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An ecological, multilingual approach to language learning with newly reunited refugee families in Scotland
Although academic literature and Scotland's refugee integration strategy recommend multilingual, decolonising approaches, language classes for refugees in Scotland usually focus only on the target language (English) and are predominantly teacher-led. This paper argues that newly reunited refugee families can be better supported through an ecological, multilingual approach by presenting empirical data from a five-month teaching study using qualitative methods (semi-structured…
The impact of educational achievement on the integration and wellbeing of Afghan refugee youth in the UK
An unprecedented number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) have arrived in Europe over the last decade, and young Afghans account for the highest proportion of UASC across England, Scotland and Wales. Despite a wealth of UK policies aimed at ensuring positive outcomes for young people who have been through the care-system, and a rich body of research exploring the…
Improving labour market access for refugees in Scotland: Key findings and recommendations
Access to the labour market is a key element of displaced migrants’ ‘integration’ experiences. Labour market access provides displaced migrants with financial stability and sustainability, the development of community networks and positive health outcomes. It also provides benefits to local and national economies. Displaced migrants bring new skills-sets, perspectives and experiences to the labour market, and the medium to long-term…
Displaced Migration and Labour Market Governance in Scotland: Challenges and Opportunities
Labour market conditions in the UK create significant barriers for refugees seeking employment. These include: ethnic and racialised penalties, barriers related to immigration controls, barriers related to employers’ perceptions of these controls and the effects of the ‘hostile environment’. As a result, refugees are more likely to be unemployed or under-employed than a British citizen. GLIMER Stakeholders reported the same…
Education transitions for refugee and asylum-seeking young people in the UK: Exploring the journey to further and higher education
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) enshrines the right to education for all children. This right is not suspended when children are forced to flee their home countries. Amidst the uncertainty and adversity of forced displacement, education is a source of hope, a space of safety and a gateway to opportunities for the future. Yet…
You and me, we're the same. You struggle with Tigrinya and I struggle with English.' An exploration of an ecological, multilingual approach to language learning with New Scots
Increased migration into Europe has placed integration and language learning for refugees at the centre of political and public discourses. Scotland’s Refugee Integration Strategy recognises the importance of linguistic diversity and academic literature also highlights the benefits of multilingual learning. However, most support for language learning for refugees is delivered monolingually, creating a gap between policy, literature, and practice. Research…
Micro-level initiatives to facilitate the integration of resettled refugees
Integration, a two-way process involving refugees and the host population, is a politically contentious issue. Successful integration of newcomers in a receiving community is required to create a cohesive society. Yet, there is still little understanding of how integration strategies are employed at a community level. This paper explores how micro-level activities such as education in local schools, lifelong learning…
Improving ESOL provision for displaced adult migrants in Scotland: Key recommendations and findings
ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision for asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland is devolved to the Scottish Government’s (SG) education brief and has developed independently of and diverged from UK Government approaches in England. The SG’s ESOL Strategy, now in its second iteration, Welcoming Our Learners (2015-2020), interacts with other policy areas, including Adult Literacies, Community Learning…
Language Education for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Scotland: Provision and Governance
ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision for asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland is distinctive within the UK. The Scottish Government waives ESOL fees for asylum seekers, meaning that ESOL provision is not formally restricted according to immigration status. The ESOL environment in Scotland is currently characterised by complexity. ESOL providers include: colleges, local authorities, ALEOs, the third…
Critical inquiry into the education for refugee and migrant pupils: The construction of primary teachers' practices in one city in Scotland
Schools and teachers play key roles in promoting positive re-settlement outcomes for refugees and migrants. As such, this requires schools and teachers to identify and respond to their diverse linguistic, cultural and emotional needs (Pastoor, 2015; Block et al., 2015; Hek, 2005). As a result, teacher roles can stem beyond their traditional expectations when presented with refugee and migrant pupils…
Education for refugee and asylum seeking children: Access and quality in England, Scotland and Wales
In 2017, UNICEF UK commissioned research to understand how far refugee and asylum-seeking children are currently accessing their right to education in the UK. For children on the move who come to the UK, education is one of the first and most critical services they need access to. This report, produced by Refugee Support Network, provides an up-to-date overview of…
More than a game? Exploring sport's role in refugee and asylum-seeker settlement in Glasgow, Scotland
Up until recently, refugees and asylum-seekers, and even more so, the relationship between sport and settlement, has generally been written out of discussions surrounding sport for development (SFD). This study seeks to fill some of this lacuna through a critical analysis of a grassroots, community football club for male refugees and asylum-seekers - United Glasgow FC (UGFC). Drawing on fieldwork…
International Perspectives on the Pedagogies of Educational Transitions
There has been a great deal written recently about children starting school, particularly primary school. All of the stakeholders in these transitions to school have been considered, along with matters of readiness – for the child, family, educators, schools and communities; adjustment and adaptation; continuity and change in curricula and learning; and the opportunities, aspirations, expectations and entitlements encompassed in…
Towards a well-being focussed language pedagogy: enabling arts-based, multilingual learning spaces for young people with refugee backgrounds
Abstract: The following article explores the conceptual background and pedagogical realities of establishing a well-being focussed language pedagogy in the context of an informal educational event called ‘Language Fest’. The event was organised as part of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded large grant project ‘Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law and the State’ –…