Thursday 3 June 2010

ESL Activities to Explore Issues Around Human Migration

Over the last few months I have been gradually working away at editing lesson plans and writing activities that exploit materials from the OPENCities project and I would like to share links to those materials here.
OPENCities is a project that collects together information and case studies on best practice regarding the successful social and cultural integration of migrant workers and their families into their host cities. As many of you probably already know, the issue of migration will be one that is and will continue to have huge impact on our societies over the next few decades and dealing with this effectively is going to be of key importance.

Language is of course a huge issue for anyone moving to another country and so it seems appropriate that the materials, information and images from the project be exploited for their language learning potential, as well as the potential they have to inform, enlighten and open up discussion about what can be a very sensitive issue.

Here are links to some of the materials.

Who is it?
This activity contains audio, script and images of real people who migrated to Dublin. The students find out about some of the real people and have to imagine the lives of some of the others to build up a profile.

Image by Veronica Vierin
Activity: Who is it?

The challenges of being a migrant
This is a speaking and listening activity that involves students in thinking about the kinds of problems and challenges they might face as a migrant going to Belfast. They then listen to the true stories of 5 migrants talking about the challenges they have faced and this is made more real for students because these are genuine stories and the materials include images of the real people.

Activity: The challenges of being a migrant

Artists as immigrants
People’s ideas of what an immigrant to their country is and the kinds of work they do can often be very stereotyped, so in this activity I’ve tried to confront those stereotypes by using images of different kinds of artists all of whom are migrants to Dusseldorf. The students have to imagine they are one of the people and try to see the experience of migrating from their perspective.

Images by Liza Nguyen
Activity: Artists as immigrants

These are just a few of the activities I’ve created and there should be some more on the way soon. There are also 4 complete lesson plans with pages of linked activities.

Most of the materials contain images as well as Mp3 audio recordings for listening exercises. You can find a complete list in the Education section of the OPENCities website.

I hope you find these activities useful, and if you d then look out for more coming soon.

Related links:

Nik Peachey

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