YOURNI – YOUng Refugees Need Integration, Erasmus+, 9/2016 – 8/2019

Integration of Young Refugees – using mobile devices leading to better language acquisition and relevant career guidance

context and background of the project:
The so-called refugee crisis is not a crisis, but a challenge to governments, societies and individuals all across Europe. And it is a European challenge not a national challenge. Many politicians draw attention to the fact that solutions and problem solving strategies can only be joint European approaches, not steps taken by any single country. Obviously the educational system in each country has to react, and to adopt. This project concentrates on the integration of young refugees in the VET-sector, and it wants to build up a network and connect stakeholders in order to share experiences and best practices.
This project addresses
– various aspects when it comes to second language learning with young refugees;
– has a special focus on vocational language learning and didactics of L2 acquisition and integration training;
– best practices of different countries about how to help  refugees enter the labour market;
– the use of educational biographies and other screening measures and tries to encourage the use of Europass.

objectives and target groups:
The main objective of the project is the better integration of young refugees, by focussing on two crucial aspects:
1) using mobile devices leading to better language acquisition; selecting, evaluating, testing and disseminating language learning apps that have proven to be successful in the language learning classroom; enhancing the individual learning time of each learner and improving the usage of these apps by creating accompanying materials for learning outside the classroom, e.g. written materials, “explain-it” videos or similar materials;
2) relevant career guidance: using the expertise of the different project partners and spreading this expertise with the help of the project, among project partners, on a regional and national level through the project partners, and on a European level, e.g. with the help of an elaborated dissemination concept;

The target groups can be identified as follows:
1. young refugees in VET-schools, basically 16+:
The coordinating partner is a VET teacher training institution, dealing among others with a special type of school (VABO,  Vorqualifizierung Arbeit und Beruf, i.e. initial preparation of young refugees without any knowledge of German for work and job).
Other partners have similar concepts, especially focussing on refugees and their language needs.
2. teachers of these young refugees;
3. Others: We selected partners who focus on these two above-mentioned target groups. However, some partners have a broader perspective. This is not the central focus of the project, but side-effects are most welcome.

number and profile of participants:
7 partners, including one associate partner from Switzerland, have been carefully selected in a two-month process in order to integrate countries most heavily affected by the coming refugees, restricting it to institutions mainly from the school sector, especially VET/16+, teacher training institutions and regional development agencies for the labour market. Expertise of partners was carefully considered, e.g. experience with inclusive education, focus on a certain language, general project experience, focus on teacher training etc.

description of  activities:
1. Linz/Austria (June 2017): reviewing media and materials for young refugees in German-speaking countries;
2. Zug/Switzerland (May 2018): designing a teacher training course for German as a Second Language, using ECTS as a European instrument in state-controlled teacher training;
3. Veneto (October 2017): using educational biographies and Europass as a tool for career guidance to improve employability of young refugees;
4. Karlsruhe/Germany (October 2018): developing a course on vocational language training for young refugees fostering intercultural competence;
5. Istanbul/Turkey (December 2016): examining and applying didactics of L2 acquisition using integration training as a means;
6. Bilbao/Spain (May 2017): developing the role of English as the European lingua franca for young refugees in order to participate actively in European politics and develop a better understanding of European common values;

methodology and expected outcomes:
The methodology of this three-year-project fundamentally rests on six pillars:
1. networking, 2. needs analysis, 3. development, 4. collecting results, 5. improvement, 6. presentation and dissemination;

The current debate on the so-called “refugees crisis” shows that a lot of European citizens need help, support, information exchange and orientation in order to better see and live the European values, especially when there is a demanding situation like the present one. In this sense, this project is of decisive importance in focussing again on European values which are the very bottom and foundation of the European Union, and this exactly is the idea of all meetings and activities of this project.