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Appears in:
Pages: 5019-5027
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.1169

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

DEVELOPING ONLINE RESOURCES FOR ADULT REFUGEES IN ITALY. FOSTER SKILLS THAT WILL ENHANCE EMPLOYABILITY PROSPECTS

V. Damiani1, G. Agrusti2

1Roma Tre University (ITALY)
2LUMSA University (ITALY)
In 2015, 995,000 first time asylum applications were submitted in the EU countries. This amount exceeded the number of applications of the last thirty years and raised questions about the EU’s ability to integrate quickly migrants and refugees into its economy and society (IMF, 2016).

Finding a job represents the first step for refugees (and migrants) to rebuild a new life in a different country and to restore their self-confidence. For this reason, international organizations such as UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and ILO (International Labour Organization) updated the previous Memorandum of Understanding (1983) in order to develop effective guidelines for providing refugees and displaced people safe and decent work (UNHCR, 2016). Developing refugees’ skills and competences, especially for those with low level of education, is one of the most relevant factors to boost employment and integration.

In this scenario, the Advenus project (Developing online resources for adult refugees, ref. 2016-1-NO01-KA204-022090) aims at creating high quality and open access e-learning resources devoted to adult refugees aged 18-40 in order to enhance the basic skills for a successful integration in the host European societies. The consortium is led by Lillehammer University College (Norway, consortium leader), and includes LUMSA University (Italy), Porto University (Portugal) and CDI (Community Development Institute, Macedonia).

Advenus project assumptions lay on a previous research experience funded by the EU (LIBE project - “Supporting Lifelong learning with Inquiry-Based Education”), aimed at offering young adults with low levels of education (16-24 years old) a set of e-learning units (LUs) on key and transversal competences.

This contribution is focused on first phase of Advenus project. LUMSA University is in charge of the redesign of two LIBE learning units related to literacy and employment issues (such as writing a CV and a cover letter, understanding job ads) and to the development of digital literacy, i.e. the capacity to retrieve and to understand information available in the Internet. After a preliminary study on refugees’ origins and characteristics in Italy, LUMSA carried out three focus groups, one with teachers and educators and two with refugees hosted in the Centro Astalli in Rome, with the aim of identifying the target group learning and cultural needs to facilitate integration and to gather advice on the redesign of the two LIBE courses. Highlights, cultural and educational implications arisen from the focus groups will be presented.

Results show how all participants identified the language acquisition as the key element for inclusion and employment. Teachers, educators and refugees repeatedly stressed the importance to redesign the online courses with a specific attention devoted to lexical competence and e-skills development in relation to job searching. On the other hand, cultural issues strongly imply the need of a re-conceptualization of language notions, acting on the misalignment between L1 and L2, between mental encyclopaedia and mental lexicon (Appel, 1996).
@InProceedings{DAMIANI2017DEV,
author = {Damiani, V. and Agrusti, G.},
title = {DEVELOPING ONLINE RESOURCES FOR ADULT REFUGEES IN ITALY. FOSTER SKILLS THAT WILL ENHANCE EMPLOYABILITY PROSPECTS},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.1169},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.1169},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {5019-5027}}
TY - CONF
AU - V. Damiani AU - G. Agrusti
TI - DEVELOPING ONLINE RESOURCES FOR ADULT REFUGEES IN ITALY. FOSTER SKILLS THAT WILL ENHANCE EMPLOYABILITY PROSPECTS
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.1169
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 5019
EP - 5027
ER -
V. Damiani, G. Agrusti (2017) DEVELOPING ONLINE RESOURCES FOR ADULT REFUGEES IN ITALY. FOSTER SKILLS THAT WILL ENHANCE EMPLOYABILITY PROSPECTS, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 5019-5027.
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