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Learning language like a local

Back in the day, teaching refugees and migrants in England, (when Covid and Brexit might have sounded like breakfast foods) I realized that the antidote I had to the challenges that the world presented was a friendly space where everyone felt welcome, secure and uninhibited. I know that sounds like the local. 😊

Who would not want a safe learning environment, offering support, fun and trust? Of course, the issue is not whether we all believe that, (don’t worry, some think the desk facing as little as possible, with silence as the guardian, and ‘getting on with it’ is the best approach to learning) but how we create that sense of protected ambition to foster learning.


We need to show our students that we have trust in them, in their attributes. We need to get to know our students and the things that keep each individual engaged. Think for a moment why as adults we can be so brilliantly strategic at a social gathering in order to engage and persuade our relatives (go on, admit it) and at times so absent in this when we teach.