Helping newly arrived people communicate efficiently in an occupational or social setting
About the project
The WeR1 project is a transnational strategic partnership, funded by the European Commission, which aims to produce materials and guidance for professionals involved in educating and integrating newly arrived people.
In the past few years, millions of people have left their home countries in an attempt to find work, better opportunities in life, and to escape war and atrocities committed near and around their homes. People from all social classes ventured across water and land in the search for a new start or refuge. Europe was no exception.
The large influx of newly arrived people has been a challenge for many countries, some established strategies and integration programmes to better assist the integration of newcomers, but there is more to integration than providing people with food, water, and shelter. Financial independence, intercultural competences, and life skills, alongside language skills, are key to successful integration. In most cases, this relies on the individual mastering a functional language, which can be used to interact successfully with people in the host society and a potential workplace.
The produced materials in the WeR1 project focus on assisting educators in motivating newly arrived people to learn the host language by presenting them to themes with direct relevance to their lives and realities.
The WeR1 project places equal focus on the development of intercultural understanding, 21st century skills, adjusting negative social habits, and functional language skills.
The main aim of the project is to help newly arrived people communicate efficiently in an occupational or social setting, understand the host countries' culture, increase their chances of finding a job, and further develop self-efficacy and resilience. For this, the WeR1 project team has developed a set of vocational language teaching programs based on Task Based Learning (TBL), combined with elements from Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) methods.Current research shows that learners are more motivated to learn when they are active participants during class time. This can be achieved by setting tasks which require learners to work together to solve realistic problems and use the target language creatively. The CLIL method includes exploration of language, based on material directly related to a content-based subject. In the WeR1 project, we are transferring the ideas of teaching through CLIL from general and vocational education to the teaching of vocationally oriented language to refugees and migrants. WeR1 also places emphasis on the use of authentic language through TBL, and on asking learners to complete meaningful tasks, resembling real life situations, in the target language. Such tasks can include preparing for a job interview, making new friends/networking, or solving vocationally specific tasks.
Allowing for a quicker progression, the WeR1 approach enhances learner motivation, helps learners see the bigger picture in terms of the relationship between language and culture, and it builds learners' confidence in their abilities.
Mission and Vision
Through the development of tools and materials for language education providers and institutions involved in integration of migrants and refugees, the consortium aims to turn the migration influx into a positive contributor to a sustainable future economy. As an aid to the solution we advocate for a modern and pertinent approach to adult education endeavours that lead to successful integration of newly arrived people in the host society. Some 13-14 million third-country nationals live in the EU, which equates to approximately 4% of the population. Several patterns make the issue more significant than this statistic would suggest. A large part of migrants who have recently arrived in the EU, have done so as asylum seekers or refugees, some remain concentrated in certain regions and cities, of which many remain excluded from the labour market.
Trending in most European countries at the moment, is the idea that participation in the labour market, from very early on, is one of the most significant factors favouring long-term integration into society, as well as a faster way of acquiring the host language. The risk of the creation of parallel societies of minority groups is still high, and integration efforts need to be targeted to assist in the development of the skills needed to make integration successful.
The We Are 1 project consortium primarily provides language instructors with resources that especially help integrate migrants and refugees from non-academic backgrounds. The materials will serve as an addition to existing resources and other integration initiatives and hereby be a positive contributor to the integration process.
WeR1 wants to help newly arrived people to:
- Learn the host language in order to perform daily tasks
- Become financially independent
- Interact and communicate with inhabitants in the host society
- Overcome challenges created by different underlying values and assumptions
- Develop resilience and self-efficacy