This week, first and second year Linguistics and Speech Science students have been teaching groups of Syrian 12-year-olds in a Jordanian refugee camp via a live link-up.
The eleven students volunteered for a short preparation programme with Nick Bilborough as part of his Hands Up project, which supports youngsters living in challenging environments around the world. Nick, a former Marjon lecturer, trained the Linguistics students to use specialist remote-learning techniques to teach English to large groups online, using picture stories as a catalyst for webinar interaction. Last Tuesday the students taught their first session. Despite a delay when the internet went down in the Zaatari camp, the session went very well, with a good connection, clear images and great fun being had on both sides.
This initiative is organised as part of the UMJC01/C90 Engaging with Learning and D90 Engaging with Employability modules, offering our students unique first-hand professional engagement and opportunities for reflection on their learning. The link also brings obvious benefits to the Syrian children, who are able to improve their English and perhaps more importantly feel they are not forgotten by people in the wider world. The children relate particularly well to our students being relatively close in age.
We’re hoping that Marjon will soon adopt Hands Up as one of its official charities. Its website is http://handsupproject.org/. See a Hands Up on-line lesson on: https://britishcouncil.adobeconnect.com/_a917587435/p2380nqfhf9/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal