OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Teachers Know Best: Guiding teachers of refugees with language- and context-specific content

Translators without Borders will use innovative language and community tools to overcome language barriers to educating refugees in Greece.

Photo of Rebecca Petras

Written by

What problem does your innovation solve?

The Greek government’s goal to educate 20,000 refugee children is problematic; the 2,500 who do attend are woefully underserved. The language barrier is an issue in many ways: Illiteracy -Greek teachers are ill-equipped to teach children who may not read or write; Greek as a second language (GSL) - GSL teachers and content are scarce; language of instruction and communication - teachers have little background or knowledge of mother tongue languages and have limited access to language assistance.

Explain your innovation.

TWB’s Teachers Know Best pilot addresses the language barrier in refugee education by harnessing a global network of language professionals to support teachers in Greece with content and professional assistance, serving them as they guide and encourage the refugee children in their classrooms.
The INEE minimum standards state that learning content, materials and instruction should be provided in the language(s) of the learners. With its deep experience in language, and community collaboration, TWB applies this standard, equipping and supporting teachers in three areas:
Educational content: TWB will work with content providers to ensure that teachers have appropriate Greek and mother tongue educational materials and teachers’ notes, available openly and electronically.
Collective teacher communities: TWB will build support communities for teachers to work together, share content and good practice, discuss gaps in materials, and overcome challenges. The communities will include language professionals to support teachers in language issues and encourage sharing of locally produced, in-language content.
Direct support for teachers: TWB will set up a system to give teachers access to specialized interpreters via phone and video conference, allowing teachers to get individualized support for specific language issues.
The pilot will be tested with local partners in Greece. After refinement, TWB will advocate for its integration within the Education of Refugees Program.

Who benefits?

The pilot is small scale: approximately 10 teachers and 25 children, ages 6 - 15. Greek potential is much higher: 500 teachers and 2,500+ refugee children (according to government numbers); European reach in the thousands. The teachers in the initial pilot will work integrally with language teams locally and internationally, creating in-language content that can be shared through the TWB teacher – language community, and refined for larger roll out. The teachers also will get immediate ongoing support from interpreters. The students will benefit with language assistance in the form of materials and better educated and supported teachers. TWB believes this benefit will increase integration in the classroom and, ultimately, more attendance. Success of the pilot will be measured by amount of contextualized content available, interaction in the teacher – language community, and percent of fulfilled requests for language support.

How is your innovation unique?

TWB does not believe there is a similar program in refugee response that pairs teachers of refugee children with language professionals to address the significant language barrier evidenced in Greece and beyond, despite the fact that evidence repeatedly shows lack of content to support and integrate refugee children in classrooms, and lack of guidance for teachers.
 
TWB is deeply involved with the refugee response in Greece and with mother tongue language, and has found no common tools to overcome language barriers. There are some language tool providers with which TWB may partner, including Tarjiml.y , ETCall, Get Across (all for remote interpreting); Lexica, The Refugee Phrasebook, Refugee Communication Boards (for phrasebooks and glossaries); and, METAdrasi (specifically supports Greek language). Content providers locally may include Refucomm. TWB is experienced in bringing diverse tools together to create an overall language solution.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

We will be asking and attempting to answer a number of key questions; a full measurement and evaluation program will accompany the pilot to ensure refinement based on conclusions. Some key questions:
How will language support to teachers impact children’s attendance and performance in schools?
Is connectivity good enough to allow teachers this sort of support?
Are teachers tech savvy enough to make best use of the tools we develop?
Will teachers stay engaged and motivated throughout the pilot?
What limitations will be imposed by government?

Tell us more about you.

Translators without Borders provides vital knowledge in underserved languages through diverse services for humanitarians and affected people. Since registration in 2011 in the US (registration in Kenya, 2012), TWB has translated 45 million words for NGOs in more than 190 language pairs working with 4,000+ professional translators. The TWB Words of Relief crisis relief service was the first innovation of its kind, developed in 2013, and deployed in many crises, including in Greece since 2015.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Natural disaster
  • Prolonged displacement
  • Other (please specify in next question)

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

The pilot will be implemented in Athens, Patras or Thessaloniki, in one or two schools supporting approximately 10 teachers and 25 refugee students. The school(s) will be near a refugee camp; TWB also will have access to NGOs within the camp to inform students and parents of the pilot program. TWB is building on-the-ground partners to choose the right school and/or camp and upon its in-camp experiences with Save the Children to choose the best location. UNICEF also will assist with selection.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

