Adjusting migrant and refugee children to European schools
Migration has been always a controversial issue. It is not a new phenomenon, but these days it is getting more and more relevant in our lives. Integration and multiculturalism are two of the most important elements of creating a diverse and open society. If we want to live in a global multi-cultural society, it is important to teach our children how to be open-minded, tolerant and how to accept diversity as discrimination often appears to be a major factor affecting the achievement of migrant students. School teachers, principals and directors need to build a cooperative relationship in integrating immigrant children into the educational system and thus in society. Ensuring and encouraging a safe multi-cultural environment is vital for these children to develop their potentials. This will contribute to their personal social and emotional development.
The language classroom is one of the places where we can develop intercultural understanding and build multilingual societies. Thus, the ultimate goal for teachers is to help immigrant students to succeed at schools — and beyond.
‘Adjusting migrant and refugee children to European secondary schools’ is a course that offers the participants the opportunity to get involved in discussions on the role of education in the overall effort to integrate refugee & immigrant children into European secondary schools.
This one-week training course will give the participants the opportunity to:
• understand the concept of cultural awareness and how to handle cultural differences;
• raise their awareness of how students from other cultures are welcomed and integrated into the education system;
• acquire an in-depth knowledge of best practices at school for integrating minority, migrant & refugee children;
• consider the need for organisational adaptations at school environment for the purpose of integration;
• learn how to develop and implement desegregation strategies policies at school;
• learn how to understand different cultures and how to change stereotypes;
• comprehend the importance of national language acquisition for migrants & refugees;
• learn to equip their learners with the tools they will need to bridge language and culture divides.
The course methodology will ensure the active involvement of the participants in all phases. More specifically, prior the delivery of the course, the teachers and directors participating in the course will receive preparatory material, which will cover all important concepts to be presented during the training course. They will also have the opportunity to exchange feedback with other colleagues of them coming from different countries and working in different learning environments; they will finally be able to request any clarification related to the content of the course.
The course includes daily practical sessions on preparing immigrant students integration micro lessons to be used as case studies during the training and promotes the “learn how to learn” methodology based on learning by doing and collaborative learning. The methodology includes lectures, Power Point (PPT) presentations, videos and animations, presentation of case studies by teachers that have implemented integration strategies in their classes, workshops and exercises, and Web tools.
By the end of this course the secondary teachers, school principals and directors involved will have:
• raised their awareness on the issues and implications of multilingualism and multiculturalism on learning;
• identified their own attitudes and beliefs about teaching multilingual and multicultural learners;
• considered some of the linguistic and cultural issues which may inhibit learning;
• identified some of the areas of the curriculum which could challenge the multilingual or multicultural learner;
• gained a set of teaching strategies that will engage and encourage their learners and will provide a platform for learning for multicultural and multilingual students;
• learnt how to deal with cultural differences inside the classroom and make the most out of cultural diversity;
• learnt how to implement best diversity policies and take affirmative actions;
• had an opportunity for post-course dissemination of good practice to other teachers.