New Arabic resources for the Primary classroom

Action for Refugees is delighted to present the second booklet in a series produced by students, working in partnership to develop resources for the primary classroom.

These booklets are developed by primary trainees to enable simple bilingual activities in the classroom, from labelling key parts of the room to basic greetings to welcome a learner.

Pictured here is the development team, including Mohammmed K who volunteered with the Edge Hill team on the project. Action for Refugees are very grateful for his time sharing his language skills.

These resources are available to download via the university’s online storage system ‘eshare’, and are open access to all. You can also access the first booklet in the series.

Arabic: http://eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/15300/

Farsi: http://eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/15301/

For more information please contact
Martin Ford
Subject lead ‐ Academic and Professional Development (APD)
fordm@edgehill.ac.uk

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.

RefuAid seminar results in action for refugees

Anna Jones, co-founder of RefuAid, at the Action for Refugees seminar at Edge Hill University.

Delegates to the RefuAid seminar held at Edge Hill University’s Ormskirk campus on 20 March were enthralled by the presentations, not least by the moving testimony given by former client Naima, who told us about her former life in Libya and the role played by RefuAid in turning her life around. RefuAid co-founder, Anna Jones, explained how the organisation provides practical support to refugees and asylum seekers in key areas of access to language support, education and employment.

Dentist and former RefuAid client Naima shared her powerful story with us.

The audience for the seminar included academic and support staff at EHU as well as visitors from the local community. It was particularly pleasing to welcome a number of refugees and asylum seekers on campus.

Immediately following the presentations, delegates were able to engage in discussion with both the RefuAid representatives and Action for Refugees group members. Much of this discussion concerned the practical support that delegates from our refugee community wanted from RefuAid and from Edge Hill University.

Feedback from delegates has been overwhelmingly positive with many delegates taking the time to thank the presenters personally for the seminar. One email received from a delegate since the event included the following, “I’m so pleased to be at the university and thank you for the help you have given me.”

Since the event, applications for support from RefuAid have been prepared by some delegates with the help of Action for Refugees group members. Referrals have also been made to other organisations with a view to providing expert support for individuals to gain employment. Plans for future working between RefuAid and the University are being put in place. Action for Refugees is keen that the knowledge exchanged at this event will provide a basis for a fruitful partnership with RefuAid that will reflects principles of inclusivity, equity, and social justice.

Left to right: Naima and Anna (RefuAid), Malik (Syrian Cultural Centre), Kate (RefuAid), Mike (EHU)

 

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.

Manchester Event: ‘Offering linguistic hospitality’ an Arabic language workshop

Organised by the University of Glasgow and the Islamic University of Gaza (Palestine), a workshop in Manchester, 8th March 2019, 2pm – 4pm at the Friends Meeting House.

This workshop will discuss the importance of giving a space to the languages of people seeking asylum and/or people who have refugee status. Showing respect and appreciation for home languages people bring with them can facilitate integration and promote wellbeing.  During the workshop the organisers will also offer a free Arabic language taster (for beginners) as an example of a refugee language that can be learnt to offer ‘linguistic hospitality’ and to move ‘towards’ someone in their home language. We will also give information on the Online Arabic from Palestine language course that was developed collaboratively by a team based at the University of Glasgow (within the UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts) and at the Arabic Center of the Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine.

Tea and coffee will be available. The workshop is free of charge, but places will be limited, so booking is essential. More information is available here: Workshop_Flier-Manchester

To reserve a place, please write by the 6th of March to: Nihaya.Jaber@glasgow.ac.uk.

 

Upcoming RefuAid AfR Seminar 20th March 2019

Action for Refugees are delighted to welcome Anna Jones, RefuAid co-founder, to campus to speak about the innovative work of this award-winning NGO.

RefuAid was founded in 2015 in an effort to provide a practical response to forced migration for refugees and asylum-seekers living in the UK. Their primary focus is to provide solutions to the main barriers facing refugees trying to restart their life in the UK: finance, re-qualification and language tuition.

