English language teachers who want to help their students improve their core skills for the workplace can benefit from the new Employability Skills module from experts at Cambridge University Press & Assessment. The short module has been designed to help improve students’ understanding of the skills they will be expected to know in the workplace.
The module comes with realistic workplace situational videos with interactive and reflection activities and a speaking or writing task for students to complete at the end of each unit. There are also teacher notes, student worksheets, video scripts and glossaries for teachers to use in the classroom.
Migrant people often travel to Europe through many countries before reaching their destination. Each country they enter has different cultures and customs, and language plays a major role in facilitating or hindering their journey.
Understanding and being able to communicate in a language allows us to access information and make informed decisions. For thousands of people living in transit and in refugee camps, language barriers are a difficult reality of everyday life. They often rely on information from refugees and friends who have gone through the same experience, especially because local authorities, humanitarian aid workers, and volunteers do not usually speak their languages. Refugees and displaced persons are exposed to more threats to their lives when they do not speak the local language. In some refugee camps, volunteers offer language lessons to bridge the gap left by government institutions that have failed to address the needs and rights of refugees. Generally, they can only get professional linguistic help from interpreters and translators via non-profit organisations and NGOs.
Open Cultural Center supports migrants and refugees in Spain and Greece by offering free language classes, with the aim to support refugees’ integration and improve their chances of accessing training and employment opportunities.
Few will dispute the need for refugees to learn the language of the host country as quickly as possible. But we all know that the government does not always provide the means to have the refugees trained by professionals. What would your reaction be, as a professional language trainer, if there are not enough resources for paid language training?
In the project ‘VOLUNTEERS IN LANGUAGE LEARNING FOR REFUGEES’, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union they come up with an interesting solution to make language training cheaper without undermining the position of the professionals: teachers involve volunteers in their language training for refugees.
They even made a toolkit for language teachers who want to work well with volunteers, in order to support refugees to learn the language of their new country.
There are platforms coming up that use virtual reality in language learning. For example, you have Panolingo, ImmerseMe, Mondly AR… I have to say that I am not really into this kind of things, but it could be that I’m just to old:) I wonder if you guys have any experience with this kind of apps. And if so, do you believe they form a threat for language teachers? Or would it be possible to integrate this kind of tools in you teaching practice? Please, let us know.