Sciences Po Refugee Help’s French Classes Team operates in various housing centres hosting asylum seekers to teach French, raise awareness amongst residents on French culture’s principal themes, and facilitate their social integration within French society. The main objective is to return a sense of autonomy to asylum seekers’ daily lives, overcoming language barriers as they learn to interact with French speakers and gain a better understanding of the environment they live in.
Our 40 or so volunteers teach near twenty, one hour and a half classes per week. Our teams operate in 4 different housing centres, each receiving 3 classes a week so as to ensure progress on participants’ behalf. These centres are:
Our priority is to develop solid communication tools that can help people orient themselves in their day to day activities. As such, a particular emphasis is placed on oral communication; our sessions are rooted in oral exchange, and are constructed in a highly interactive manner. Registration is not mandatory, and our classes are open to all.
French classes are delivered by over 40 Sciences Po Refugee Help volunteers, led by 2 coordinators. Student volunteers use teaching material provided to them by the association, and receive a training from a licensed French language teacher at Sciences Po each semester. Both students and teachers are in constant communication throughout the academic year to monitor class progression, and discuss the various obstacles encountered. On their end, coordinators ensure fluid communication with social workers and centre administration, handling material purchases, organising class schedules, and assessing the needs of asylum seekers in the Paris region during classes. Activities are then reported to the Administration Team of Sciences Po Refugee Help, and communicated to other branches for discussion and feedback.
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