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
RAISONS DE PLUS, Angoulême
Raisons de Plus is a support association for the reintegration of workers disabled by mental health problems.
At the start there were7 people, at the end 4 people regularly. They were aged between 28 and 54, were socially excluded and had psychological and financial problems.
M-CV carried out the co-ordination between the Allegro project and « Raisons de Plus » (meetings with the director, appraisals, etc.)
CL ran the language workshop in constant collaboration with the Raisons de Plus team.
Spanish was chosen because it is particularly popular at the moment and because a talented teacher was available. CL is accustomed to teaching in a vocational college, has had much teaching experience and gets on very well with difficult groups.
A group of 7 people was formed by ND, the psychologist in charge of the association. The initial project from May 2003 to July 2003 included 2 sessions of 2 hours per week. From September 2003 to June 2004, it was agreed to have one 2 hour session per week. Regular appraisals took place in the course of these sessions with the team at Raisons de Plus and with the participants.
The objective of this workshop was to give an opportunity to people on the fringes of society, either because of their psychological handicap or their social isolation, to meet socially « like a normal person » through learning a foreign language.
The pedagogic objective was to have a different and innovative approach to learning a foreign language, to get over the feeling of failure at school and to raise their esteem through the knowledge that they were taking part in a large European project.
Methods were based on exchange games, questions and answers and speaking in front of a group.
The following teaching aids were used:
advertising videos of Spanish brands for the cultural aspect, ( cars, train, clothes, shops, cigarettes …)
Bingo, in order to work on numbers, fruit and vegetables bingo, food. The winners received a token prize (sweets, cake)
Presentation of sketches in front of the group to get over the block of speaking before a group
Situation sketches, at the restaurant, at the market
Vocabulary games (the home, sports, smells, etc depending on their interests )
Music (flamenco , hymns, etc)
Comic strips with a more academic approach, satirical comic strip by Quino « familia y video », in order to make them aware of the importance of television in society, and our dependence on it
DATES AND PLACE
The first part of the course lasted May 2003 to July 2003 and the second from September 2003 to June 2004, a total of about 60hours.
The workshop took place at the Raisons de Plus centre.
• People became more sociable.
• They developed excellent relations with the trainer and the participants were highly motivated.
• Individual linguistic progress varied. One participant was a complete beginner and is now the one who speaks and understands the best.
• Each one was able to present him or herself orally and in writing.
• Language for everyday survival situations and basic vocabulary were acquired.
What went well:
• Friendly nature of the group: e.g. instituting celebrating birthdays
• The good relationship with the trainer (They talked freely about themselves which greatly helped the trainer.)
• The participants joined in well with the games.
• The comic strip and the videos were popular.
• The people contacted each other outside the workshop.
• Two of the participants went on the flamenco course on their own initiative because they wanted to go further into this theme of Spain.
• Another participant is in constant contact by telephone with an Argentinean friend; the workshop gave her the desire to communicate with her friend in Spanish.
• S, one of the participants, was interviewed on the radio about his disability and during the interview he mentioned the important role the workshop had played in his reintegration.
• There was much laughter during the sessions.
• Everyone was understanding with regard to the others' deficiencies.
What did not go well :
• The irregular participation (They are adults and they make their own decisions.)
• The interests of the participants were very varied interests (e.g. in computers, religion) hence it was difficult to interest all the participants at the same time.
• One of the participants became obsessed with the trainer and talked about it to his psychologist. It was decided that he should leave the workshop.