Church Domains Tool

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Church Domains Tool


This tool aims to help the community describe both the domains of church language use that are important to them and which languages they use for each.


  • pre-printed domain labels with typically encountered church domains<ref>For surveys in PNG, the following domains were pre-printed: liturgy, preaching, notices, prayer, youth meetings, womens meetings, Sunday School and Bible readings</ref>. These should be laminated or otherwise made durable and preferably in colour to engage the community.
  • several blank labels - enough for the community to write their village name, their language name, and any domains they might suggest in addition to those you've pre-printed
  • non-permanent marker pen
  • pre-printed "other language" label
  • enough red plastic chips to mark every label including their language label
  • enough yellow plastic chips as red plastic chips


In the following tables, a phrase in italics means that the tool leader can vary the phrase depending on the context. Also, V = vernacular and OL = other language

Step What you do and why What you say What you may observe and do in response
1a Clarify what denominations exist. Now we’d like to talk about church. First, we’d like to know what denominations you have in village. Data recorder writes down all denominations mentioned.
1b To introduce church domains show preaching card. One church activity is the sermon. Can you please put this card on the ground? Volunteer takes card and puts it down. Repeat step for announcements and singing cards.
1c Encourage the community to produce more domains. Now we’ve put some on the ground. There are others. Can you suggest more? [When they run out of ideas, prompt them with remaining domains] If they say domains that you already have cards for, provide them. If not, provide a pen and blank card for them to write a key word on.
2a To confirm the name of the vernacular used in this location, hand a blank card to a volunteer. What's the name of your language? Can you write it on this card? Volunteer takes card and writes language before putting it on the ground.
2b Show the "other language" card. Do you use other languages apart from V in village? If so, please put this card down next to your language card. If they agree, take the OL card and put this on the ground next to their V card.
2c To key the V with a colour, give volunteer a red chip. Now, we’d like to mark these cards with colours. Put this red chip on the card with your language name on it. Volunteer puts red chip on the V card.
2d If the OL card is used, key it with a colour. Give volunteer a yellow chip. I’ll give you another colour. Yellow represents other languages. Please put this chip on the OL card. Volunteer puts yellow chip on the OL card.
3a To identify which domains they use V for in church, hand a volunteer some red chips. Now, we’ll give you some red chips. Together, mark each activity where you use V by putting a red chip on top of the card. If you use another language as well as V, put a red chip too. If you only use a language other than V, leave the card blank. Volunteer follows community prompts to place red chips on domains they use V for.
3b To identify which domains they use OL for in church, hand a volunteer some yellow chips. Now, we’ll give you some yellow chips. Together, mark each activity in the church where you use OL by putting a yellow chip on the card. If you use OL as well as V, put a yellow chip. If you only use V and don’t use OL, don’t put a yellow chip on the card. Volunteer follows community prompts to place yellow chips on domains they use OL for.
3c Check that what they have given represents what they want to say. Okay, let’s check. You use OL for domain, domain etc. You don’t use only V for domain, domain etc. Community agree or revise their answer as necessary.
3d Discover what OL they use in addition to V by asking them to give you details of these. For domain you use another language. What is this? Do you use another language too or just this one? Community detail languages other than V which they use in these church domains.

A community leader identifies church languages in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. February, 2012.


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