During 2020, Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece carried out visibility and dissemination activities of the Council of Europe Linguistic Integration for Migrants and Refugees programme, including promotional videos and infographics, based on results, statistics and material collected during the 2018 and 2019 training seminars, two online events, namely a showcasing LIAM capacity-building webinar and an online LIAM national awareness event during December, as well as a relevant social media campaign.
Showcasing LIAM Webinar
Symbiosis organised a four-hour live online showcasing LIAM Webinar via Zoom platform on December 5, 2020. Twenty formal and non-formal educators of the Greek language participated during the webinar during which our trainer, Michalis Karakostantis, presented the principles of the LIAM Toolkit and methodology.
The scope of the LIAM webinar has been to raise awareness of the philosophy of LIAM among the participants while focusing on the basic LIAM principles such as language integration and needs assessment. Discussions on multilingualism and low literacy, the most common characteristics of the migrant/refugee population, also took place. Regarding literacy, the participants mapped the profiles of their low literate students based on their experience. Further, the participants were divided in 4 teams in break-out rooms where they worked together to prepare a 90-minutes-lesson-class plan for low literate students. The facilitator shared handouts, which not only described the steps of the lesson planning but also the profile of the students. When the lesson planning was over, each team presented its work in a plenary, while the others remarked on the presentations.
The participants commented very positively on the LIAM Toolkit, highlighting the low literacy aspect, collaborating, and exchanging ideas. Taking into consideration three different perspectives, the participants outlined the profile of the low literate students, specifically how these students interact with other classmates; how do they behave towards the educational procedure; and how do the educators act towards the students. This exercise stimulated the participants to concentrate on specific issues concerning the low literate students and observe their responses. Educators appreciated working with other colleagues in a hands-on activity and discussing common obstacles.
Online LIAM National Awareness Event
On December 16, 2020, Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece implemented a two-hour Online LIAM National Awareness Event entitled “Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM) and the Council of Europe”. During the event, this multidimensional issue was discussed, and a presentation of the Council of Europe Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM) program took place. The event that was implemented in Greek was held via the Zoom Platform and simultaneously live streamed on organisation’s Facebook page. During the event, fifty-three participants attended on Zoom, while the Fecebook live-stream reached 270 views.
The panelists that took part in the event were: Maria Fassari, Chair of the Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice, Council of Europe, presented Education Policy of the Council of Europe; Despina Syrri, Director of Symbiosis, presented the features of the LIAM project; Michalis Karakostantis, our trainer, provided insights on the utilisation of the toolkit based on our two-year training experience and pilot implementation carried out during 2018-2019 in Greece. Further, he provided feedback on the training of trainers that Symbiosis and himself, as a trainer, carried out in late 2019 in Zagreb, Croatia; Christina Maligoudi from the Centre for the Greek Language and Hellenic Open University presented on Multilingualism and Language Policies and the ways that the LIAM toolkit and methodology can be adopted in the best possible way in the Greek framework; Anna Mouti, Assistant Professor, Department of Italian Language and Literature, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Hellenic Open University, presented on Multilingualism and Language Needs Analysis: Application of the LIAM Toolkit in Refugee and Immigrant Language Education.
After the completion of the presentations by the panelists, our participants engaged in the conversation with interventions, they submitted questions and they shared their experiences from the field.