Language, Teaching, and Pedagogy for Refugee Education: Volume 15

Cover of Language, Teaching, and Pedagogy for Refugee Education
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Table of contents

(16 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-viii
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Part I Seeking Higher Education

Abstract

Research conducted on refugees and their learning abilities has generally been myopic in nature, highlighting only the challenges and barriers faced, and less focus has been given to the enormous work and achievements accomplished both by non-profit bodies, educational institutions, and refugees themselves. Research has been conducted in the past where learning has been studied from a psychological perspective, as opposed to drawing on the learner theory. Refugees and asylum seekers have been lumped together as a homogenous group, and studies of single language groups have made conclusions that may not apply to others. This chapter, which serves as the introductory chapter to the book, speaks about the inflow of refugees and the growing need of education for an entire generation displaced from their home countries. The chapter highlights educational access, policies, and the importance of language learning. The last section of this chapter is dedicated to present an overview of the chapters in this book which speaks about some exemplary work done by individuals and institutions from Africa to Germany.

Abstract

This chapter is dedicated to presenting and analyzing the accounts of young men in the UK from an asylum-seeking background about how they experience a university. The chapter has been written with the goal of contributing to existing literature about how to promote an understanding about the active engagement of refugee students in higher education in the UK. It focuses on understanding the meaning that these young men assign to their studies in the UK, their overall experience of attending university, and the personal meaning that they assign to their lives in the UK. It explores the different personal and structural factors that they believe enable them to reach their goals – as well as the factors that they believe constrain them from doing so.

Abstract

There has been limited research to date that takes account of marginalized migrants’ educational aspirations in the Global South using a human development lens. There is thus a need to consider where aspirations and education fit into processes of development among and for youth, particularly in the South-to-South migration context. This chapter conceptualizes the formation of educational aspirations among marginalized migrant youth. The emphasis is on higher education, with a focus on educational aspirations, because of the importance of higher education for both intrinsic and instrumental development of individuals in equipping them for multiple futures. Using the human development and capability lens for analysis, we argue that to understand educational aspirations we need to take account of material resources as well as the interaction between individual agency and structural conditions. The chapter argues that the formation of higher educational aspirations is complex, as is the environment that shapes them. Such a complexity requires an in-depth and comprehensive analysis to take account of the lived realities of marginalized groups.

Abstract

With the purpose to contribute to the English language teaching-learning process of refugees, as part of a university linking project carried out at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, Esmeraldas Campus, to foster refugees’ sustainability and social integration, an educative investigation was carried out with the help of the Applied Linguistics School at the mentioned university, in collaboration with the United Nations Refugee Agency, from 2016 to 2017. The population was formed by 20 student refugees and 4 students from the Applied Linguistics School who worked as teachers. The refugees who attended the course needed English language literacy because they were going to be resettled in other countries, which were English-speaking ones. With the empirical-analytical and hermeneutic methods, and the techniques of observation and survey, a diagnosis of the teaching-learning process was made, which revealed the necessity to teach English to the referred refugees based on their communicative needs, according to their jobs. As a result, an occupation-based didactic model for English language teaching to refugees, with its components, principles, and laws, was designed, which permitted the proposal of a didactic methodology for fostering meaningful learning, motivation, and communicative competence in English in connection with refugees’ occupations.

Abstract

Canada’s immigration goals are multifaceted and ambitious, reflecting both a desire to attract those who can contribute economically and culturally and offer protection to the displaced and the persecuted. Alongside these goals is a pledge that newcomers will receive the services and supports they need to fully integrate into Canada’s cultural and economic landscape. This chapter argues that post-secondary institutions, working in partnership with community organizations and primary/secondary schools, are well positioned to facilitate economic and cultural integration, particularly for otherwise vulnerable refugee groups. However, the authors’ previous research illustrates the many barriers refugee youth face in accessing Canadian post-secondary education. The authors hypothesize that efforts to increase post-secondary access – and, thereby, facilitate the accomplishment of immigration goals – will be most effective when specific age groups within the refugee demographic are targeted; in particular, younger children who have spent more time in the Canadian education system. This approach requires a shift in settlement practice from that of meeting only initial, urgent settlement needs, to one that enables the development of economic and cultural capacity. The authors envision a program that, on the one hand, helps refugees to value and gain the broad benefits of post-secondary education, while, on the other hand, directs post-secondary institutions to offer programs and pathways that are more inclusive to the unique challenges faced by this vulnerable demographic.

Abstract

This chapter contends that to meet the needs of refugees, we must go beyond addressing only safety and security by including education as well, specifically, literacy development. The authors suggest that in order to support refugee education, generally, we need to identify best practices for supporting reading programs in refugee settings. The authors discuss basic design and assessment of literacy education programming in refugee settings that parallels the designs for traditional school-wide literacy programs, which we have in place in more stable regions of the world. The authors attempt to converge the fields of literacy education with refugee studies to make recommendations for supporting refugees’ literacy education with the goal of preserving their native language and literacy while preparing them for the future.

Abstract

In September 2015, Germany witnessed an unanticipated migration of refugees toward the European Union. The government established an open-border policy that meant Germany would harbor all refugee arrivals. In large, the civil society joined efforts to create a so-called Willkommenskultur (welcome culture) during the “summer of welcome.”

This chapter will introduce the project “Start ins Deutsche” (German language kick-off) of Goethe University Frankfurt as an ambitious example of civil society initiatives. Start ins Deutsche was founded on the premise of “integration by language learning.” Within Start ins Deutsche, university students volunteer to teach German to refugees. In many cases these refugees have a realistic perspective to enroll into fulltime studies at Goethe University at a later stage to pursue academic degrees.

