Appreciative Inquiry Tool

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Participatory Methods Tools
Dialect Mapping Tool
Bilingualism Tool
Domains of Language Use Tool
Appreciative Inquiry Tool
Cause and Effect Tree
Stakeholder Analysis
Force Field Analysis
Community Connection Tool
Traffic Light Tool
Wheel of Vitality
Church Domains Tool


The purpose of this tool is to allow members of the community to dream about what might be possible in their language and then to begin to make plans for some of those dreams to happen. This shows us what they see as most important and what they want to work on.


Step 1 is absolutely key as it determines the focus. Therefore, it needs to be well-stated. Take time to refine understanding of this step with the community if needed.


  • lots of rectangular pieces of paper
  • some bold markers to write with
  • lots of small pieces of plastic
  • a camera


Step # Ask/Say Do
1 Describe something you saw, heard or did that made you proud of [L1] or your culture or that made you happy to see [L1] used in that way. After each experience is shared, someone in the group should write a summary label about each good thing. Place it under the label “good things”
2 Wow, you have many good things happening. How can you build on these good things and make them even better? Improve them? What are your dreams for your language? If the group is large invite them to share in groups of 3, give them time – allow any dream – even impossible ones!
3 Let’s come back to the big group and listen to the dreams of each small group. Who will write the dreams for the group? Write one dream per paper. Everyone can help to summarize the dream in 3-4 words. Place each dream under the heading "Dreams or Hopes."
4 As you think about your dreams, some may seem to be ones that could be done soon, while others may take some time. Please put the Hopes in order from the ones that ‘Can be done soon” to the one that ‘Will take some time’. Put down these two labels then let the participants sort the dreams along a continuum.
5 Some of these dreams may be more important than others. I have some plastic markers. Place one of these on the 5 dreams that you feel are most important. Let them place the markers. Take a photo now if possible!
6 Now you have the chance to begin making plans to make these dreams come true. Which of the dreams do you want to begin making plans for right now? Take the written dream label and form a group. Allow them to form groups. Encourage everyone to join a group.
7 As you make your plans, think about
  1. the steps you need to take
  2. the other people besides who could also be involved and
  3. the things you need to begin making this dream happen.
Give them paper and markers to write their plans. Let them write in big letters for the group to see.
8 We would like each group to share their plans with all the others. Who would like to share first?


  • the tool could be perceived as being manipulative

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