Programming should start with a needs assessment, which should include analysis of potential barriers to participation. This should be done in cultural, linguistic, and gender-sensitive ways. A comprehensive analysis of people’s needs, vulnerabilities and capacities in each context is essential for effective humanitarian and educational response.
Teacher/Facilitatorexpertise seems to be the most important resource for effective literacy and language programme implementation. Offering relevant education and training to those staff/volunteers (educational, social, health, culture, etc.) that are new to working with migrants is as important as opportunities of continuous professional development and exchange.
Flexibility in the use of delivery modes, combining a mix of different and alternative modalities (e.g. personalised/individualised approaches, home-based tutoring, face-to-face classes, online learning, distant learning, self-study, group action, etc.) and blended learning approaches. This includes also flexible schedules (classes at different times of a day), intensities (accelerated learning, summer schools, low frequency classes) and curricula able to adapt to diverse learning paces and abilities. Integrated programme models have the best chances to meet various and specific needs of the target groups.
Image: Kelly Sikkema @Unsplash
Programmes of different levels and content focus (e.g. more structured programmes leading to primary and secondary school leaving certificates or vocational training for youth and adults, and open, ongoing and more flexible courses for learners with specific needs, in women-only or linguistic community-only groups). This includes also learner-centred, open curricula based on personal interests, needs and resources that learners bring into the class sessions (i.e. no textbook). The content focus in this case is negotiated with learners and prioritises immediate and everyday needs, while more standardised programme packs may be required in those cases where the aim is to issue recognised certificates.
Participatory approaches that promote autonomous and independent learning, empowerment, and transformation are part of promising pedagogies in the context of youth and adult refugee and migrant education. This includes strategies such as ‘open questions’, talking about cultural learning experiences, and raise awareness and provide guidance in learning and opportunities.
Image: Kelly Sikkema @Unsplash
Learner support (e.g. social welfare, social and vocational counselling, special tutoring in addition to the course, childcare services), and psycho-social support and counselling are approaches that take into consideration that many refugee and migrant learners are affected by trauma and stress. All educational providers should be appropriately trained and equipped to support refugees and migrants to enable them to have meaningful engagement.
Literacy and language provision should be shaped by intercultural awareness, cultural, linguistic and gender-sensitive approaches, as well as respect and use of the resources refugee and migrant learners bring into the classes. Provision should build on prior experiences, knowledge and (oral) traditions. The use of first language of learners is encouraged (orally and in writing).