In the News, Jobs & Opportunities

Language Teachers and Refugees

Every day the news from the refugee crisis has my stomach in knots. There are so many people in need and so many people needed to help that sometimes I feel overwhelmed emotionally and unsure of where I can best place my finances and skills in a way to do something small to give support. So, I was really encouraged this morning reading a news article from a about a month ago, about how language teaching is being used as a way to welcome refugees. 

I am in the middle of writing an article for a Brethren in Christ publication on language and belonging and how we are so tied together by being able to communicate. Helping to create language bridges so that incoming refugees can communicate to find work, food, lodging, make friends is empowering, dignifying and opens the door for peace. I am reminded yet again as I read first hand accounts from refugees that peace work and social justice go completely hand in hand.

So in light of a huge need, I want to use this post as a collecting point of possible opportunities for language teachers looking to get involved in refugee related relief and services. See below for some links to organizations that have language teaching volunteer positions in the U.S. Please comment with any opportunities that you may know of in your areas/countries as well!

  • Church World Service :Branches in many locations, including Lancaster and Harrisonburg, two Anabaptist ‘hubs.’
  • Exodus Refugee  :Located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Bridge Refugee Services :Located in Knoxville, Tennessee. See their volunteermatch page for opportunities.
  • Refugee Transitions : Located in San Francisco, California
  • Jubilee Partners: Located in Comer, Georgia. A community that serves incoming refugees in a variety of ways, English classes included. Call their volunteer coordinator for more details about joining the community.

Resources for teaching (please comment with more resources you know of!):

English focus:

Tips for teaching English to Migrants and Refugees

E-Book: Innovations in English Language Teaching for Migrants and Refugees



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Contributing Author

Abigail Long is a 2012 graduate of Messiah College in Grantham, PA, and a member of Fairview Ave Brethren in Christ Church in Waynesboro, PA. She spent 14 months teaching English in South Korea at the Connexus Language Institute and is deeply interested in the connections between language learning, teaching and peacebuilding.

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