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MINT - Mind the Gap Migration NEEDS Integration


MINT Team, 2008-2010

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Logos: Students from Bulgaria and Germany. MINT Team 2008 - 2010 © All rights reserved

Editor: Alberto Cardoso Revision: Aldina Saraiva

Coordination: Portugal - Escola Secundária de Oliveira do Bairro (Alberto Cardoso) Partner schools: Bulgaria - IV Language School “Federic Joliot-Curie” (Donka Georgieva) Finland - Alavuden Leena Pekkanen) Germany - Mercator Berufscoleg (Waldemar Skorczik) Italy - Istituto Professionale Sandro Pertini (Patrizia Rizzo) Latvia - Siguldas vakara vidusskola (Mara Jekabsone) Lithuania - Plungès zemès ukio ir verslo mokykla (Aldona Moceviciene) The Netherlands - ROC Koning Willem I College (Peter van Amelsfoort) Turkey - Teknik Lise ve Endustri Meslek Lisesi (Rahmi Dikici)

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Contents Page number 4…..…... Abstract Page number 7…..…... Module 1: Survey Page number 8…..…... Questionnaire Page number 10……... Personal Experiences Page number 11……... Module 2: Laws and Rules Page number 12……... Module 3: Experiences Page number 13……... Module 4: Theories Page number 14..……. Module 5: New Ideas Page number 15..……. Integration Guideline: Principles Page number 20..……. Testemonial

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Abstract The European Union is an increasingly diverse area, with people across the continent and across the globe arriving here to enjoy a high quality of life, education and economic opportunities. With such demographic shifts come increased opportunities to infuse the states with new ideas, energy and vitality, as well as challenges – including basic communication issues that occur when some newcomers have not yet mastered the native language. Other challenges include cultural differences noticeable in the way that people express themselves, relate to Página 4

family and friends, and interact with their communities. Another fundamental aspect to be considered is the fact that Europe as a whole must develop new teaching and learning approaches based upon democratic values that foster cultural pluralism; in its most comprehensive form, it is a commitment to achieving educational equality, developing curricula that build understanding about different groups. However, to effectively promote migrant/ immigrant integration and the educational achievement of all children, there is still a long way

to go. The following guide provides a small aid in the integration of immigrants/migrants students into host school communities, as well as, contributes for a more inclusive classroom. We hope it will be a helpful resource for school administrators and teachers in the integration process of these students. Since schools are where immigrant families often have the most community interaction it is the institution´s duty to help them understand and clarify parents’ involvement in children’s school life, and at the same time contribute to their success.

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

MINT Team, December 2009

For many immigrant students, the school office is their first contact with the bureaucracy of host country’s schooling. All school personnel, especially those who personally greet and receive students and their parents, must be aware of their critical role, for it depends on the education system to promote literacy, in order to achieve suc-

cess, to obtain people skills, as well as social and cultural integration. Immigrant/ migrant students who arrive to enrol in school are often nervous – they usually don’t speak the language, they don’t know what will be expected of them and they may even fear for their safety. They are likely unfamiliar with their new

school’s rules and regulations, documentation requirements, immunizations and transcripts of prior schooling. This guide provides an overview of what may be consider critical areas: teacher-student relationship, classroom atmosphere and family, community interaction and school’s profile.

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

We decided that the best approach to understand the issues involving migrants should be worked in two stages: First: Analysing: Module one-Survey; Module two: Laws and Rules; Module three:

Teachers and Portuguese Students

Experiences. Second: Empowering: Module four: Theories; Module five: New Ideas; and Module six: Integration Guideline. How can we understand the difficulties these individuals face?

Teachers and German Students

We produced an Interview Questionnaire that later on was applied by each partner, which was the spin off to the produced materials. http://

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Turkish Students : traditional dance

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Module 1: Survey

Interview Questionnaire “Mind the Gap” is a project involving 9 different European Countries. Its aim is to develop a program to facilitate school integration of migrant students and students from different ethnic groups of secondary schools together with their families. Migrant students and students from different ethnic groups are increasing constantly. They are from a lot of other countries. We need a new way to programme in order to compare exchanges among cultures and promote a democratic cohabitation. By giving us some information about you, your family and your background in this interview, you will help us to improve our project outcome. Thank you very much!

