Teaching young refugees

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by miss direct, May 28, 2018.

  1. miss direct

    miss direct misfungled

    Is anyone here involved with teaching refugees (young or otherwise? In the UK or anywhere else?)

    I am giving a workshop to volunteer teachers (of English) who work with or are interested in working with a project here in Istanbul. It's unaccompanied male refugees, mainly from Afghanistan and Iran. Some of them have had awful experiences and they're in a children's home here, no school or activities apart from this NGO putting on classes.

    I am feeling rather out of my depth. I was planning just to do some basic principles of teaching with them (they also lack resources/technology). I usually work in primary and secondary schools here and am unsure of the challenges these teachers will face. Help!
    Don Troooomp likes this.
  2. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    miss direct likes this.
  3. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Functional and practical content would be my starting point. Yes they have been through awful stuff but as a language tutor you don't need to be addressing that at all, be creative aside from being more mindful not to build in insensitve atitudes into the lessons.
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
    crossthebreeze, Lupa and miss direct like this.
  4. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Also...ask them/the group where possible. :)
    miss direct likes this.
  5. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    I have a set of ESL text books (PDF) suitable for use by primary students - contact me by PM if they're of any use and I'll email them to you.
    miss direct and Rutita1 like this.
  6. dessiato

    dessiato Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono

    My first EFL classes were with Bosnian war refugees. I think @Rutita1has it right. Be prepared for some horror stories that will stay with you for life.

    I also have old editions of Murphy (red, and blue) scanned to pdf if they're any use. I still use them regularly.
    miss direct likes this.
  7. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    I have, but not here.
    miss direct likes this.
  8. Riklet

    Riklet procrastinación

    Threshers_Flail any tips?

    My idea would be tips for certain situations they may face - like if students are acting up, don't want to participate, get demotivated, have massive mood swings, get into arguments with each other during classes, clash with others for personal reasons, have very different motivations for learning English, are of very mixed levels, may not be able to read/write/hear well, may miss classes for a variety of reasons, may speak in an L1 together (farsi/urdu?) the teacher doesnt understand.

    Depending on where these classes are taking place, this might be a big thing which comes up - their day to day experiences, differences to their home country, how they are treated, their future plans/hopes & dreams/beaurocratic challenges.

    Maybe the teachers need to think about how they will structure the course and syllabus and why. Or modify it. Will the students play a role in shaping it? Are they making it different cos they are teaching young refugees? Are they making it more instant-fun-reward hands-on communicative etc.

    If these students have had a shit time, maybe the last thing they wanna do is talk about fairly heavy topics in English (then again maybe they do or will with time) and more games and stuff aimed at older kids and young teens could be better. Or more kinda low-level tasked based learning stuff, team projects and goal-orientated practical activities in English.
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    dessiato and miss direct like this.
  9. miss direct

    miss direct misfungled

    Thanks so much for the replies so far. Very useful.

    I've had to postpone the workshop until later due to work stuff- quite a relief really as it was turning out to be a lot more work than I had anticipated. As it's ramadan I didn't expect many teachers to turn up, so hopefully I'll do it later in the summer.
    dessiato, Thimble Queen and moomoo like this.
  10. miss direct

    miss direct misfungled

    I need some more advice please - just in case anyone is still reading...

    So the guy organising the project has got back in touch with me, wanting to reschedule for a different Saturday this month. However, it's two days before a huge course starts and I have loads of prep to do, as well as extra work from my regular job. Basically, I don't have time - I would if he was willing to use one of my current trainings, but it need to be a full two hour workshop, from scratch. I am already very stressed from all the other commitments I have. Starting to wish I had never offered. How do I say no in a nice way?
  11. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Be honest and offer another date or two? More than reasonable.
    miss direct likes this.
  12. miss direct

    miss direct misfungled

    I looked back at our messages and realised it was actually me that offered another date in June (before I had all this extra work thrown my way). So I’m looking like a big flake by pulling out twice, but hey ho.
  13. miss direct

    miss direct misfungled

    The guy was a complete nob when I said no. Is this an American thing? I seem to have had various other cultural misunderstandings like this in the past involving Americans.
  14. Mr Smin

    Mr Smin Registered Luser

    There's a lot of work to be done, far more than can be done with the available resource.
    My unsolicited advice is don't get into the mindset that you need to do it all just because nobody else will. You'll end up burned out with a lot of half done projects to show for it.
    Better to do a few things well, and apologise to people you couldn't accommodate.

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