About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3495-3504
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0905

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

ONLINE RESOURCES TO PROMOTE SOCIAL INCLUSION OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN ITALY: TOPICS, APPROACHES AND TOOLS TO DEVELOP CULTURALLY SENSITIVE COURSES

V. Damiani1, G. Agrusti2

1Roma Tre University (ITALY)
2LUMSA University (ITALY)
Despite the decrease in number of arrivals of migrants and refugees in 2017 in Europe due to policy changes at the EU level (IOM, 2017), the social inclusion of people fleeing their countries is still one of the most relevant priorities of the European Union, as the EU Integration Action Plan of Third-Country Nationals shows, for instance. Adopted in June 2016, it provided support to member states in developing and strengthening their migrant integration policies, addressing specifically the challenges faced by refugees, such as, just to name a few, lack of accommodation and basic needs, unemployment, lack of knowledge of the host country language, lack of access to education but also racism and radicalization in the hosting societies (European Commission, 2016).

Unemployment is a significant barrier for social inclusion of refugees, as they represent one of the most vulnerable groups of migrants when it comes to labor market integration: on average, it takes refugees up to 20 years to have a similar employment rate as the native-born and the employment rate of refugee women is lower than that of refugee men and that of other non-EU born women. The level of knowledge of the host country language however can boost employment opportunities in the hosting societies (European Commission, OECD, 2016).

In this scenario, the ReGap project (Reducing the Education Gap, ref. 2017-1-NO01-KA204-034182) aims at creating high quality, culturally sensitive and open access e-learning resources for adult migrants and refugees in EU countries, in order to foster employment opportunities and social belonging, also through country specific information about work, health, social security, education and systems of justice and regulations. The consortium is led by Inland Norway University of Applied Science, and includes LUMSA University (Italy), Porto University (Portugal) and CDI (Community Development Institute, Macedonia).

ReGap project assumptions lay on a previous research experience funded under the Erasmus+ programme (the Advenus project - Developing online resources for adult refugees, ref. 2016-1-NO01-KA204-022090), whose objective was to develop open educational resources devoted to adult refugees aged 18-40 in order to enhance the basic skills for a successful integration in the host European societies.

This contribution presents the first phase of the ReGap project. After a preliminary review on the existing open educational resources developed for migrants and refugees in Italy, LUMSA University carried out two focus groups, one with teachers and educators and one with refugees hosted in the Centro Astalli in Rome. The overall aim was to identify the target group learning and cultural needs to facilitate social belonging and to gather advice on design of the courses, that will be implemented in a blended and fully online option. Highlights, cultural and educational implications arisen from the focus groups will be presented.

Results showed the importance to focus the courses on language acquisition, with a strong focus on fostering communicative and basic ICT skills. Participants also provided suggestions on learning activities, prompts and tools for both the blended and the online versions of the ReGap courses stressing the need for a cultural sensitive approach, rooted in the local, national and European context and, at the same time, that can respect and value the richness and the difference of refugees’ and migrants’ cultures of origin.
@InProceedings{DAMIANI2018ONL,
author = {Damiani, V. and Agrusti, G.},
title = {ONLINE RESOURCES TO PROMOTE SOCIAL INCLUSION OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN ITALY: TOPICS, APPROACHES AND TOOLS TO DEVELOP CULTURALLY SENSITIVE COURSES},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0905},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0905},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3495-3504}}
TY - CONF
AU - V. Damiani AU - G. Agrusti
TI - ONLINE RESOURCES TO PROMOTE SOCIAL INCLUSION OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN ITALY: TOPICS, APPROACHES AND TOOLS TO DEVELOP CULTURALLY SENSITIVE COURSES
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0905
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 3495
EP - 3504
ER -
V. Damiani, G. Agrusti (2018) ONLINE RESOURCES TO PROMOTE SOCIAL INCLUSION OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN ITALY: TOPICS, APPROACHES AND TOOLS TO DEVELOP CULTURALLY SENSITIVE COURSES, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 3495-3504.
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