Procedure: •

Find out four students with an interesting migration background at your school.

Interviews have to be done by groups of other students.

Each question (1 to 27) has to be one short mobile phone video clip.

Questions must be numbered and be named in each video clip

One clip should not be longer than 60 sec..

Prepare a good script before starting producing the video clip.

The main aspects of the answers must be analyzed by the students.

The teachers facilitates the process of analyzing.

The students have to point out the main results in an abstract. Página 7

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Questionnaire. A) Personal Data File

C) Hosting Country

1) Name:

9) How do you like living in

2) Age:

this country? Tell some rea-

3) Country:


4) Religion:

10) Are there specific positive

5) Town:

aspects about the country

6) School / Department:

you’d like to point out?

7) Tell me about professions

11) Are there specific negative

and interests of your family

aspects about the country

members :

you’d like to point out? 12) How can you live your culture / traditions / religion in this country? 13) What institutions do you know, that help immigrants.

D) Hosting School 14) How do you like the school you are attending? 15) What



B) Migration background


8) Roots of your family / reasons

you’d like to point out?

for immigration:

16) What specific negative aspects

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

you’d like to point out? 17) What can the school do

G) Perception of own inte-

for you to improve your situa-

gration level

tion as a migrant?

24) Do you feel accepted by native school mates? Tell some rea-

E) Relationship to native



25) Do you feel accepted by your

18) What activities do you

teachers? Tell some reasons.

share with native students

26) Do you feel accepted by nati-

inside/outside school?

ve people in this country in gene-

19) What do you appreciate


regarding native students?

Tell some reasons.

20) What do you not like

27) What would you like to be dif-

about native students?

ferent to improve your situation here?

F) Relationship to other

migrated students

Questionnaire (download)

21) What activities do you share with other immigrated students inside/outside school? 22) What do you appreciate about migrated students? 23) What do you not like regarding migrated students?

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Personal experiences: Rasim Toprak BiographieToprakEnglish.pdf

Aldina Saraiva Portugal_Aldina_PERSONAL_ACCOUNT.pdf

Students and teachers: experiences.htm

Students’ personal experiences

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Module 2: Laws and Rules

To Belong or not to Belong? Do migrants know the Laws and Rules of the host country? Each country has services that allows people to be informed of their rights and advises them about the country’s migrants Laws. You can check for the different information in each partners’ country: As you will see some rights and duties are common in all of them.. Portugal Migration Services: German Migration Services: Dutch Migration Services: Italy Migration Services: export/sites/default/it/temi/immigrazione/ Bulgaria Migration Services: Turkey Migration Services: Latvia Migration Services: Lithuania Migration Services: Finland Migration Services:

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Module 3: Experiences

Watch ourselves as migrants watch us!!

Revealing that strangeness is not a natural category but generated by social actors in situations of everyday life. Persons and objects considered as being normal to natives are strange in the eyes of the observer (migrants).

Task: you can take a group of migrant students in a tour through the city and ask them to photograph situations that are strange/out of the ordinary for them. You can find an example in the following link: (Strangers in the City)

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Module 4:Theories There are different possibili-

tance is, in the different countries, the

ties for migrants concerning

need to acquire language skills, one of

not only rights but also du-

the eight key competences defined by


the European Commission, as the only

A successful integration is

way of succeeding in the host country.

only possible if natives and

In most countries, natives try to show

migrants accept each other

migrants the way to find schools/

and respect the differences.

working places as a way of integrating

In fact the primary impor-

them in society.

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Module 5:New

Meet me Half-Way

“All school students must have the possibility to take an active part in the democratic life of the school,” underlines Giuseppe Beccia, Secretary General of OBESSU

Cultural issues: schools must invest in artistic activities, as a way of integrating migrant students. ( )

You can find some successful stories using music, drama, art, dance... in the different schools which makes possible this integration of completely different people with a completely different culture. (

How to integrate: I cannot like what I do not know. It is extremely important to get to know the different people and the different cultures to understand and accept them. (

What can students, parents and schools do? There are small things each one of us can do to change the system. If parents get involved in the children’s school education most of the times the problem of integration will be a success. If schools are informed about the students’ problems, prevention can be used as a way of integration. If teachers get to know the migrants, if they listen to them, a better inclusion will be possible. (

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Module 6: Integration Guideline

Recommended Principles 1- The student-teacher relation Respect and care • Find out about the students life through and informal interview or a brief biography presentation; • Involve family in student’s progress by putting into action parents-teachers conferences/meetings; Class of Turkish students • Identify the student’s host language needs and set up an appropriate educational program; • Find out what are the student’s interests, goals and aspirations. 2- Teacher- teacher interaction Sharing and openness • Appoint a class teacher as contact person to interact with family; • Plan regular class conferences to discuss teaching process, integration theme, class problems; • Organize subject related tutoring classes.

