COVID-19 – Resources to learn English online

COVID-19 cancellations of face to face teaching in some institutions, will be a change for all, but a significant loss for many AS/R students. Studying can help refugee students feel positive about the future. For Asylum Seekers particularly, classes provide a social space to share and learn with others as well as a constructive activity (as legally they are not permitted to work). The Universities of Sanctuary mailing list have shared some resources for remote learning for those whose English classes have been cancelled due to COVID-19.

These courses are free to access via COURSERA and are not just for refugees or asylum seekers. They can be run from some phones as well as other devices (e.g. library computers). Not all are running right now, but anyone can sign up to join when available.

S, an asylum seeker applying for a place next year, says:

‘It is such a great idea to make the most of these days.’

Image via Unsplash
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Small steps to making your classroom a friendlier place

With thanks to @klovesbooks1 and @4bilingualism for highlighting these suggestions.

The human behind the refugee category (Discover Society)

Marcia Vera Espinoza writes for Discover Society,

We question refugees’ motivations, scrutinize their stories, generalize their persecution, feel sorry for their plight, and invisiblize their individuality among the numbers that frame their displacement. The category that gives refugees international protection is the same that singles them out as a member of what seems to be a homogeneous group: refugees. By using this category in this way we generalize about their lives, we claim to understand their needs and we aim to find ‘solutions’ for them.

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New play starring forced migrants @HOME Manchester

PIZZA SHOP HEROES

Four former unaccompanied child refugees from Eritrea, Afghanistan and Albania working your average shift in your average pizza shop take us on a journey across time and continents to show how extraordinary they are. Having told their stories to social workers and courts as part of their asylum claims, they are now reclaiming them.

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Calls for Papers: Forced Migration Review and Protection of Forced Migrants, Africa

Forced Migration Review issue 62 on ‘Return’, plus mini feature on understanding and addressing root causes of displacement

Deadline for submission of articles: Monday 17 June 2019
Maximum length: 2500 words

As one of the three ‘durable solutions’, voluntary return in safety and dignity has been a core tenet of the international refugee regime since the signing of the 1951 Refugee Convention, and is also reaffirmed in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Debates around the subject are complex, touching on political, legal and socio-economic questions as well as the central principle of non-refoulement and the humanitarian imperative to ensure that returns are informed, safe, voluntary and dignified.
This new issue of FMR will provide a forum for practitioners, advocates, policymakers, researchers and those directly affected to look at recent developments, share experience and good practice, debate perspectives and offer recommendations.

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RefuAid Language Scholarship Programme set for Liverpool launch

Mohib Ullah, who is leading on the project for RefuAid told us, “We are working with one of our partner schools in Liverpool and will be starting an OET (Occupational English Test accepted by the General Medical Council as an alternative to IELTS for re-qualification) course for healthcare professionals after Easter. The course will be 6 hours a week and will initially run for 6 weeks, starting on Wednesday the 24th of April. We welcome applications from refugee/asylum seeker doctors, nurses and midwives etc. They can also email me in person at mohib@refuaid.org I will be happy to answer any questions they may have. During the course, we will pay travel expenses up to £500, and the exam fee when applicants are deemed as exam-ready by their tutors.”

Action for Refugees think that this is a brilliant initiative with potentially great benefits to candidates and the communities they will serve. We wish RefuAid every success with this important programme.

Migrants and Refugees in Education: A toolkit for teachers

Learn how to teach and support young people across the globe affected by violence, conflict or displacement.
This free, online course developed by the British Council is designed to help teachers support students who are dealing with trauma.
Experienced teachers talk about the challenges, what they have learnt and the strategies they have used when teaching migrant and refugee learners both in countries affected by conflict and in host countries. All teachers and volunteers working with refugees and migrant learners can find ideas and strategies that can be used to better understand learners. The course helps to build inclusive classrooms and develop learners’ confidence, taking into account the languages they know and their cultures.
Click here to find out more.