Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz Schweinfurt: Language learning with play cards and computers

Community initiative supports volunteers with language learning tools for refugees and asylum seekers.

June 2017. Mehrgenerationenhaus Schweinfurt, a community center for the city of Schweinfurt, Bavaria,  hosts activities for all generations and welcomes people from many different cultures. The team organizes study groups to help with homework, breakfast meet ups, a sewing club, or a housing exchange. "The program is as diverse and colorful as its visitors," explains coordinator Christine Barthelme. On Mondays and Tuesdays, people from different countries and cultures come together to practice and improve their German language skills. The community initiative “Freiwilligenagentur GemeinSinn” supports such volunteer based efforts with a set of learning tools, including books, picture cards and laptops. Online learning content is particularly high in demand. 

Coordinator Christine Barthelme (left) and students at the Mehrgenerationenhaus Schweinfurt try out the new language learning tools. © K. Schauer

Coordinator Christine Barthelme (left) and students at the Mehrgenerationenhaus Schweinfurt try out the new language learning tools. © K. Schauer

The laptops, so-called Chromebooks, draw attention from the very first moment. "I'd like to have one like that too," says a refugee admiring the newly arrived laptops. Owning one personally is not in scope. But GemeinSinn loans 17 Chromebooks with free, pre-installed apps for language training to all institutions in the county of Schweinfurt working with refugees and asylum seekers. Volunteer language trainers can request the materials and use them for teaching and tutoring. The Chromebooks, a donation from NetHope’s Project Reconnect, are used to learn German, write applications, prepare presentations or search for housing or jobs on the Internet. An indispensable help are the volunteers, who offer advice and help to use the learning materials. "The Freiwilligenagentur GemeinSinn wants that the language support measures can be used according to needs and thus a genuine support offer are on site," emphasizes agency manager Katrin Schauer. 

 

Post by Freiwilligenagentur GemeinSinn, Schweinfurt