European teachers

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

3- Student- student relationship Emotional involvement • Assign peer mentors or buddies; • Encourage students to collaborate on biographies; • Assign group work to students, in order to motivate, encourage active learning, German students and develop communication; • Discuss the critical points of integration; • Encourage sharing extra-curriculum and leisure activities. 4- Classroom Dynamics Cooperation and team work skills • Under the guidance of a class teacher the group gets to know each other in an introductory period, working on methods and mutual help; • Value students know-how and ability to use two languages; • Encourage common activities outside of the school; • Observe students’ interacting with peers and take note of their behaviour and performance in different tasks. A student: ice skating activities Página 16

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

5- Curriculum/Subjects Communication and multiculturalism • Assess initial language proficiency and program placement by specialized teacher; • Persuade immigrant students to talk about Different languages themselves, their country and their traditions; • Discuss different topics/subjects – history, law, religion, language, … 6- Social Work Building social network • Interact with class tutors, guidance counsellors or support centre professionals; • Collaborate in activities that involve social commitment.

Teachers and Students: collaborative work. Página 17

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

7- School – Parent Interaction Families in action • Involve migrant/ immigrant families in school activities, conferences, trips, parties, fairs and dinners; • Schedule regular meetings with parents to give them information on their child's academic achievePortuguese parents ment and behaviour; • Encourage families to be part of parents’ associations; • Improve communication with parents through courses in the host country’s language. 8- School – Enterprise/Company Education and business cooperation • Sponsor period of practical training during school time; • Promote company/ factory tours to know the host country’s job market and economic system; • Operate on a dual system - companies’ tutors meet and discuss problems with school personnel; Prepare career education activities by inviting different repTable Service students in a Wine Cellar resentatives from other schools, institutions and businesses. Página 18

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

9- School Profile Opportunities for everyone. • Set up ccourses with high percentages of immigrants/ migrants with the smallest possible number of students; • Focus on a perfectly developed system of consultancy services regarding career and social skills; • Concentrate on Occupational Orientation, job preparation and mediation of job education places and work experience; • Implement courses for students failing in academic areas; • Promote literacy as well as skills in the areas of new media and technology; • Employ or train teachers with skills on teaching the host language as a foreign language; • Provide an adult education division, which makes it possible to broaden their professional knowledge and capacities; • Prevent student drop out by equipping the school with multimedia classrooms, workshops, labs and sports and leisure facilities; • Help students to be European citizens though projects and exchange programs; • Establish a multi-cultural advisory board. Página 19

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

Testimonial Nothing better to conclude the work that has been done than the testimonials given by teachers and students to the European Commission:

MINT sharpens pupils’ appetite for study “Suddenly, everyone wanted to be a migrant, so that they could take part in this project!” enthuses Hayat Bazi. The 19year-old is a student at the Mercator Berufskolleg in Moers in western Germany, and takes part in the two-year MINT project: Mind the Gap: Migration needs Integration, funded through the European Union’s Comenius Programme.

MINT’s objective is to develop

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tools to help migrant and ethnic minority students and their families to integrate better into the school system. Hayat’s family is Moroccan, although she was born in Germany. Her father worked as a miner from 1972 until 1986, when an accident left him disabled. “It’s important to my parents for me to learn better German, as well as Arabic and French,” she says. “We are all integrated – we have only German neighbours – but we are also a traditional, religious family. I have suffered some discrimination, because my mother wears a headscarf, and I have black hair, and because of our religion people connect us with terrorism.” Hayat's school is named after the 16th century genius Gerardus Mercator, who was one of the first European mapmakers. Its 2 350 students, aged 16 -21, take either full-time classes or vocational training, spending

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

more than half their time on work placement with local firms. At the lower academic levels, some 50% of the students are from migrant backgrounds, so the MINT project is particularly appropriate.

