Welcoming Languages: Including a Refugee Language in Scottish Education is an inspiring, collaborative project based at University of Glasgow School of Education. It is delivered by an international team which also includes the Arabic Centre of the The Islamic University of Gaza الجامعة الإسلامية بغزة in Palestine. I was privileged to attend the launch of the project’s Report at the amazing Mazumdar-Shaw Advanced Research Centre.
Welcoming Languages is intended to help teachers connect with children of asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants by being able to speak with the children in their own language.
The team in Glasgow collects the language needs of Scottish educators and Arabic speaking families. The Arabic Centre team adapts the ‘Online Arabic from Palestine’ (OAfP) language course for beginners to respond to the language needs of teachers, parents and children.
Simple phrases, such as ‘Are you hungry?’ and ‘How can I help?’ can open the doors to meaningful communication and integration. Four schools around the city have seen teachers take these courses to enable them to help children in their care feel welcome, secure, and hopefully able to learn in their new home.
I am so pleased to support Welcoming Languages and I hope that what has been a pilot project might be able to be rolled out to other Local Authorities in coming months.
#WelcomingLanguages #RefugeesWelcome #NewScots #Bilingualism