Lifelong Learning Programme

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Teachers Experiences

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Personal learning path
Nicoletta Grossi
Two years
Scuola superiore – Istituto professionale Statale
Integration of immigrants students
The experience concerns a student girl from Sri Lanka who enrolls at our school in 2012 /13. Some years before, this girl had attended one year of the junior high schools in Italy, but then came back to her country, thus interrupted studying Italian language. During her time in junior high school in Italy, as we have been told, she hadn’t established friendly relations, maintaining an attitude very reserved and shy . The enrollment at our school is accepted because of her age. Unfortunately, the girl has serious difficulties understanding, speaking and writing italian language. She can not understand lessons, fails to perform even the most basic tasks . Learning is made more difficult by the negative attitude of the girl student who does not want to study (she wants to become hairdresser), does not want to stay in Italy and she is homesick. Her attitude influences also her inclusion in the group class. The school understands that the traditional school learning path is not useful: this girl has special educational needs. The first requirement is to bridge gaps of language, first to facilitate the social relations of the girl. Lacking resources to enable Italian classes at school, the headmaster and the teachers decide to test a new educational path. To this end, the school concludes, with an onlus association, an agreement under which the student will be able to follow an alternate learning path aimed at bridging the gap language. The student will stay in school only a few days of the week and the other days she will attende a free course of Italian language organized by an onlus association. The student and her parents accept the idea. After some days the student seems more relaxed and in a short time we appreciate small improvements language. Teachers understand the usefulness of the intervention described above, and organize specific contents and specific teaching strategies, concentrating the work only on certain matters. The school also adopts a biennial assessment to permit the pupil to be able to go to the next class. Unfortunately at the beginning of this new school year,the student, despite having enrolled, does not come back to school. The school contacts her family who explains that the girl does not want to come back to school and wants to become hairdresser. The parents claim the girl has no friends and spends most of time at home alone. The school, in agreement with the family and with the social services, activates the same agreement with the same association onlus and adopts a special education plan (BES : Special Education Needs). The learning path includes the alternate frequency and personalized methods and contents. The goals that the school aims at are differents: to attend the school to encourage and facilitate peer relationships, to improve the knowledge of the Italian language, to complete the compulsory school. Today the girl seems to be relaxed, even if continues to declare her lack of interest in the study and to express the desire to work as a hairdresser. We noticed she improved her Italian and her relationships with peers are much better. The girl shows interest in school activities. At the moment we can assume that the specific learning path has given good results and can accompany the girl to the transition to vocational education and training to move towards the activity of a hairdresser. I think the experience described is very interesting and useful for integration of immigrants students. In particular in my opinion the learning path presented has a point of strength: having allowed the student to remain at school and in contact with her peers. I believe that this goal is essential to the emotional and relational growth of any teenager. In the specific case of a foreign student, I think that relationships with peers is an indispensable tool (may be the most important) for integration into the host country. However the learning path has a weakness point too: the need to ask help to other institutions outside the school. For lack of funds and resources the school is not able to provide Italian language courses within the educational institution itself. On the contrary, to realize a “comprehensive school” it would be very important to offer this service to immigrants students. These courses would probably have faster switching times and would certainly be more comfortable for young students who sometimes have difficulties in reaching the school. Furthermore, the course of Italian language within the school itself would facilitate the frequency of studenst and their sense of belonging to the school. All this would really help to realize a comprehensive school.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.08.20

Posted by Ebru Arı (Turkey)

Message: School shelters different student profiles. Because of this, teacher should be aware of student’s and classroom’s demographical features. Immigrant students have some problems, especially in teaching and speaking language. If student doesn’t know and speak country’s language, he / she is bored in school. Besides, they have difficulty in gaining bond of friendship. Main problem for nearly all of immigrant students is language deficiency. Before the teaching activities, we should solve to this big problem. If our school have sufficient economic condition, school can arrange language programmes with different language courses. If school doesn’t have sufficient economic conditions, language teaching teachers should arrange language learning programmes. In this story, school is very effective for solving to Italian language problem. For us, our starting point must be same like this school. Well grasped language is very important for learning activities and future of student’s life. We shoud never give up understanding to student.If we act likewise this story, our student start to make friendship with her/his pers and socialise.Then, we can use cooperation based learning strategy for integrate to student effectively. This strategy will gain to bond of friendship and solidarity between peers.

Date: 2014.05.30

Posted by Jose María Arias (Spain)

Message: I thought it was an interesting story , with two key points for success with the student . On the one hand it is essential to the attention of school to welcome the new student at school , making programs like the Italian language immersion . Moreover, I find it interesting that the school take into account the priorities of the student own , because you just want it to work as a hairdresser , and for this the teacher 's help .
In Spain in particular, when a new student comes from another country to an educational center, a host plan , which is the set of actions that an educational center launched to facilitate the adaptation of immigrant students who joins the Center is done . In order to systematize these actions, let schools contained in a reference document steps or decisions taken for later use in similar cases.

These guidelines refer to the host student coming from other countries, and that to carry out a process of school adjustment and learning the language . The realization of the activities of each host plan will depend on the context and reality of each center , the characteristics of teachers and students , individually and in groups, and families.

School student and socioeconomic conditions of the family can be very diverse , but in any case necessarily arises an adaptation process that can facilitate action host , and it is therefore necessary to carefully study the particular case.

The ultimate goals of the plan are welcome , priority .

• Take Center related changes in cultural interaction with students from other countries .
• Getting the new student to understand the functioning of the Centre and will meet peers and teachers .

The Integration Plan will be included in the School Educational Project .

I hope this information will be very useful.

Date: 2014.05.30

Posted by Georgia Latta (Greece)

Message: The experience described is similar to many others that are present in our schools in Greece.
Children and adolescents immigrants have to face the dual challenge posed by
processes of development and acculturation. Besides interatomic agents, adaptation
these students depends in addition to the important social contexts with which they interact
daily, such as family and school.
Therefore, the outcome of this process does not relate
only migrants themselves students, and the wider Greek society.

Date: 2014.05.21

Posted by Luciano Luongo E-MAIL ADDRESS: [email protected] (Istituto " Datini " Prato Italy)

Message: The experience described is similar to many others that are present in our schools. School often fails to respond effectively and the risk of early school leaving is quite high. The positive aspect is related to the bond that the school has managed to keep with the girl, not to mention her motivation to attend a vocational course outside the school. The school has taken charge of the psychological and relational problems of the girl, and, through an alternating learning path, has kept her in touch with her school mates, ensuring emotional continuity with the class group. When you are a foreigner and you do not speak the language of the country that hosts you, you may feel unrelated to everything that is happening around you, so many students are at risk of estrangement and lack of motivation in the study. Feeling accepted is the first step towards integration.

 If you had a similar experience, please describe:
• background of student involved
• behaviour of other students
• behaviour of parents
• cooperation received from the other teachers
• your behaviour
• results achieved

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.