Teaching English to Refugees in Greece: The Case of Lexena School – Challenges and Possibilities

Abstract

In the last year Greece has experience an influx of refugees, this has been associated with forces having a highly destructive character, resulting in a continuing transformation of existing notions concerning the proper forms of teaching and boundaries of such fundamental phenomena as culture and education. Integration processes have also involved dramatic changes in national education systems, which are currently facing a number of considerable challenges. The aim of this presentation is to examine the current practices of language teaching in refugee schools, report on the challenges teacher and students face as well as suggest possible ways of facing them. It reports on a research project in a secondary refuge school in Greece. The strategy of research applied in this study is grounded theory and the qualitative methods of research are: structured interviews (10 interviews done and transcribed during one month), scaled questionnaires were distributed (80 done during one month and transcribed) and photography (800 photos done during one month and described) and repeated visits in the school. There were at least 80 students involved at the project during one month. Moreover this presentation draws on content analysis as a systematic, rigorous approach to analyzing documents obtained or generated in the course of research. The presentation will conclude on how barriers and challenges can be met and will suggest practical, uncomplicated advice for teachers on how best to support children who have experienced trauma, how to adapt standard teaching methods, and what they can do to help vulnerable children learn and develop their full potential. For those wishing to pursue less conventional research methodologies in educational settings, this presentation will also highlight potential benefits and struggles.



Author Information
Sofia Tsagdi, National and Technical University of Athens, Greece
Eythmios Tsitsikas, Lexena School, Greece
Maria Tsiakalou, Lexena School, Greece
Konstantinos Theologou, National and Technical University of Athens, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2020
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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