March 6 #LINCchat Summary: Preparing for Refugee Rights Day

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The March 6 #LINCchat topic was Preparing for Refugee Rights Day, which is held each year on April 4. Thanks to our moderators, Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow) and Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), and all who participated in our March 6 chat, either live or afterwards: @ram_diane, @seburnt, @thespreadingoak, @gabyG_jolie, @EALStories, @DawnTorvik,, @ShawnaWiKo, and @vislief.

Extra thanks go to our special guests for today’s chat, Brenda Lohrenz (@brenda_lohrenz), Executive Director of  B.C. TEAL and Taslim Damji (@DamjiTaslim), Manager of MOSAIC Works. We are grateful for the resources and expertise that they have shared with us. Be sure to check out the excellent resources on the BC TEAL website: https://www.bcteal.org/about/initiatives/refugee-rights-day/

And finally, thanks to all those who contributed questions to tonight’s #LINCchat by adding them to our Padlet wall. There were many good questions, so we’ve left them up for further personal reflection: https://padlet.com/eslwithjen/yjif9otuauw6

Please find a summary of this chat below. To read it, hover over the Twitter bird under the questions in the image below. The interactive image was made with Canva and ThingLink.

New to #LINCchat?

If you have never participated in #LINCchat before, go to www.lincchat.ca for more information. #LINCchats occur every other Tuesday, with the occasional Friday.  If you have any ideas for topics or have comments about #LINCchat, please send @StanzaSL or @EALstories a tweet or post a message on Tutela. Please join us for our next #LINCchaton Tuesday, March 20th at 6-7 p.m. PDT or 9-10 p.m. EDT. Please let others know about #LINCchat. Feel free to use the #LINCchat hashtag between chats to share thoughts and links with others.


zAB6NaOy_400x400Bonnie Nicholas (@EALstories) is an enthusiastic participant in the bi-monthly #LINCchat as well as a member of the #LINCchat team along with Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow), Augusta Avram (@LINCInstructor), and Nathan Hall (@nathanghall). Bonnie teaches LINC at NorQuest College in Edmonton.

Refugee Rights Day 2018

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We invite you to join BC TEAL’s Outreach and Awareness Campaign as we recognize Canada’s Refugee Rights Day and our role as EAL professionals in creating community through education. Utilize our Refugee Rights Day Lesson Activities and submit comments via the #EALaction hashtag on Twitter or Facebook.

You might also check out the webinar recordings from last year’s Refugee Rights Day.

We are looking forward to celebrating inclusion, community and diversity
in EAL classrooms with you!

 

 

From the newsletter: Refugee Rights Day – EAL Act!on

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Image credit: iStock.com/RadekProcyk

On April 4th, BC TEAL launched a nationwide campaign in celebration of Refugee Rights Day. This campaign connected the relationship between security of person to a sense of belonging and inclusion in our diverse communities – not just for refugees, but for all individuals. It included webinars and an activity package for teachers and was intended to highlight our commonalities and the importance of feeling safe and accepted for who we are.

How do you apply an intercultural lens to Refugee Rights Day? It starts with how people identify themselves and how they identify others. The EAL classroom provides a primary community, and a good place to start strengthening that sense of community is by getting to know each other. We often don’t know much about each other’s cultural background, ways of doing things or personal histories. In a classroom context, teachers making time and space for the group to be curious about and open to each other is key to modelling and growing intercultural sensitivity as well as to prepare learners to find greater acceptance in the community at large. This ability is as important as language if our goal is to promote healthy, inclusive and diverse communities.

These themes seem weighty, but the activities provided in BC TEAL’s Refugee Rights Day Activity Package were intended to foster a feeling of commonality while at the same time acknowledging difference in an enjoyable way. They also aimed to raise awareness of what inclusion, community and diversity mean to our students and to explore how we can “do” these in our daily interactions.

Teacher comments:

Jennifer: “Initially, students wondered so why are we talking about this? Yes, it was Refugee Rights Day, but these are all broader themes. Students said ‘we’re really glad we’re learning this. It helps me think differently. It’s important to learn about’. It was neat – the next day we had a refugee student enter the class and is now a part of our classroom community.”

Augusta: “I like to share my own identity story as someone who came to a new country. It doesn’t matter what the reason is for you being here. You are here now and it’s a difficult time, but there are commonalities… I wanted this activity package to be about all of us.”

Debra: “The whole experience was very positive… It gave a better sense of what diversity is and how we can be included because we do have things in common. It opened the door to other possibilities, to meeting new people and other Canadians. That we can see beyond what’s on the outside.”

Leanna: ‘The student’s especially liked being divided into groups to work on their poster board that reflected what they deemed as “Social Inclusion”. They liked the creativity, the visuals, the variety and freedom of choice, cutting, pasting and overall enjoyment of working together to create a positive message as a group.”

Tanya: “I did have refugees in the class and they were okay with the pictures. I felt comfortable because my parents were refugees also, so I talked about my parents living in a camp for 3 years. I thought it was nice to finish with an optimistic picture – Welcome to Canada!”

To access the package and accompanying image bank, please visit Refugee Rights Day: Take Act!on. Good luck on your intercultural journey and, if you do use the materials, we’d love to hear from you.

For the full article, please see the Summer 2017 issue of the BC TEAL Newsletter.


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQXAAAAJGZiYTFmNDEzLWU4NjctNDAzMC05YTQ2LWUzMjg4ZjA1Y2YyYgTaslim Damji is the developer of BC TEAL’s Refugee Rights Day package. She has an MA from King’s College, London and two decades of international teaching, teacher training, and research experience. Taslim is the manager of Intercultural Trainings through MOSAIC Works.

EAL Act!on – Refugee Rights Day 2017

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BC TEAL invites you to join our campaign! Tuesday April 4, 2017 has been identified as Refugee Rights Day by the Canadian Council for Refugees and Amnesty International Canada. BC TEAL is pleased to offer an EAL Act!on campaign that starts with you and your learners!

We invite all EAL classrooms (large and small, formal and informal, Public Education, Continuing Education, Post-Secondary Institutions, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and International Language Schools) to incorporate our (multi-level) lesson activities on April 4, with the goal of promoting diversity, community, and inclusion for Refugee Rights Day in Canada.

BC TEAL will be hosting opportunities for discussion and reflection that include:

  • An online national webinar at noon hour (12-1 pm, Pacific Daylight Time) with our EAL colleagues nationally joined by Amnesty International Canada and the Canadian Council for Refugees;

Note: Due to a technical problem, a short section at the start of the video was not saved. Also, the video was edited to remove some small sections in the middle.

Slides:

Tackling the global refugee crisis

Refugee Rights Day 2017 – Key Issues and Resources

Refugee Rights Day – Take Act!on

  • An evening webinar (7-8 pm, Pacific Daylight Time) with Taslim Damji, Intercultural Specialist from MOSAIC Works;

Slides:

EveningBCTEAL MOSAIC Webinar PPT (FINAL)

  • Opportunities to connect and reflect on the day through social media.

Please join the Tutela Group BC TEAL Webinars. We are looking forward to celebrating diversity, community, and inclusion in EAL classrooms with you!

Post your April 4th classroom experiences – we encourage you to submit comments, pictures, sensory poems, value statements or comments related to our Refugee Rights Day Lesson Activities. This could be through the use of the #EALaction hashtag on Twitter or Facebook, or simply in the comment section below.

Note that BC TEAL reserves the right to reproduce submissions received through our EAL Act!on Campaign.