Asylum Seeker Guest

Over the last few weeks, Grade 10 English students have been studying about the topic of refugees and asylum seekers. In Language Acquisition, students have been reading a novel and non-fiction articles, and Language and Literature students have been reading poems written by and about refugees. Humanities teachers have also discussed this issue in their classes.
In order to further students’ awareness on the issue, two guests were invited to interact with students. On Wednesday, 15 November, Ms. Sallie Latch came to Prem to speak about her recent volunteer work in a refugee camp in Samos, Greece. She played some interviews she had recorded with refugees about their experiences fleeing war, travelling vast distances to Europe, and then living in a squalid refugee camp. She also showed us many pictures of life in this camp.
Then on Friday, 17 November, students had the opportunity to interact, via Skype, with an asylum seeker living in Bangkok. They were able to use what they learned in English classes, along with the stories Ms. Latch shared, to ask focused questions to this asylum seeker about his past experiences with prejudice, the process of seeking asylum and his prospects for the future.
Much planning went into inviting these two guests to speak. Grade 10 Language Acquisition students raised money to pay a speaking fee to the asylum seeker through selling Italian Soda at the College Fair on 14 November. In order to sell the soda, they had to plan, buy supplies, and advertise the product, all in about a week. Students also helped the PSA sell food, who, in turn, kindly donated money to this cause.
Teachers plan to incorporate the knowledge gained through these interactions into classroom activities. In Language Acquisition, for example, students will write a script and perform a role play based on a story they heard from the guests. We hope that the students have a deeper awareness of the issue of migration and refugees, and may be inspired to take positive action based on what they learned.

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