The Teacher Knows Best program will have the most impact where schools are attempting to integrate refugee children into schools, or where teachers are brought in to refugee settings (such as camps) to provide education to 6 – 15 year old children. Greece is one example of this environment; there are 97 schools within Greece supporting refugee children, and the goal is to expand to those schools. Other locations include Italy, the Balkans and refugee settings in Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

TWB has responded to the refugee crisis in Greece since 2015, with more than 18 international and local partners and funding from Start Network, Save the Children and the DfID-funded Mixed Migration Platform. TWB has provided language support in Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Greek, Urdu, Pashto, Kurmanji, Sorani and more, as needed by refugees and partners. Additional work includes language training for partner staff, refugees, and cultural mediators; interpreter working group; and, interpreter roster.

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

TWB provides language solutions for partners worldwide, focusing on crisis, health, education and human rights. Improved mother tongue education content and instruction is a 3-year goal for TWB. Many current partners span the humanitarian and education sectors, including Save the Children, UNICEF and StoryWeaver. TWB’s potential Greek partner, Hellenic Cultural Centre, has strong ties with teachers. Another possible partner, Team to Teach, has strong expertise in refugee education beyond Greece.

Innovation Maturity

  • Early Stage Innovation: I am exploring my innovation, refining, researching, and gathering inspiration.

Organization Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Organization Location

TWB is registered in the US, Kenya, and Ireland. TWB has a team in Greece, and runs remote teams for Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Website

https://translatorswithoutborders.org/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Translators-Without-Borders
https://www.linkedin.com/company/translators-without-borders
https://twitter.com/TranslatorsWB

How has your Idea changed based on feedback?

In the feedback phase, TWB ran a prototype to simulate the project, with teachers and translators recruited, and devised a feedback survey for teachers and experts. We learned the following:
Collaboration tool and tech platform must fit into current routine of teachers (switched to Facebook and Moodle).
All communications must be in Greek (switched to Greek moderator).
Formatting and design may be issues (will use in-kind graphic design donor).
Universities will be good recruitment sources.

Who will implement this Idea?

TWB will project manage the pilot, the technical platforms, measurement activities, refinement and expansion. TWB will hire a local Greek-speaking moderator/project manager, supported by the head of development (remotely), a measurement staff person (remotely), and an intern (in Greece). A local partner, possibly Hellenic Cultural Centre, will handle teacher recruitment and mobilization with one staff person. An international organization (possibly UNICEF) will build the connection with the Ministry of Education and help implement at other Greek sites. Team to Teach will partner beyond Greece.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

The main end-users are teachers. They face many challenges, from budgetary constraints to low wages to absenteeism among students. Many of these challenges were expressed by the teachers who participated in the one-week prototype TWB ran in July. Teachers Know Best recognizes these challenges and addresses two specific issues: Access to learning resources and materials that benefit refugee students, and improving individual and overall cultural awareness and understanding of their refugee students. The program is designed as a light touch that does not increase the stress among the teachers. Teachers choose to participate on their terms. The hope is that by addressing these direct issues, teachers will be less burdened and, perhaps, other challenges, such as absenteeism, will be improved.

How is your organization considering sustainable growth in order to continue making an impact over time?

In its first seven years, TWB has evolved from a start-up volunteer organization to a growing international non-profit organization with a sustainable financial model. This evolution was made possible by a combination of grant funding to support specific programs, restricted infrastructure funding, unrestricted funding from supporters and, beginning one year ago, a pay-for-service model for major non-profit partners. Meanwhile, TWB has continued to grow its volunteer community, a critical resource without which TWB would not be able to grow, and has many in-kind donation supporters.

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact that you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question/hurdle you need to address to get there?

How do we affect long-term change through language?
That question led TWB to focus on mother-tongue education as one of its main programs within its TWB 2020 Program Strategy. Teachers Know Best is the first project within that strategy to be fully designed. Impact: By 2020, TWB envisions all teachers of refugee children in Greece have access to the project and it has spread to other refugee communities, especially in major refugee locations in Italy, Nigeria and east Africa.

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) outcomes for this project?

Translators without Borders will measure percentage increase in refugee children school attendance (within the pilot), exam results of refugee children; progress in learning will also be measured from teacher feedback and a comprehension study of students. Outputs include number of teachers and translators participating, number of interactions between teachers and translators/interpreters, content created during pilot and number of materials accessed by teachers outside of the project.

