PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES
PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES
PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
LEARNERS IN PRISON
PEOPLE LIVING IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES
YOUNG PEOPLE OVERCOMING DISADVANTAGE
PEOPLE SEEKING EMPLOYMENT
Spanish for unemployed people in difficult circumstances
Case Study ANGOULEME: ANPE
ANPE is a national employment agency, which helps the unemployed to return to work through individualised support .It receives information on job vacancies and helps people to prepare their CV. We worked with the branch at La Couronne, Angoulême.
The learners were unemployed adults on minimum unemployment benefit, between 40 and 55 years old. Initially there were 12 but this eventually reduced to 4.
Spanish was chosen because it is popular language to learn at present and therefore appealed to the learners. M-CV is a Spanish teacher with 20 years’ experience of teaching to all audiences, particularly adults. She was keen to undertake a new teaching experience.
Working with the advisor from the agency, we decided to draw up a schedule of 2 workshops of 2 hours each per week for an initial period, but afterwards we only had one workshop per week with a reduced number of participants.
Initial meetings took place with the advisors from the national employment agency and the people interested in participating in this project.
The pedagogic objective was to work with individuals who are very isolated and in great difficulty, to give them the opportunity of studying a foreign language through non-traditional methods, so forgetting "bad school memories". We hoped to raise their self-esteem and give them self-confidence and thus engender enthusiasm and the desire to find a way to break their isolation in order to find a job. Language objectives varied according to the different levels of individual learners.
We selected an existing course and purchased a copy of the book "Gente 1" for each of the participants. The course was not strictly followed but served rather as a basis for work for listening and reading activities.
The participants learned to communicate in Spanish through role-plays and sketches, question and answer sessions and stories.
Use was made of a computer programme ‘ Español interactivo’and videos on cultural elements (Cadiz Carnival, Holy Week, feria, Rocío) as well as card , board and dice games. Photographs were prepared to show at the ALLEGRO partner meeting in Germany.
DATES and PLACE
From January 2004 to June 2004 ( group of 6 and of 4 )
From October 2003 to December 2003 (group of 8 )
The sessions took place at the CIFOP training centre.
Everyone had the opportunity to talk about themselves and bonds were forged between the participants. There was a high level of group participation. The Allegro project was a unifying influence.
The group was made up of very varied individuals, complete beginners and people with a high level of Spanish. We managed to interest everybody because nothing was at stake, other than taking part in an enjoyable experience together. Everyone learned at their own pace and the beginners made rapid progress, helped by those with a higher level. This rapid learning and mixing of levels was made possible by a learner-centred flexible approach and always starting from the participants' centres of interest.
The group identified with one another and gave one another moral support. They had no difficulty in speaking in front of the others
What went well :
• the games, the oral situations, moving round the room and exchanges between participants
• listening work in the language lab, multimedia activities
• the very relaxed atmosphere in the workshop; the friendly nature of the group
• the fact that heed was being taken of their interests e.g.:
- One of the participants is very fond of poetry and decided to translate a poem by Baudelaire "The Man and the Sea". He read his translation into Spanish to the whole class.
- A woman who is a former singer at the Conservatory, sang in Spanish a song by Mecano which she likes very much ‘ Hijo de la luna ‘.
- Dance was also a successful element. For Christmas we brought together the two groups and another teacher’s cousin, who is learning flamenco in Seville, came to give them a presentation of flamenco. In this way they learnt the rhythm (=compass) This was a high point.
- Gastronomy was also a very strong tie, at Christmas or at any other moment : Breton pancakes made by a participant from Brittany, Moroccan cuisine, tortillas , pastries.
*What did not go well :
• The more scholastic activities e.g. reading texts
• Regular attendance. Many of the participants are in difficult financial and family situations, often swamped by difficulties. Sometimes discouragement took over. Allegro could not solve their problems, only give them some hope and renewed confidence.