The nature of consultation PDF Print E-mail

Consultation should be collaborative, on-going and two-way, between communities and their consultants, involving the sharing of information. The community, the school, the linguist, the ICT specialist each need to state and negotiate their aims in a very open way. People need to be clear about their goals, agendas, plans and intentions when being involved in a language project and their expectations for the project outcomes.

One of the main purposes of consultation is to develop mutual respect and a healthy partnership that will help resolve possible contentious issues before work begins on a language project. Effective initial and ongoing consultation and collaboration as equal partners can prevent difficulties from arising during the course of a project.

Whether a project is suggested by a consultant or the community, will affect the nature of consultation. If the project is being proposed by a consultant, he/she will need to be prepared to give people time to consider all the details before making a decision. Often people may not speak up during a meeting. The consultant will need to allow time for the word to spread, for people to answer in their own time, and for people to give honest feedback, in informal settings after the meetings.