What is the timeline for your project Idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

Year one is Launch: pilot in one part of Greece, including set up, partner establishment, tech platforms developed, measurable results for the teachers (and students) in the pilot, connections with MoE, and useful learning aids available to teachers beyond the pilot.
Year two is Refine and Replicate: Involve new partners to expand in Greece and eastern Europe; increased funding.
Year three is Sustain: Funding model for long-term growth in place, expansion to other locations, especially Africa.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • Above $1,000,000 USD

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed Idea live?

  • Under 5 paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country that you intend to implement your Idea in?

  • We are a registered entity, but not in the country in which we plan to implement our Idea.

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this Idea together?

  • Between 6 months and 1 year

What do you need the most support with for your innovation?

  • Business Development / Partnerships Support
  • Other Technical Expertise

13 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Vanessa Sore
Team

Hi,

I think its great you intend on utilising universities as as recruitment source. I am interested to know if you have any other existing partnerships which will help the success of your organisation and market penetration?

Cheers,
Vanessa S

Photo of Rebecca Petras
Team

Hi Vanessa,

I am very sorry for the late reply; I am wondering if you are still around! I just spent a month in Bangladesh working to set up a language and education program for the Rohingya refugees, so I am a bit behind! We do have a lot of partnerships, and we recognize we cannot advance as an organization without them. We also work with a number of major translation networks with access to 400,000 or more translators around the world. In terms of market penetration, the main goal is to work with education partners and international NGOs with strong education platforms who are working with national or local groups. Save the Children and UNICEF are two that are very important partners.
Thanks! Rebecca

Photo of Dave Hughes
Team

Hi Rebecca, this is a great idea! My name is David Hughes and I am the Project Director for the Bendigo Inventor Awards.
 
Now in our 7th year, the Bendigo Inventor awards have as our focus inventions that address needs in the Emergency Services and Disaster Management space, and we offer a AUD$10,000 prize for the winning entry. The Bendigo Inventor Awards has also created an environment for inventors to obtain support for their ideas by bringing together a coalition of partners with the knowledge, skills and networks to accelerate the progression of ideas from concept through to commercialisation. Major Program Partners include Engineers Australia who are providing technical feedback, KPMG who are offering advice on commercial viability and the path to commercialisation and Red Cross, who are providing their perspective on the relevance of many inventions to disaster relief efforts. Our judging panel also contains representatives from Emergency Management Victoria, who are able to provide similar feedback on the applicability of inventions to the emergency services.
 
I believe your idea would be a fantastic entry into the awards. Applying is easy and can be done through our website http://www.bendigoinventorawards.com.au/apply. Simply select the category that your invention applies to – ‘Concept’ or ‘Product and Prototype’, and answer some questions about your invention. All judges are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so your idea is protected. Entries close 5pm Friday 29th September 2017 AEST.
 
I very much look forward to seeing your invention go on to great success, and hope we are able to assist you in enabling that to happen. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to get in touch on the phone number above, or via my email at dhughes@bebendigo.com.au.
 
Regards,
David Hughes
Project Director
Bendigo Inventor Awards

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Expert Feedback Question 3: If this Idea is submitted from a larger organization, does it have a sustainable funding model? If this Idea is submitted from an early stage Idea, does it have the potential to develop a model for sustainability long-term?

- Experts shared, “This Idea relies heavily on content creation in different languages and the availability of the language experts, which makes the sustainability a bit difficult. After the small pilot, it is now clear how the project will expand to 500 teachers and 2500+ refugees in Greece and to other locations including Turkey, Italy, the Balkans and Kenya.”


Expert Feedback Question 4: In your expert opinion, does this Idea pass the ‘do no harm’ principles? Do you believe that there may be any unseen or undocumented risks?

- Experts shared, “There’s no pressing issues here other than general IT/connectivity challenges which may be present in sites where they are hoping to scale up in.”


Expert Feedback Question 5: Based on your experience and expertise, is this an Idea that you’d like to see brought to life? Why or why not?

- Experts shared, “This seems like a very good idea with a lot of potential. The only risk I can see would be the question of scale and how to make this resource available because it is a bit people-time intensive (i.e. will there be enough bilingual translators to meet the needs)?


Looking ahead in the development of your Idea, the following are some questions that may be helpful to consider and integrate into your contribution!
- How does this fit into the INEE standards are currently compatible with the Greek education system - have you had challenges getting teachers to adopt these standards or are these already met through standard curriculum?
- For the teacher communities, this is an additional ask of their time, how often are they utilizing/participating in these?


