Language support to adult refugees: the Council of Europe toolkit
As part of its project on the Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM) the Council of Europe has developed a toolkit to support member states in their efforts to respond to the challenges posed by unprecedented migration flows.
2015 remains in the memory for the surge of several millions of people seeking refuge in Europe because of the situation in their countries of origin. The challenges facing authorities and civil society were enormous: finding ways of offering refugees the possibility to acquire competences in the language of the host country was a challenge by itself.
Given its extensive experience in language learning / teaching and the resources resulting from its LIAM project, the Language Policy Programme decided to make a concrete contribution by providing practical support for member states and partners helping refugees - in particular associations and their volunteers.
This was what lay behind this toolkit, designed for those who offer language support to refugees in circumstances where “real” language courses organised by professionals can’t be envisaged.
Launched in 2017, the toolkit consists of a website available in 7 languages (English and French, Dutch, German, Greek, Italian and Turkish). It comprises 57 different tools in the form of guidelines, activities, checklists, as well as other materials that can be download free of charge and adapted to meet the needs of different contexts.
At the time of its launch, the toolkit was the first initiative of this kind at the European level. An immediate success, it was warmly welcomed by other international organisations.
NB. Throughout the toolkit “refugee” is understood in a broad sense and includes all categories – asylum seekers; those with the legal status of refugee; those living in transit camps; and those who have not yet made a request regarding their status.
The toolkit is a website in 7 languages: www.coe.int/refugees
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