Although not usually trained therapists, in many contexts around the world ‘teachers are on the front line of coping with the outcomes of displacement’, one of which is trauma, and, consequently, ‘language learning classes are increasingly seen by many agencies as a potential space in which to deliver psychosocial support’ (Capstick, 2018: 60). However, research and training into appropriate trauma-informed pedagogies is sparse and largely dissipated across various disciplines, namely ELT, refugee studies, trauma psychology and positive psychology. This makes it difficult for teachers to gain the required knowledge and skills to work with refugees as effectively as they could. This article attempts to redress this situation by synthesising insights from the above fields. After examining how we might respond to the challenge of mitigating the effects of trauma in the language classroom to maximise the possibility that effective learning will occur, it will explore how we might use our lessons as an instrument through which students can begin to move on from trauma and thrive in their lives, a phenomenon which has been referred to as post-traumatic growth. It is hoped that the result will be a move towards the creation of a more comprehensive trauma informed pedagogy for refugees.

ISSN: 0268-5833, 2396-8338