Language training for refugees: Unite calls for engagement with ELTs

May 2nd: Unite, which represents English Language Teachers throughout Ireland, has called on the Government to engage with ELTs in order to develop a robust model of language teaching provision for refugees and asylum seekers.

Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne said:

“While the focus is currently on the Ukrainian refugees fleeing war in their homeland and arriving under EU Special Protection Status, there has long been a need to develop a strategy for teaching English to refugees and asylum seekers which recognises not only their language education needs but also the trauma they have been dealing with.

“The Government’s commitment to deliver English language training through Education and Training Boards is welcome, and Unite is calling on the Government to build on that commitment by engaging with us in order to ensure the recruitment of sufficient numbers of trained and experienced ELTs as well as appropriate course development. 

Anne Dunne is chairperson of Unite’s English Language Teachers branch and added:

“Developing a robust model of language teaching provision for refugees and asylum seekers requires not only the input of experienced ELTs but also of human rights advocates and professionals familiar with the impact of trauma.

“Ireland now has an opportunity to develop a best practice model of English Language Teaching provision for refugees and asylum seekers, and English Language Teachers in Unite are eager to assist in this”, Ms Dunne concluded.

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