Integrating Newly arrived Immigrants in Schools- a Mooc course run by @Schooleducationgateway
28th November-18th December  2016
My Learning  Diary by  Tiziana  Angiolini

Image credit :  " Smile" ( CC BY-NC-2.0) by   Ceekay'sPix
"Smile!" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by CeeKay's Pix


This is my third Mooc dealing with the topic of  immigrations and how we should approach the issue in class with our learners. The children and the families who reach the new countries can face a lot of difficulties and educators are required to support them and teach their students about the reasons why some  people have left their countries. In Europe we are now meeting a lot of immigrants whose future is now with us. Educators are required to be prepared and to work  with institutions to help and support the newly arrived people and their children. The main problems are learning and speaking a foreign language they may not know and help them integrate in the new community.

I have already presented my two learning diaries for the other two  Moocs:

Module 1

Main objectives of the module:

  1. Understand the general organizational models of integrating newly arrived migrant students in schools
  2. Understand how school structures and management are important factors for the successful integration of newly arrived migrant students
  3. Develop some ideas on how to create a welcoming and safe environment at school for newly arrived migrant students
  4. Identify who inside and outside your school you can work with to support the integration of newly arrived migrant students

1.1.  Challanges and opportunities

Videos we have seen and which can explain what steps need to be followed  in order to help immigrants and young people who have arrived so that they can start a new life and become integrated:

Successfully integrating newly arrived migrant children in our society is one of the key challenges for Europe at the moment. Schools have a key role to play here, but often they lack the experience and external support. Welcoming newly arrived migrant children at the school is a huge task for the school management, teachers, but also all staff members.

“Schools create that important space, where teenagers, as soon as they arrive, can have a life perspective again”.

Niels Espenhorst, Deutsche Schulakademie video

1.2  Meeting the needs of newly arrived migrant students at school

What have they left behind ?  What do we learn about  them? Some have left a country where they had studied and learnt also  foreign languages but they were forced to leave and look for a better land, others can hardly use a pencil to write.  For most of them it is the language that is necessary to be learnt to be able to work in class and be accepted in the new  community.

1.3. Models of  school integration

We have different  situations in Europe :in some schools, the children are taught in seperate classes for a certain period of time or certain subjects, in others they are quickly integrated in classes together with the other students.

In the video we have  seen three models of school integration :

  1. submersion
  2. integration
  3. parallel

In Italy students attend the same lessons and follow also  classes of Italian. It is important to have them integrated within the community.

1.4 Organising support within and outside of school

Tip : working on Projects can help these  children and students to become active learners within a community of  students.

The Italian Government provides  general lines for running the issue of  newly arrived refugees. It is the right of the students and children to be accepted at  school and be guided. Those ones who do not speak Italian will  be  taught the language and they will skip the most difficult lessons.  There is a  network of schools and organizations that work on the needs of the immigrants and newly arrived refugees.

What's happening around us

1.5 Example of a community-based project

                                        The   German Project  explained

Ideas  shared by the teachers in the  Mooc and in relationship to what we have seen

What I would like to do to get them engaged and work in a project

1.6  Activity- Preparing a development  Plan

This activity will be done  with  WEEK 2

You will have some concrete ideas and a development plan to implement that will help you integrate successfully any newly arrived migrant students at your school. You should also hopefully have a network of individuals and organisations that you can draw upon for support.

Module 2

Learning objectives of the Module:

Identifying preparatory steps for yourself and your class to welcome newly arrived migrant students

  1. Being aware of some of the specific needs of newly arrived migrant students and how they can impact your classroom work
  2. Understanding when to look for external support
  3. Developing some specific classroom activities that can support newly arrived migrant students
  4. Identifying strategies and activities to facilitate the language learning of newly arrived migrant students
  5. Understanding the importance of building trust between newly arrived migrant students and your other students and how to foster a community spirit in your class
  6. Develop a development plan with concrete steps to prepare or improve the work in your classroom and at whole school level with newly arrived migrant students
  7. Review the development plans of 2 of your peers

2.1 Preparing yourself and your class for arrival of newly arrived migrant students

Teachers play an important role in welcoming and working with newly arrived students. They need to rely on a network of infrastructures but also on  approaches which can help the students who belong to  different cultures.

I think it is important to built a good  network of teachers who can  work together and help the new students  become familiar with new ways of living and also  learning how to communicate in a new language. Everybody in the community should be invited to support and help these students as most of them are likely to become part of our community.

2.2 Live Webinar: 6th December

The speaker Erika Hummer   has already presented other issues in the Mooc but I was not able to watch it live. Information about  her  activities can be found online:

2.3 Supporting specific needs of newly arrived migrant students

2.4 Classroom activities to support newly arrived migrant students

This part of the module offered interesting ideas about the best practices when dealing with students who have just arrived and need integration.


2.5 Live Twitter Chat: 8th December

2.6 Supporting newly arrived migrant students with language learning

The language barrier is the main difficulty for the students who are living in a new land , hopefully some have studied English and teachers can interact with them  and support them when learning a new language. Modern approaches can enhance learning and help them enjoy what they are doing.

2.7 How to foster community building in the classroom

Using sports can enhance the trust among the students and the other students who have just  arrived  :

Experiences shared online: learning about what the others have done and what refugees can do to help those who are arriving.

2.8 Activity: Finalising your development plan

Before writing my final  plan I tried to check the materials online which had been suggested. I also looked for materials and sources related to my area.  I live in a place where we have a lot of immigrants,hopefully we have always had a network supporting schools.  Money is a problem but my region has often met the needs of the newly arrived students. We can rely on a good network of schools where Italian is taught and where educators work with the students.  In my school we do not have many students who have just arrived but  if I had to design an activity for them  I think I would work on the first months and support their integration within the community and school.

Main Resources

                            SPECIAL CONFERENCES IN MY REGION

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