Continue reading

Imagining community through sport at Edge Hill University

Dr Jack Sugden

In 1983 Benedict Anderson wrote ‘Imagined Communities’, a book that pointed out, among other things, that the communities, towns, cities and especially nations in which we live are not actually real. Although they might feel real to us, part of our lives, our identities, have you ever actually seen an England? Touched a Manchester? The point I make here, in an admittedly abstract way, is that we dwell in a world in which we are divided by many categories and identity hooks that are essentially made up.

The United Kingdom only exists because we all agree it does, just as we agree to follow, uphold and even celebrate its laws and culture. If we were to wake tomorrow having forgotten the UK, it might be a nightmare in terms of law and order, but we may also feel free, albeit isolated and alone. As though these categories and labels dive us they also unite us, giving us commonalities that we share, and which make us feel safe, like we belong. It is this exact feeling of collective national consciousness that captivates the nation during a royal wedding, at times of national crisis, or during the football world cup, the last two being much the same.

Football for Peace in Jerusalem, Jewish and Arab kids pre-game

 In terms of sport, from growing up in Belfast during the “troubles” I was witness to bitter and divisive nature of sport, but also, fleetingly, its capacity to cross the sectarian divide through a football team made up of both Protestants and Catholics called ‘Belfast United F.C.’ Continue reading

Put away your British accents: Farsi Taster session @FoE

Twenty students and staff from the Faculty of Education volunteered for a Farsi taster session this week. Our teachers were two refugee volunteers from Iran, supported by West Lancs CVS. As new learners we were told to ‘Put away your British accents’. Working in small groups, the trainees and staff enjoyed the opportunity to hear about living in Iran first hand, from cuisine to education options.

In the session students discovered borrowed words from French, different ways of speaking about gender, discovered ‘Finglish’ (Farsi in roman script) and even tried their hand at writing their names in Persian.

Learning some language basics including greetings, introductions and numbers may seem a small thing, but even this kind of simple preparation can make a world of difference in welcoming new students to the classroom, as well as fulfilling one requirement of the Teaching Standards  (to meet the needs of EAL students).

Farsi may be new to many of the group, but it is spoken by over 100 million people in Iran and beyond. According to Home Office statistics, refugees from Iran are currently the largest group applying for asylum in the UK (2016 figures).

Faculty staff are working to ensure that in addition to support for EAL delivery, students leave EHU with an understanding of the needs of refugee students.

Action for Refugees is keen to develop this opportunity for more trainees, and plan to hold a session to put together classroom resources in a range of languages to support EAL next month.

For more information about these sessions contact Action for Refugees.

For more information on some of the myths around refugees in the UK: British Red Cross

To volunteer to support refugees in the area, check out our volunteering page.

From our inbox (March 15th)

There’s a lot of events, calls for papers, new research and other information related to work with refugees that we think needs to be shared as widely as possible.

At Edge Hill, a new Migration Working Group has been set up, led  by Dr Zana Vathi.

Gramnet (the network for community members and scholars working in the field of migration and refugee studies at Glasgow University) is currently promoting their film series. Maybe this kind of film event is something we should look at hosting in EHU?

Natakallam is a new online social venture, aiming to link refugees with communities globally through language teaching. You can make a connection with a refugee in camps in Syria, and hear about the refugee crisis first hand.

Care4Calais’ latest news reports the French government’s provision of food for refugees (and the problems with it).

Action for Refugees is very interested in how refugees access university – we’re keen to find out more about that experience. We’re not the only ones: a new researcher in access to HE is looking for refugee participants to talk about their experiences of accessing university. STAR, the university based student network for refugees are currently advertising for an Access to University coordinator.

For those looking for support now, the Refugee Support Network can offer advice to young people (18-25) looking to apply to university, by phone and email. Closer to home, find out about applying for EHU’s Sanctuary Scholarship scheme here.