Top of the class Coordinator Waldemar Skorczik has been running European-funded projects for 20 years – 18 of them with Comenius. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious. “We only do one EU project at a time, but we want to do the best,” he declares . Like all the organisers, he is also a full time teacher . Mercator has received wide recognition for its project activities: in March 2010 , it was the only school invited to present its work at Germany’s top educational fair, Didacta. “I think both teachers and students can learn more from project work than normal lessons,” he claims. “Social learning is important. Teachers who want to work on projects are different from oth-

ers. They are more open and interested.” The idea for MINT arose from an earlier ‘peace’ project on conflict management. “We found out that a lot of conflict took place where there were more students with migrant backgrounds,” says Andreas Brett, a long – standing member of the project team. “We realised we should find out more about them, so as to integrate them better. Their opportunities are more limited, because of the language, and our German teachers are not really prepared for this. A Dutch colleague once told me: ‘what’s missing from our school is empathy’. We have learnt to get students more involved in cultural things, and give them goals to work towards. They really enjoy it, and we can learn something from that.” There are eight other partners in the project, in Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, and – for the first time – Turkey. One of the Mercator teachers, Razim Toprak, is of Turkish background and says this helps him to liaise between Turkish students, their families, and Página 21

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

the school.

Speaking honestly Andreas Brett says the teachers have learnt a lot from MINT. “For example, integration is often understood as assimilation,” he points out. “Yet each individual should be able to keep his or her own identity and culture, while learning to get along with others. We reached that conclusion at our fifth meeting in Bulgaria.” Reconciling varying attitudes is the key. “In Latvia and Lithuania, they had a different point of view,” he acknowledges. “We have had some ‘quarrels’ – but it’s important to speak honestly about people’s fears. If they are not allowed to express their emotions you will not arrive at reliable results.” Martin Geelen, who joined the project team in 2009, believes it is the personal contact between participants which allows for consensus. The fourth meeting took place in Germany in December 2009. “The teachers invited everyone to

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their homes,” explains 20-year-old Elena Kremer, who was four when her family moved to Germany from Kazakhstan. Her parents, and Hayat’s, helped to prepare traditional dishes for the guests. Some of the partners have been working together for years, and have built up a real friendship. “It’s like a family,” says Waldemar. “We’re in e-mail contact every day. We work with the students on the same level.” Whereas in the past some countries sent only teachers on international visits, now the younger participants are always included. The outcomes include integration guidelines, drafted in English and translated in different languages, disseminated on the internet and as a booklet.

Students gain in confidence Hayat points out that the students do project work on top of their normal lessons, which can be tiring. Both girls feel teachers could be more flexible about course work – although they know they still have exams to pass. “The

MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration

students show the teachers what it is to be involved, through their commitment,” points out Elena. “Teachers may not always understand how important it is to take part in such projects.” “We are so enthusiastic we give our time willingly,” adds Hayat. “It’s not just to get good grades.” Elena’s ancestors were German, but immigrated to Russia in the 18th century, so Russian is her mother tongue. When she arrived in Germany in 1994, she had problems at school. “The teachers pointed at me and said: ‘You are a Russian. You are silly. You are bad.’ That kind of prejudice made me very unhappy and my grades got worse and worse.” In 2007, Elena moved to Mercator and started to take part in international exchanges and project work – finding out more about the EU and migrants in Germany. “It has helped me to show what I can achieve, personally,” she affirms. “German society often

makes foreigners feel inferior, but now I am more confident about my life, my education and my future. “It’s important for the EU to support projects like this. It’s essential for the success of the European Union to improve understanding between people from different countries.” MINT project: Mind the Gap: Migration needs Integration, 20082010, funded by the EU’s Comenius Programme, under the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007 -2013. Project number: CML-P-NW-08-00029-2 More information: Comenius Programme: MINT:

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MINT - Mind the Gap: Migration NEEDS Integration LifeLong Learning Programe Comenius School Partnerships

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.’

MINT Mind the Gap Migration NEEDS Integration  

MINT Mind the Gap Migration NEEDS Integration Lifelong Learning Programme Comenius Multilateral Project

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