Join us for Storytelling Office Hours Tuesday, July 25, 2017 from 8:30AM - 9:30AM PST! RSVP at https://openideo.typeform.com/to/T9IonO by Monday, July 24, 2017 Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an Idea and make it come to life for those reading it. Don’t forget - August 6 at 11:59PM PST is your last day to make changes to your Idea on the OpenIDEO platform.

Have questions? Email us at hello@openideo.com

Looking forward to reading more!

Photo of Rebecca Petras
Team

Expert Feedback Question 3: If this Idea is submitted from a larger organization, does it have a sustainable funding model? If this Idea is submitted from an early stage Idea, does it have the potential to develop a model for sustainability long-term?
The intent is to refine the processes with the pilot and, most importantly, to ensure that most processes can be repeatable in other locations. TWB’s operational model is designed to allow for scale in a number of key areas: language capacity, constituent growth and geographical expansion.

TWB has experience in building scalable projects, most notably its Words of Relief crisis response program. Initially piloted in Kenya in 2013 - 2014, Words of Relief has grown consistently and continuously in the past four years. While the original pilot was relatively small, focusing on a finite number of languages and working in areas that were not in crisis at the time, it has grown year after year, giving TWB the ability to rapidly respond to crises around the world, in many crisis languages, sometimes even simultaneously. The most significant scale of Words of Relief is for the European refugee response. TWB began deploying the Words of Relief in September, 2015, and it has consistently grown since then. Now TWB is using the lessons learned in the European refugee response to expand Words of Relief to other European countries and other refugee situations, such as in Nigeria. This work will be funded through response-specific grants. But, importantly, Words of Relief also has scaled its financial model. While it contains ongoing grants, including a grant for scalability from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, it also includes a sustainable funding model with paid packages for services.

TWB also has scaled its ongoing translation work since it incorporated in 2011. Initially translating under 5 million words a year, TWB has steadily increased its volume of translations year after year. This year, TWB should reach 10 million words translated for its development, preparedness and crisis partners. This scale includes building capacity in key languages that did not exist before TWB began its work. Overall, TWB has grown its community of translators from under 1,000 in 2010 to approximately 20,000 in 2017.

For Teachers Know Best: Teaming Teachers with Translators, sustainability and growth beyond the initial pilot was built into the design of the program, especially in the ability to reach Greek teachers who are not in the pilot. The open repository will be created from the beginning, making translated lesson plans and learning materials available openly to all teachers with Moodle access. Moodle, an online education tool, is usedح by the Greek Ministry of Education, making it the main choice for teachers throughout the country.

Importantly, a lot of the translated content will be in languages common among refugees throughout Europe. As TWB’s Words of Relief crisis response program expands throughout Europe, as explained above, it is the intent to find the opportunities to deploy Teachers Know Best in other European countries. TWB also has begun to explore other refugee contexts, including in Tanzania, where Vodafone has an innovative ‘instant school’ program, and in Nigeria, where TWB is already committing to growing capacity.

TWB has not yet refined the financial model for Teachers Know Best. Initial thinking is that it will grow through context-specific grant funding. There may be other important grant opportunities, such as with google.org or Vodafone. TWB also may explore government funding inasmuch as it is possible to retain control and independence of the program. It is not yet clear whether TWB will be able to create funding packages with partners as part of the financial model, as has been done with the Words of Relief project.

Photo of Rebecca Petras
Team

Expert Feedback Question 4: In your expert opinion, does this Idea pass the ‘do no harm’ principles? Do you believe that there may be any unseen or undocumented risks?

- Experts shared, “There’s no pressing issues here other than general IT/connectivity challenges which may be present in sites where they are hoping to scale up in.”

TWB does not foresee risk to the end users or beneficiaries in terms of security or protection concerns. However, it is true that issues of technology use and connectivity can present as barriers. Technology is being used in the program to ‘open doors’ for the end users, so it is critically important that they are well equipped to pass through those doors.

In the prototype conducted during the feedback phase, TWB identified two issues in terms of technology use and connectivity. Firstly, teachers do not want to engage with technologies that they do not readily use in their busy lives. TWB planned to handle collaboration through either Skype, a tool that TWB has used regularly in other projects. However, several of the teachers indicated that they did not use Skype, and, in fact, when TWB originally set up the Skype group for the prototype, the teachers did not engage. To address this issue, TWB asked which collaboration tool was preferred, and Facebook was unanimously chosen. With the Facebook group set up, the teachers were inclined to engage.

