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EPALE

Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe

 
 

Discussion

Migrant Education Week Day 3: What are the solutions to supporting migrant learners in adult education?

28/04/2016
by EPALE Moderator

***This discussion is now closed.***

The current migration crisis has emphasised the vital role of adult education in supporting the integration and skills development of migrants across the European Union.

In our three-day discussion, we’ll be talking about:

In this thread we’ll be talking about solutions – what are the best ways to support both newly arrived migrant learners and established communities access and complete education programmes? We want to hear your views on the key factors for success, best practice examples and how to replicate this elsewhere.

 

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EPALE Moderator's picture

Thank you for your comments over the past three days. We’ve had hundreds of interesting comments and we’ll be publishing a summary of each of the discussions tomorrow.

We're also launching our brand new community of practice very soon! If you work in this area and want to moderate this area of EPALE, get in touch with us by emailing Helpdesk@epale-support.eu

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Linda Morrice's picture

Dear friends, we have come to the end of our discussion today. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and contributing such thoughtful and insightful comments. From our discussions it is clear that there are some great examples of good practice across Europe, and this has been a good opportunity to learn from each other. Issues remain, particularly those of sustainability, getting higher level buy-in and policy support, funding, support of volunteers /teachers and quality. Please look out for the summary of our discussion which will be posted shortly on the site.

Thanks and very best wishes, Linda

Simon BROEK's picture

Hi, My name is Simon Broek, I am thematic coordinator Learning Environments on EPALE.

Earlier the issue was raised about volunteers in providing education to migrants and refugees (I learned the difference only today: /en/blog/unhcr-viewpoint-refugee-or-migrant-which-right). Often the training relies on volunteers and is solidarity based, as is the case in this Greek example: /en/blog/education-asylum-seekers-based-solidarity-example-greece

These volunteers are often not educated and trained to provide adult learning, let alone to a difficult and heterogeneous group of migrants and refugees.

I came across an interesting initiative there a university (language centre) provides introductory courses to volunteers: /en/blog/volunteers-teach-dutch-language-refugees-how-are-they-prepared

I am sure our discussion forum is now full with interesting examples and it will take time to digest all the valuable contributions in this EPALE discussion forum!

 

 

 

Linda Morrice's picture

Hi Simon and welcome! Yes; the issue of relying on volunteer teachers and mentors has come up in our discussions and it does raise the issue of how to ensure the quality of our provision for migrants. There is an interesting post above by Phil Bird (12:14) about the My English First project which attempts to address this via online resources, training and support for teachers. 

Celine Castelino's picture

 

Hello All

I'm Celine Castelino from English My Way. It's wonderful to hear about all the initiatives and programmes developed throughout Europe. My concern is about sustainability - we have had some great mentoring, guidance and English language programmes in the UK e g the ASSET UK project led by the Refugee Council and replicated in several EU states. Sadly little survived when the funding ended. How do we influence policy to ensure long term sustainability and development?

We have tried to address sustainability in our English My Way project - mentioned above by my colleagues Julie and Phil, which involves small community-based centres that operate on minimal funding, through teacher/volunteer training, peer observation, blended learning and ensuring that all our resources are available online for the next three years at least.

 

 

Emma GRAINGER's picture

Hello again, Emma here from the NSS Ireland. Anyone who was in yesterday’s discussion may remember that we had attended an ESOL Conference run by NALA here in Ireland. As part of this we made video recordings and surveyed attendees’ (all of whom work with migrants) on the 3 main questions of these discussions. Here is a summary of their responses to the question around supports and success factors.

 

As you will see in the video from one of the participants Jane, a really important aspect in that the learning environment there is a two way relationship. This is especially important for the groups that Jane works with as they are coming from stressful situations and many have refugee status. It is essential that the learners are able to feel their contribution is important. Alongside this many attendees talked about the need for a safe and welcoming space for learners.

 

Overcoming practicalities such as the need for childcare was seen as a success factor. Centres providing homework clubs for children so parents can study seemed a practical solution. Also the idea of financial support to encourage learners to stay involved arose many times in the feedback.

I can see that mentoring has already been discussed on this forum and a similar idea arose yesterday also. as well as mentoring while learning the idea of guidance as a separate support was something that providers thought would assist migrants.

 

Ensuring learners are placed at the right level of learning and not replying solely on their language level for this assessment was seen as important also. As discussed yesterday two people with similarly low levels of English may have varying levels of education. So proper assessment and proper allocation of places were seen as important.

 

Learners being informed in advance of their pathways within learning and seeing a visible progression through the system of qualifications is something that can motivate.  Two very practical tips were - the use of Learner Journals as a way of instilling a sense of responsibility and follow up with learners and the use of a site called Wicispaces to set up online classrooms. Although many may think this would be intimidating research conducted by one practitioner Laura seen here in our video suggests the opposite. 

Linda Morrice's picture

Very valuable practical tips and advice. Many thanks Emma; sounds like it was a great conference.

Linda Morrice's picture

We've had some posts about the difficulty of providing 'joined up' education services, lack of proper resourcing and problems with short term funding. I sometimes find it amazing that adult education still thrives with this lack of national and European strategy backed up by proper resources. Adult education has been referred to as the 'Cinderella' of the UK education sector, and for very goo reason.

However, are colleagues out there managing to link their adult education programmes with other services which are key to the integration of migrants, for example, health and housing? Phil mentioned the importance of running programmes in community venues where perhaps other services are on site, are there other similar iniatives?

AHMET TOPÇU's picture

Hello everyone,

I am Ahmet Topçu.I am member of NSS Turkey.You know there are alot of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Syrian refugees inside Turkey have experienced war and suffering first hand, and are at risk of psychological disorder.Friendly spaces were created to enable emotional recovery and referrals, support is provided to Turkish authorities to identify and prioritise children at risk, parents are supported and trained to cope with their own children’s disorders, affected adolescents and youth are equipped to take on positive roles within their communities and in peace building initiatives. Some key results achieved:

 • 27 Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs) established in 23 camps and 3 cities benefitting to 96,172 children. • 945 volunteer Syrian adolescent/youth empowered to support CFSs (51% girls).

• More than 2,800 children have been referred to psychosocial support units for specialized support. • 2 mobile child-friendly spaces have been deployed to southeast provinces to assist Syrian children living in urban areas.

• A total of 429 key actors from government and civil society have received training on Child Protection in Emergencies.

• More than 7,000 Syrian parents have been equipped through the Parenting Programme with the necessary skills to address the emotional and behavioural difficulties of their children and be more supportive.

 • A team of 40 young Syrian and Turkish adolescents (12-18 years of age) have been trained and equipped with a tailored toolkit to lead social cohesion workshops.

 • 1,034Turkish and Syrian adolescents have been trained together as leaders to organise activitıes for their peers, wıth the support of social workers of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies in 10 provinces

• 179,000 children have received clothing in the scope of winterization activities.

Roberto Kohlstedt's picture

Thank you Ahmet for your informations and above all, your work for refugees!

I find it sad that nowadays the media is only reporting about Turkey and your president as a key to "keeping _them_ there"... For years now you are aiding people from neighboring countries in deep need and I can´t even begin to understand the conditions you have to work within.

Even if in small numbers, any support you write about is sooo important, and also has a huge affect on how those mostly Syrian refugees look at their own lives and future prospects, wherever they end up living. Please keep up the invaluable work and rest assured that many people in Europe look at Turkey and the service of well-meaning officials as well as NGO´s and volunteers as so much more than just gatekeepers!