activity contain construction jargon terms. If your participants work in this field, or if you suspect them of having extensive knowledge in this area, you can find a different list of jargon words, used in other fields of activity.

Download handouts