Secondly, connectivity is repeatedly mentioned as a concern, especially with teachers on the islands. In the prototype, connectivity did not present as an immediate problem, however, TWB is aware that it could in the future. A number of participants indicated that the fact they have Facebook on their phones and their computers, will make it more likely that they will be able to connect with different networks when connectivity is an issue. TWB is as of yet unsure whether Moodle connectivity will be difficult and will explore this issue further during the pilot.

Photo of Rebecca Petras
Team

Expert Feedback Question 5:
Based on your experience and expertise, is this an Idea that you’d like to see brought to life? Why or why not?
- Experts shared, “This seems like a very good idea with a lot of potential. The only risk I can see would be the question of scale and how to make this resource available because it is a bit people-time intensive (i.e. will there be enough bilingual translators to meet the needs)?

In terms of recruitment, TWB needs to find or train translators and interpreters who can work from Greek into the target languages of the children, initially focusing on Arabic and Farsi . For the pilot over 12 months, TWB estimates needing 10 translators and 5 interpreters available. TWB’s legacy of working in the Greek refugee response since 2015, means that we have excellent resources already in place and believe we may only need to recruit a small percentage. We do this recruitment through many channels, including in-kind partnerships with for-profit language providers, online translation and interpreting communities, a dedicated Facebook page for translators and interpreters involved in the Greek response, TWB’s new Interpreter Connect platform for interpreters working in Greece, and extensive social media outreach by TWB. TWB is confident the resources can be recruited.

In terms of retention, Translators without Borders resourcing model is to work with professional volunteers who give their time for humanitarian work. The profile of the TWB translator is someone who runs his or her own freelance business and who is passionate about the value of translation and language. In a recent survey, conducted by TWB, more than 90% of TWB translators indicated that they work with TWB as a way to give back through what they know best: translation.

Retention is achieved through a robust recognition program. TWB translators have indicated that simple gestures of appreciation, such as feedback, thank you notes and certificates, motivate them to stay involved. TWB will integrate its overall recognition program into the pilot to encourage retention of the recruited translators and interpreters. TWB has successfully ran long programs, including the 24-month refugee response in Greece, without significant gaps in human resources.

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Rebecca Petras and Team!

We’re excited to share feedback and questions from our experts with you. We encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve and refine your Idea. You are welcome to respond in the comments section and/or to incorporate feedback into the text of your Idea. Your Idea and all associated comments will all be reviewed during the final review process.

Our expert reviewers were particularly impressed your Idea addresses a pressing, urgent problem in communities by helping with integration and understanding of local languages.


Expert Feedback Question 1: Based on your knowledge and experience, is this a new approach or bold way of answering the Challenge question?

- Experts shared, “The idea of providing educational content in the mother tongue of the refugees, creating teacher communities for sharing experiences and overcome challenges and giving direct support to teachers by specialized language experts is novel.”


Expert Feedback Question 2: Human-centered design starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their real needs. We are seeking to support Ideas that consider desirability, feasibility, and viability. How does this Idea measure up? How does this Idea consider user needs?

- Experts shared, “The creation of educational content that is in mother tongue of the students in the class results in tailoring the content according to the different background of each student in class. The ongoing support from interpreters is also a tailored approach for the teachers. Hence these dual help mechanisms are beneficial both for the student and the teacher. Additionally, this idea is providing a resource which will allow the teacher to be flexible to user needs and has a plan for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students."

[Feedback continued on next comment]

Photo of Rebecca Petras
Team

Expert Feedback Question 1:
“The idea of providing educational content in the mother tongue of the refugees, creating teacher communities for sharing experiences and overcome challenges and giving direct support to teachers by specialized language experts is novel.”

In developing the innovation and modifying it over the last two weeks, feedback has indicated that it is helpful to teachers and a new approach that has not been tried. TWB conferred with current and new partners, and after the short-listing, TWB developed a simulation as well as a feedback survey, which was sent out to Greek education cluster members as well as teachers and local education providers. Highlights from the simulation are covered in another example. Highlights from the survey include:
 
UNICEF contacted TWB directly to indicate interest in partnering on the proposal if TWB receives funding. UNICEF, which is keen to support innovations in education, specifically offered to assist in identifying content to be translated and used openly, and in building relationships with the Ministry of Education in Greece.

