Do you want to learn more Yiddish than the occasional Oy Vey? Get a crash-course in Hebrew and/or Arabic before setting off to the Holy Land? Learn to Sign? Or have you recently moved to this rainy country, and need to work on your English? We have a course for you.
Babel’s Blessing is a grassroots language school set up in summer 2015. We run affordable language classes for adults in a number of languages that are politically relevant for our communities. The income we get from these helps us to run our programme of free English classes for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
We see language learning as being about cultural exchange, community building, and a way for members of diaspora communities to reconnect with their/our heritage. In our classes, we talk about politics, culture, art and history through language as it is spoken – valuing street language and varied accents rather than one ‘correct’ version.
We apply critical pedagogy methods and principles across all our classes, and we run as a democratic community of learners, where students are actively involved in shaping the learning process. Our teachers are also our team members, administrators, fundraisers, event hosts and blog writers. We are a non-hierarchical organisation and everyone is encouraged to take an active role in the direction of the project.
“Here every student is a teacher and every teacher is a student. Even though each course has a facilitator, we work according to the principles of critical pedagogy – everyone is actively involved in shaping the learning process.”