Teaching Language Through the Eyes of Refugees

By: Maria Paraskeva   Evi Kompiadou   Daoud Al Soueis   Virginia Arvanitidou   Roula Tsokalidou  

This paper presents the pilot research and the first conclusions of an innovative language teaching project in non-formal education for adult refugees. It is an action research project attempting to investigate both the factors that hinder as well as those which promote language learning, for the equal socio-linguistic integration of refugees. The project started with field visits in order to investigate the refugee profiles and a study of the needs and expectations of the populations in question. Starting from the proposition that languages are not identified as distinct and entangled entities (Bloomaert & Rampton, 2011), but rather as a continuous and changing network of multilingual choices consistent with the changing multilingual identities and the communication needs of refugees, we apply the educational process of translanguaging (García & Kleyn, 2016, Tsokalidou/Τσοκαλίδου, 2017). Translanguaging, as a creative language synthesis, goes beyond the boundaries of language structures, embraces questions about the composition of values in contemporary multicultural societies, and contributes to a better understanding of the production of bi/multilingual discourse (Tsokalidou, 2017). The educational material focuses on multimodal identity texts (Cummins & Early, 2011, Κούρτη-Καζούλλη & Τζανετοπούλου, 2009, Skourtou et al., 2006), as a flexible and multimodal research tool. The texts emerged gradually through an induction process, in order to respond not only to the needs and expectations of the population, but also to the aims of the research team and the research theoretical framework.

Translanguaging, Refugee education, Identity texts
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Maria Paraskeva

Phd candidate, educator

Evi Kompiadou

PhD candidate, educator

Daoud Al Soueis

PhD Candidate, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Virginia Arvanitidou

PhD holder, educator

Roula Tsokalidou

Professor, School of Early Childhood Education, Aristotle Univeristy of Thessaloniki, Greece

Roula Tsokalidou is a professor of Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching at the School of Early Childhood Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.She holds a PhD in Linguistics from Monash University, Australia. Since 2016 she is the director of the Postgraduate Programme 'Language Education for Refugees and Migrants' at the Hellenic Open University of Greece. Since 2009 she coordinates the Group 'Polydromo' for bilingualism and multiculturalism in education and society ( Her research interests and publications lie in the areas of language contact, code-switching, language and gender, bilingualism in education, translanguaging and refugee language education.