In this chapter, the authors outline the project and its main aims. Based on this, the authors thereafter analyze evaluation data about Start ins Deutsche with regard to the perceptions of German language teachers and their language learners, respectively. The evaluation data of Start ins Deutsche reveal that the German language teachers interpret their role beyond being just teachers, while the learners appreciate the effort of their teachers in every aspect. Hence, the authors believe the project serves as a best-practice example for a civil society project toward establishing a Willkommenskultur in Germany.

Part II Technology and Higher Education

Abstract

Estimates suggest there are currently over 15 million Arabic-speaking refugees and internally displaced persons. The average duration of displacement has increased from 9 years in 1993 to 17 years in 2003 (Loescher & Milner 2006) and is still increasing. It is difficult to determine the precise number of people with a disability within the refugee community. Estimates vary but at least 10% of that population have some form of disability, while others suggest that this figure is around 22%, using a broader definition of needs and including those with undiagnosed disabilities as well as psychosocial trauma (Karasapan, 2016). Based on three years of intensive development including discussions with a range of humanitarian and educational organizations, government agencies, and philanthropic entities, the authors have identified the paucity of digital educational content as a significant and pressing challenge for all Arabic learners, with a major impact upon those with additional needs or disabilities. This chapter addresses the key issues to be considered in planning for and accommodating those needs within an inclusive context.

Abstract

Most research on language acquisition using technology generally investigates collegiate language learners. However, it is unclear as to how well these findings apply to refugee learners, who sometimes have experienced interrupted schooling and had little exposure to technologies found in the resettlement context. Little research concentrates on the use of technology to aid language acquisition among this population. By better understanding the digital literacies refugees already possess, the author are better able to bridge this digital divide (Thorne & Reinhardt, 2008; Warschauer, 2002) and move toward researching how to capitalize on the technological skills refugees already possess in order to facilitate language learning. Therefore, this chapter reviews available literature on how refugees worldwide use multiple forms of technology, their levels of access to such technology, and considerations for pre- and post-resettlement technological options. It identifies best practices for employing technology to facilitate language acquisition in light of the multifaceted constraints refugees face. It concludes by outlining the suitability of different technologies as a means of facilitating language development within a myriad of contexts and gives recommendations for future research on using technology to facilitate language learning at all proficiency levels.

Abstract

European policy on migration does not safeguard the rights of refugees as they travel into and across European State borders (Rygiel, Ataç, Köster-Eiserfunke, & Schwiertz, 2015). Furthermore, refugees currently in transit through Europe have little or no access to media platforms. Mainstream media frames the current migration flow into Europe with narratives of charity, sympathy, and criminality (Rettberg & Gajjala, 2016). Myths about refugees being smuggled into Europe and committing acts of violence are exaggerated by mainstream media and contribute toward shaping societies’ perceptions. Little research is available in relation to how digital and social media tools can play a role in facilitating educational training for refugees in informal refugee camp settings in Europe.

The premise of this research is to explore how, if given access to a digital and social space, camp residents can develop their own digital community-led radio station. In this way, camp residents can have editorial control to create their own narratives, thus directly challenging mainstream media. Participants faced many barriers when attempting to develop digital and communication skills. The learning itself became a form of activism for participants and facilitators. The French government uses a politics of control to disrupt and prevent social development in the camp and prevent the community from becoming a resource (Rygiel, 2011).

Abstract

Higher education can offer hope and a way forward for vulnerable populations. In particular, access to internationally recognized degrees and credentials has the potential to be a key protection priority for refugee populations, opening alternative solutions to displacement through economic empowerment and increased mobility.

While innovations in online learning have opened new pathways, the delivery of higher education to refugee learners in resource-deprived settings – including camps and urban environments – remains notoriously challenging. Therefore, there is an imperative to draw upon lessons learned from existing programs in order to identify promising practices and emerging innovations.

In this chapter, we draw on our experiences of developing a higher education model for refugee and vulnerable learners to argue that successful delivery of accredited degrees to populations affected by forced displacement relies upon the following three key elements:

  • 1)

    Flexible mode of degree delivery and assessment.

  • 2)

    Robust blended learning model with in-person academic support.

  • 3)

    Provision of adaptive and context-specific interventions and resources.

Flexible mode of degree delivery and assessment.

Robust blended learning model with in-person academic support.

Provision of adaptive and context-specific interventions and resources.

The case study for this chapter is an initiative called the Global Education Movement at Southern New Hampshire University, which delivers accredited degrees to refugee and refugee-hosting populations in five countries. Evidence from the program in Rwanda, operated in partnership with a local partner, Kepler, suggests it is possible for a full degree program to be successful in reaching vulnerable learners, including refugees.

Abstract

Today, there are 16.1 million refugees worldwide under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ mandate. Among the refugee population, half of them are children and six million are of primary and secondary school-going age. The number of displaced people around the world has reached unprecedented levels in the recent years since the Syrian crisis escalated. Refugees, because of language and other barriers, face a particularly difficult challenge in attaining even a basic education. Keeping the barriers and challenges in mind, education is now seeking the help of technology to create new and sometimes unexpected opportunities for pathways to education for refugees. This chapter will highlight the contribution of University of the People (https://www.uopeople.edu), a tuition-free, non-profit, American accredited, online university that has been working with refugees to enable access to higher education for those living in refugee camps and other displaced people around the world.

Name Index

Pages 201-207
Content available

Subject Index

Pages 209-219
Content available
Cover of Language, Teaching, and Pedagogy for Refugee Education
DOI
10.1108/S2055-3641201815
Publication date
2019-01-02
Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78714-800-0
eISBN
978-1-78714-799-7
Book series ISSN
2055-3641