Our musings lately have been loosely based around special days and celebrations. Now, Refugee Week is coming up. This is an important one.
As the website for Refugee Week explains, the idea is to celebrate the positive contribution of refugees, to improve everybody's understanding, and to counteract certain negative media narratives.
Refugee Week is an umbrella festival. Anyone can put on an event. It's also a great opportunity to learn at school about the situations faced by refugees.
Now, this blog aims to support educationalists in the EAL field. Some of you will have first- or secondhand knowledge about the education and integration of refugee students. How many of you read that article by Constant Leung, with Anja Brandenburger, in the EAL Jounal from autumn 2016? It describes a specific situation (the measures taken by North Rhine Westphalia to support the entry of its new refugee students), but the analysis reflects back on some wider EAL issues. For instance, the article describes the way in which in many cases children, through going to school, access German teaching more easily than their parents.
Refugee Week provides a prism that casts light on what we do in lots of different ways. In the next few posts and emails, we'll look at ways to think about the refugee experience with students. Ways that range from the celebratory to the pensive.