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Refugee education hub

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by mikeshaw, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. mikeshaw

    mikeshaw Administrator Staff Member

    We're setting up a (pilot) Refugee Education Hub on TES for educators working with refugees - whether in transit camps or for those in more settled communities.

    I'll be posting a link to it very soon, so you can have a look. It will contain links to relevant free resources, other useful organisations, and news about refugee education.

    The most important bit about this microsite will be using it to highlight resources that educators working with refugees find especially helpful. While there are more than 1.6 million resources on TES, the ratings are largely driven by teachers working in mainstream schools. This is an opportunity to curate a set for those specifically working with refugees - so may, for example, be working in more makeshift schools with students learning English for the first time.

    Let me know what you think of it, when we post the link. In the meantime, we're already in touch with educators and educational organisations working with refugees in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, but would love to hear from more.

    Do introduce yourselves and let us know what you're up working on.

    Good luck,

    Michael Shaw
    TES product director
    michael@tes.com
     
    frangipani123, grdwdgrrrl and rosiecg like this.
  2. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    I'm working with Rohingya refugees. Our biggest challenge is that many arrive at our school with no previous experience in learning. They are illiterate and 10-15 years old. We have been focusing on teaching English but feel now that teaching a local language will be more relevant to their living context.
    Thanks for the support. Looking forward to it.
     
    frangipani123 and percy topliss like this.
  3. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    Why are they learning English?

    If they are located outside an English-speaking country and do not have permission to travel, what is the purpose of this teaching?

    Surely it is better to give them language skills which will help them to settle in their current location?
     
  4. mikeshaw

    mikeshaw Administrator Staff Member

    It's a good question. Currently for those in transit camps in Europe, English often seems the most practical option for those unsure where they may end up (rather than committing to Greek, German, Flemish, Finnish etc). Also it tends to be a language used by volunteers - such as the Catalan volunteers doing lots of teaching in northern Greece.

    Of course, part of the joy of the resources collection is - while we have most resources in English we also have hundreds of thousands in / for Arabic, French and so on.

    I've been apologetic in some of my messaging to educators testing this about how English-language-centric it is, but so far the response has been "Actually, that's OK."
     
    frangipani123 likes this.
  5. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    Yes, English is being taught because this is what the volunteers are able to teach. Whether this is best for their students is an interesting question. It is better to teach them English than teach them nothing and I can see the logic of teaching them English language so that they can be taught other subjects in English, such as maths. But teaching them another language, any language, is not a neutral act.
    If they are aiming for a country where English would be useful but don't have a realistic chance of gaining entry, might this English teaching be giving them false hope?
     
  6. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    It's our experience that English is the most common language used between volunteers and students. Also, the Rohingya refugees are more likely to be resettled in thebU.S. or other English speaking country.
     
    frangipani123 likes this.
  7. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    Why do you think this is?
     
  8. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    English is the global language.
     
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  9. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    Actually, it is a global lingua franca.

    If the refugees are in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, etc., what is your intention behind teaching them a 'global language'?
     
  10. kzaniboni

    kzaniboni New commenter

    Hello Mike, I sent you an email about a project I am working on as an official Solver from the MIT Solve Lab challenge on refugee education. My project idea is very similar to the initiative you started here on TES for a Refugee Education HUB. I would love to talk to you when you have time. Please email me at katie@teamup2teach.org to set up a call. I am located in Sofia, Bulgaria and I am a volunteer teacher at a refugee camp in Sofia. I have been on two research trips to Athens and Lesvos collecting insights for the project so we have lots to talk about. I look forward to speaking with you! - Katie Zaniboni www.teamup2teach.org
     

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