We are excited that you have an interest in teaching refugee elders. We created this curriculum to support elderly refugees as they adjust to their new lives in the United States. In 2016, the non-profit organization, Refugee Connections Spokane, received a grant from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), for elder outreach in our area. A portion of the grant was to be used to offer Second Language (ESL) classes twice a month. When we began teaching these classes, we found very few resources that were designed specifically for use with older learners. This was the beginning of the Elder Outreach ESL curriculum.
The 24 topical lessons in our curriculum have been tailored with this group’s specific strengths and challenges in mind. Each lesson has been designed to provide multiple opportunities for students to interact, to share, and to have fun together. The lessons each work in tandem with field-based learning by front-loading language and information under the categories of Health, Community, and Home, and Cultural Preservation. Our curriculum supports students with varying levels of English proficiency. It emphasizes functional language skills, provides opportunities for interaction among the elders, and finally, gives students opportunities to practice skills that will give them the best chance of thriving in their new communities.
Elders are a unique and rewarding group to teach and learn from in our communities. We hope you find the curriculum useful and welcome your input and feedback.
All the best,
Kendra & Mary
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