Eryniel and I discussed the workshop in the past weeks, and we thought out a basic form of how it could be done, taking the (probable) age and level of the participants into account. The level will most likely be "absolute beginners", and for the age it's best to prepare for "late elementary school" because I think it is easier to adapt it improvising to a higher level than the other way around.
First of all, I think that it is necessary to have the participants to be as active as possible. This way it's more interesting for them, and it is probably also easier to handle for someone with no didactic skills such as myself. This rules out a static "class-teacher approach" in which words and sentences are being rote-memorised by the class.
I'd be all for a form in which the participants engage in exercising small dialogues (let's say in couples) that can then be presented to the group.
But of course there does need to be some form of central introduction: most likely, the participants will have absolutely no idea what Sindarin is, or what it sounds like. Or in any case, that is the scenario that we should prepare for: father, mother and three children walking around on the ROTR, and Jane (11 years old) pointing to the Sindarin workshop in the ROTR program leaflet saying: "Please mommy, daddy, can we do that? I would love to learn to speak elvish!" - to which the rest of the family might agree. Thus, the five of them enter our little class. Maybe Mom and Dad have read LOTR and / or seen the PJ movies but I doubt that even one word has stuck in their memories.
So: the starting point is that they know nothing at all, but are more or less enthusiastic and curious.
This is what we have in mind:
- start out with a very short introduction: what is Sindarin, and what are we going to do with it today?
- using images / drawings of all the individual words that are going to be used; show them one after the other, while pronouncing the Sindarin name (the Sindarin word is also shown)
- when all drawings have been shown: go through them at random, a couple of times, and let the whole group pronounce the words. Correct as necessary.
- using those words, write down / show a basic dialogue down on the whiteboard (or whatever we have available - blackboard, beamer, overhead projector, flip-over ...? ) in Sindarin, phonetic Sindarin and English. It will be something comparable to what Thorsten Renk has in Chapter 1 of Pedin Edhellen.
According to the level of the group, give a (very) basic explanation of the grammatical role of the words involved, using English equivalent examples (to meet -> met vs. covad- -> govannen, im -> I / NOT im -> I'm, etcetera)
- make the group divide into couples, assigning a role of the dialogue to every person. Give them a few minutes to practice between them, and then let all 'groups' try the dialogue out loud. Help / correct if necessary
- just as before, present the additional words used in the song (see below) using drawings
- present the lyrics of the song in Sindarin, phonetic Sindarin and English. Read out aloud a couple of times, and if we do manage to create a song out of it, sing it out
- line by line, have the group repeat it singing. If they do get it, let them sing the whole thing.
- at the end, give them the booklet (we're preparing a booklet with phrases and examples, to take home with them)
We can also use the "Ten Little Dwarves" song, but Eryniel and I felt that it's maybe a bit difficult to pronounce for beginners. Eryniel once wrote a little nursery rhyme using the words for one to five, and also the finger-names. I think that's easier to pronounce for the intended audience but it needs some more work to get it in a fixed meter and rhyme.
We're now working out the dialogue and the song; will keep you all posted as we progress!