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How to teach Spanish to Syrian and Palestinian refugees

From March 22, 2019 until April 01, 2019Check schedules.
Casa Árabe’s headquarters. Check schedules. Prior registration required.

We are holding a new edition of our workshops on teaching Spanish as a foreign language to Syrian and Palestinian asylum seekers. It will be taking place in Córdoba on Saturday and Sunday 6 and 7 April. You can sign up now.

Casa Árabe is offering this series of four workshops on teaching Spanish as a foreign language (Spanish/LE or ELE), with the cooperation of teachers who specialize in humanitarian action and mediation, Victoria Khraiche Ruiz-Zorrilla and Nadia Jallad.

These workshops will discuss the process to apply for asylum in Spain and the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language (Spanish/LE, or ELE) at official refugee reception centers and charitable non-governmental organizations, while also introducing basic concepts about the Levantine dialectal variety of Arabic and useful sociocultural information to promote empathy with students in this field of activity.

They will discuss three main topics. First of all, the workshops will take an in-depth look at the cognitive and emotional implications which the asylum application procedure itself has on the applicants’ learning process, while examining the main features of these types of Spanish as a foreign language classrooms, which are extremely heterogeneous in terms of skill level and student origins. Along these lines, they will also discuss specific strategies for Spanish teachers to put into practice in such environments, providing a list of the most common linguistic and pragmalinguistic errors made by Arabic-speaking students of Syrian and Palestinian origin when communicating in Spanish, while also assessing the potential for transference from Arabic and other foreign languages spoken, such as English and French.

In addition to this, they will analyze the contexts in which these students reach Spain, examining the origin and development of the conflicts which have led to the arrival of refugees and displaced persons coming from Syria and Palestine.

Last of all, an important part of these workshops is that different elementary expressions in Levantine Arabic will be taught, along with sociocultural information that will allow the humanitarian workers and mediators for whom the courses are intended to receive and assist these types of students while promoting empathy.

The four workshops last a total of 14 hours and will be held on April  6 and 7. The price to register is 65 euros. An attendance certificate will be given out at the end of the course.

General objectives
By the end of the course, those attending:
▪    Will know what the asylum application procedure consists of in Spain.
▪    Will get a general overview of the nature of teaching Spanish as a foreign language to asylum applicants.
▪    Will be able to foresee specific learning difficulties among their Arabic-speaking students and take the resulting action to remedy them.
▪    Will be able to understand and effectively use basic expressions in the Levantine dialect of Arabic, which will help promote empathy in the classroom.
▪    Will have developed their intercultural skills.

Profile of students for whom the course is intended:
Teachers of Spanish as a foreign language. Aid workers. The hired staff and volunteers of humanitarian organizations. Employees at refugee reception centers. Those interested in teaching Spanish as a foreign language in general and to immigrants and refugees in particular.
How to teach Spanish to Syrian and Palestinian refugees
The workshops will be given on April 6 and 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., with a lunch break lasting an hour and a half.

Saturday April 6, 2019

•    Workshop 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
What is a refugee?: The right of asylum and subsidiary protection: The Syrian and Palestinian cases  (Victoria Khraiche Ruiz-Zorrilla).

•     Workshop 2, from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Introduction to the Levantine dialect of Arabic I. Language and culture (Nadia Jallad).

Sunday, April 7, 2019
•    Workshop 3, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Teaching Spanish to Arabic speakers from Syria and Palestine in a heterogeneous classroom environment (Victoria Khraiche Ruiz-Zorrilla)

•    Workshop 4, from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Introduction to the Levantine dialect of Arabic Language and culture II. (Nadia Jallad).
Victoria Khraiche Ruiz-Zorrilla has a PhD in Semitic Studies from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, as well as a bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. She has been a lecturer of Spanish at the University of Damascus and a contributing educator at the Cervantes Institutes in that capital city and Cairo. Moreover, she was a teacher of Spanish as a foreign language in the programs given by Asilim (Association for the Linguistic Integration of Immigrants in Madrid) at the Refugee Reception Center (CAR) in Alcobendas, at La Casa Encendida and at its own headquarters. At present, she is an associate Arabic language professor at the University of Valladolid and of Spanish at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón, activities which she combines with translation and teacher training at several universities, and at the aforementioned association, whose training program she coordinates.

Nadia Jallad has a university degree in Business Management and Administration from the European University of Damascus, In Syria, Jallad worked as a project director within several international oil companies, and as a teacher and trainer of adults and children for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Since she arrived in Spain in 2011, she has received training on teaching foreign languages, having specialized in teaching Arabic for business. For example, she has taught courses on the Levantine dialect and standard Arabic at various academies and the NGO Asilim (Association for the Linguistic Integration of Immigrants in Madrid), where she has been a member of the Executive Board since the year 2012 and is responsible for the Arabic teaching programs. Since 2015, she has taught Arabic language classes to children and Levantine dialect classes at Casa Árabe’s Arabic Language Center. She works full-time teaching Arabic as a foreign language and in translation. 
The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 25. Those interested must send an e-mail message by April 1 to, and then they will be sent the number of the account into which they must deposit the amount required for registration. Message topic: ”Talleres ELE Casa Árabe”. 

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