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From refugee to student - language learning via group app

Young refugees who come to the Netherlands understand that the route to a new future is through education. Learning Dutch is often central, but attention is also paid to English. At the Alfa-college in Groningen, this group can prepare themselves during a transition year for a follow-up study at the MBO, HBO or university. Their teachers are constantly looking for new insights and methods to guide this specific group in the best possible way. Under the supervision of Marije Michel, student Evgenia Korvesi conducted research into the language acquisition of young refugees in this setting.

The group of refugees who want to enter Dutch vocational education (MBO) also need English. Their teachers indicated that speaking English in particular is a stumbling block for many of them. How could speaking skills be improved in a structural and accessible way? For her Master's thesis in Applied Linguistics, the Greek Evgenia Korvesi offered a helping hand with tailor-made teaching materials and an inventive method. Step by step, the pupils were engaged in retelling a story in English. They were offered vocabulary and grammatical structures and chatted with each other via WhatsApp in various exercises. The step-by-step structure led to a speaking assignment at the end. Evgenia carefully examined the effects of this approach by collecting and analysing the results and also by talking to the teachers and students about how they had experienced it. It turned out to be a successful approach, the students liked it and progressed. Chatting in this way ultimately proved to help them speak English more fluently, intelligibly and with fewer mistakes. Evgenia's research was so good, that she is going to write a scientific article about it together with her thesis supervisor Marije Michel!

Last modified:29 January 2022 11.45 a.m.
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