Teachers and local providers provided feedback that the materials openly available will be very useful, but also that the connection with the teachers and the interpreters who can provide cultural awareness is particularly new and exciting.

A number of respondents who felt they may not be eligible for the pilot were very interested in the open repository of learning materials in languages of the refugees.

This quote from one respondent (an INGO Education Officer in Thassaloniki/Greece) represents the interest received through the feedback survey and direct inquiry with partners:
“ Linking teachers (informal and formal) with language professionals in order to help them teach refugee children in Greece is the ideal way to offer the best possible services to our beneficiaries.”

Expert Feedback Question 2: Human-centered design starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their real needs. We are seeking to support Ideas that consider desirability, feasibility, and viability. How does this Idea measure up? How does this Idea consider user needs?

Desirability among the end users, namely the teachers, was indicated in feedback from teachers and experts before and during the feedback phase. They indicated an interest to go beyond their jobs to help the kids learn; TWB was pleasantly encouraged by their enthusiasm. Here is a quote we received from a feedback survey that we ran during the feedback phase that is emblematic of desirability:

“As a person who works in the field, I know first hand that non-Arabic speaking teachers face huge challenges in involving children in the learning process. Having a translator will show children that teachers respect them, will enable all to bridge cultural gaps and will enhance the interdependence of the group.”

Feasibility also was tested during the feedback stage. TWB ran a prototype to simulate the actual project. Within that prototype, TWB was able to identify a local partner, recruit teachers with the partner, recruit translators and refine the technology approach based on their feedback. TWB simulated translation of content as well. During the simulation, we received the following comment that will help with recruitment and sourcing learning aids, increasing feasibility:

“Several universities in Greece have developed multilingual material for refugee children and have very well trained teachers in the schools they support. I would suggest that the project engages with these universities to share good practice across mainstream schools and schools organised by these institutions, including teacher training and material development.”

In terms of viability, TWB recognizes that teachers must be engaged throughout the pilot and beyond - they must see this as a benefit without burden. One way we are addressing that issue is to make sure that the technology tools are ones they already use, such as Facebook and Moodle. Another way is to engage with them on the development of the learning aids, as this comment from the feedback phase suggests:
“I think a key aspect for this project to succeed is to develop the material and training in collaboration with the teachers on the ground. This will ensure that it will address their needs and it will be used by the teachers who have co-produced them.”

Photo of Ifigenia Georgiadou
Team

I have been contacting teachers in teacher training seminars for many years now (as a trainer and content provider) and I see that, in Greece, teachers want to communicate with their students in an intermediary language, mostly English. So many of them use English when addressing a refugee or migrant child. However not all children know English, so they also ask for help when other children of the same mother tongue -who understand Greek- are in the class. This is acceptable, I believe, for schools where teachers do not speak the language of their students. But it is not enough and not always possible. So I strongly believe that cooperation with language professionals, translators and interpreters, will be of great help for all Greek teachers.
I find very interesting the idea of teachers contacting language professionals through different apps and having immediate support. I think teachers will love it.
I have to contribute here a link where some interesting materials and resources for Greek as L2 are shared http://learning.bemobile.gr/course/view.php?id=91 . You have to create a free account in this Moodle platform, activate the link in your e-mail box, and you will have access. This matrix was created by us, the teachers working at the Hellenic Culture Centre some years ago for the Metikos project. http://www.metoikos.eu/
I believe that one thing we should do now is to update this list of free resources and use them , correct them, add to them, develop further.

Photo of Ashley Tillman
Team

Ifigenia Georgiadou and Kathryn Zaniboni great to hear both your perspectives and ideas thank you for sharing!

Photo of Kathryn Zaniboni
Team

As a teacher who struggles a lot with the language barrier, having the support to work with a trained translator would be very helpful. For example, I have been wanting to do some mindful exercises with my students but also to explain the brain science behind it but this it to complicated so having a resource that could help create content in realtime or with voice or video recordings in mother tongue on slightly more sophisticated topics would be very helpful. I have used WhatsApp with a Syrian friend in the past. I sent him a video in English of what I want to communicate and he sent it back in Arabic. It was amazing to see the students' faces when they heard their mother tongue and could understand the lesson fully for once! I think this can help with relationship building between the student and the teacher and confidence building for the students!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Rebecca, great to have you in the Challenge! The Ideas Phase closes June 25 at 11:30PM PST. Make sure your idea is published so others can see it! Only published ideas are eligible. You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your post by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top.

We're looking forward to seeing your contribution in this challenge!