Communication is not just about language, but language is a vital communication tool when it comes to teaching science and research. Language is what stands between the museum and its visitors – it can connect, but it can also divide. We want to find the right language for as many of our visitors as possible, to enter into a conversation with you through many different “languages” – be it on guided tours and in workshops, via texts in exhibitions or with interactive stations in the exhibition halls and on Deck 50, our dedicated space for teaching and learning.
In recent years we have made language-sensitive outreach a key part of all our teaching and learning activities at the NHM Vienna. Since 2018 we have been expanding our language-sensitive activities, adapting existing programs and developing new processes and materials.
It is important for us to make the members of our team aware of just how important a conscious use of language is. We hold regular workshops where basic tools are presented. Staff training at the NHM Vienna includes specific exercises to increase confidence of educators in situations where they must communicate with groups of children and young people with different levels of language skills. The training workshops also cover reflecting on one's own use of language and language patterns, as well as non-verbal communication. Another focus is on suggestions and instructions for language-centered learning and teaching activities.