Shake it OFF!  Language Learning through Physical Activity

 
 

The game Fitivities, which is a smaller version of Skillastics, has been introduced by the NGO Are You Active (AYA) Malta in the induction classes.  The Unit worked in collaboration with Mr Kevin Azzopardi, EO, PE in order to disseminate good practices in cross curricular teaching.  Teachers have used Fitivities to teach language within the classroom which is a CLIL approach in principle.  The Unit has produced a short video clip which will be used in future teacher training activities.  The clip showcases how teachers implement language learning through physical activity.

 
 

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Summer Language Classes for Secondary School Students​

The Migrant Learners’ Unit in collaboration with the Directorate for Life Long Learning and Early School Leavers held a pilot project which consisted of a Summer Language Course to further support learners in Year 7 to Year 9. These courses focused on communicative basic Maltese and/or English and were given free of charge.  Sessions were held at San Gorg Preca Secondary School, Hamrun.  A total of twenty two students followed the courses during Summer 2016.  Students came from Maria Regina, St Clare, St Thomas More, St Benedict, St Margaret and St Ignatius Colleges.​

 
 

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Visit by Mr Gerald Farthing, Deputy Minister Manitoba, Canada​

The Unit was entrusted with organising the visit to Malta of Mr Gerald Farthing, Deputy Minister Manitoba, Canada. Mr Farthing was in Malta on the 18th February. He visited induction classes at Maria Regina College, St Paul’s Bay Primary school and Mellieha Primary school.  Mr Farthing also had a meeting with the Hon Minister Evarist Bartolo regarding migrant education.

 

Mr Farthing left with a very positive impression of the induction programme being implemented in Malta, and communication between the two Ministries was continued with the aim of sharing good practices.​

 
 
 

Visits to Malta by Mr Farid Abu Gosh, Founder of the Trust Foundation, Jerusalem​

 
The objective of the visit held from the 24th to 26th February 2016 was to draw up a plan of action to improve inclusion of children and families from an Arab background in Maltese schools and consequently in Maltese society.  Communication between Trust and the Migrant Learners’ Unit started in the first quarter of 2015 and visits by Mr Abu Gosh were held in February 2015 and May 2015. Both parties agreed that new migrants needed special assistance and Trust was willing to offer its help in this regard.  The area of inclusion focusing on mothers and children was selected.
 
 
 

During the visit, the following activities were held:

 

·    A seminar for College Principals and Heads of School on “Communicating and working with parents from an Arab background”;

 

·    A seminar for Directors of Education, Education Officers and personnel from the Directorate for Student Services, with the theme “Assuring the integration of learners from an Arab background into the Maltese Education system”.  During the seminar different reflection groups were set up focusing on the diverse needs of migrant learners;

 

·        Internal meetings with stakeholders where needs and possible activities for actual implementation were identified.​

 
 

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Peer Learning Activity

 
 
The Migrant Learners’ Unit organised a Peer Learning Activity (PLA) in collaboration with the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE).  The theme chosen for the PLA was “Promoting civic education, intercultural dialogue and democratic citizenship, as well as other relevant competences to facilitate migrants’ integration in the educational and socio-economic environment of the host countries”.
 

The PLA was held at Maria Regina College, Mellieħa Primary School, on 19th May 2016.

The discussion focused on the integration of migrants in the host countries through education and intercultural dialogue.

 

Fifteen delegates from different European countries together with several local stakeholders shared their experiences and best practices. Local stakeholders included Directors and Assistant Directors of Education, Education Officers, College Principals, members of SMTs and teachers from Primary and Secondary schools together with representatives from the University of Malta and other Higher Education institutions, parents, NGO’s and other migrant associations. The Minister of Education, Hon. Evarist Bartolo, also participated in the activity.​

 


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Learning from good practices overseas

 

Luxembourg

 

A delegation from the Ministry for Education and Employment visited the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in April 2016 with the aim of observing practices in relation to migrant education, with a view to improving the provision currently being given in Malta.

 

Bonn

The Unit was represented by Mr Raymond Facciol at the conference “Migration – Integration: Managing diversity in schools!”, held in May 2016 in Bonn. The Conference served especially as a showcase of existing practices in Europe and emphasized that the starting point for all education is what is in the best interest of the child.

 

Dresden

The Unit participated in the Peer Learning Activity held in Dresden in June 2016.  The PLA was organised by the European Commission and the Saxony Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs and focused on language assessment practices and integration of unaccompanied minors through education. 

Various insights on practices already being enacted by different countries with regard to initial and continuous language assessment of newcomers, induction and support to the learner and the parents were discussed. The participants also had the opportunity to participate in the World Café activity. ​  


 

TEFL Certificate Course

 

In its commitment to continually upskill its teacher cohort, the Unit in collaboration with the EFL Monitoring Board offered a TEFL Cert Course subsidised by MEDE during the summer holidays.  Thirteen teachers completed this hands-on Course.