Help us plan Babel’s Blessing second year!

We’re planning our next year at Babel’s Blessing, starting again in September. We’re thinking of adding some new languages and assessing whether to continue all of the current ones. Tell us what you’d like to learn in the survey below. It won’t take more than five minutes.

The paid-for classes will continue to fund our free ESOL classes for refugees and migrants, which we would like to expand – but we can only do that if we get more paying students! So, please complete the survey and share it with your friends.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RXCVK9J

Thank you! ūüôā

Teacher training course – an update

Last December, we launched a crowdfunding campaign to set up a special course to train some of our students to become language teachers themselves – https://chuffed.org/project/participatory-esol-teacher-training-for-migrants-refugees. We received all the funding we needed (thank you!) and were able to run the course over 12 weeks. We had students from various countries – including Chile, Palestine, Syria, Congo, and Romania – and with different levels of experience. Three of the students are now teaching their own classes for us and have joined our organising team.

best pic TT.jpg

This is what the students had to say about the course:

The way of teaching was perfect Adela was gave us the information and we try to figure out how is the way of teach. I learnd a new way how to teach .

This was a fantastic and enjoyable class, this class helped me to became more confidence in teaching i also discover my strengths and weaknesses. It helped me to improved my knowledge.

I would like to express my gratitude for giving me the chance to take this interesting course. The teacher training course qualified me to teach Arabic language course to students of different ages and backgrounds. The activities and teaching methods that I received/engaged in in the teacher training class were useful even in the Arabic language course. I had a lot of fun, knowledge and training.

I think the development of the language and expression¬īs skills is the base for the construction of a better world, so, I thank the opportunity of learn english here (In Babel Blessing) where is very important the inclusion and the collective work between teachers and students, in this manner, with your donation you are important part of a new better world, thanks!!

Registrations open for term 3!

We are very excited to announce that registrations are now open for term 3!

You can sign up for one (or more) of these fabulous classes:

Term 3 will run from 11th April to 7th July. Registration will be open until the beginning of term. However we keep our classes quite small and it’s first come first served, so book your place quick!

The money you pay to attend the evening classes allows us to run our free English classes for migrants & refugees. Since we started teaching last September, we have been inundated with requests for English classes and we have been expanding our provision: at the Praxis Centre for migrants & refugees we have opened a second (and already oversubscribed) class, and next term we are planning to open a second class in an initial accommodation centre for asylum seekers. We can only do this with your support Рso come take that language class you always meant to do, and spread the word!

 

Term 3!

As our second¬†term comes to a close, we are very pleased to announce that we’ll soon be opening registrations for our third and last term of the (academic) year! Third term will be starting on the week of the 18th of April, and student registration will open on the 25th of March.

We’ll be running evening classes in Arabic (multiple levels), Hebrew, Yiddish and British Sign Language. All details about venue and times will be released on Friday 25th together with the registration forms.

The money you pay to attend the evening classes allows us to pay for our free English classes for migrants & refugees. Over these two terms, we have been inundated with requests for English classes and we have been expanding our provision: at the Praxis Centre for migrants & refugees we have opened a second (and already oversubscribed) class, and next term we are planning to open a second class in an initial accommodation centre for asylum seekers. We can only do this with your support Рso come take that language class you always meant to do, and spread the word!

In case anyone’s wondering¬†what happened to the¬†teacher training English class we ran in term 2: it’s been a blast! Three of the students will¬†be joining our team in term 3: one as an English assistant, one as an Arabic assistant, and one as both an English and Arabic teacher!! Sign up for Arabic and you’ll get to meet them ūüôā

Teacher trainings – all welcome!

Babel’s Blessing invites all participants, friends and interested people to our upcoming teacher trainings –

Participatory ESOL training
Friday 15th January 6-8pm
May Day Rooms, 88 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1DH
Workshop led by Dermot from English for Action – read more about E4A’s amazing work here http://www.efalondon.org.
If you can afford it, we kindly ask for a donation of £5 or £10 to help us cover the costs of the training.

General teacher training – critical pedagogy and adult education
Monday 18th January 7.15-10.30pm
Common House, Unit 5E, 5 Pundersons Gardens, Bethnal Green, London E2 9QG
We will start with a one-hour session on critical pedagogy and adult education, led by Alice from the Radical Education Forum [http://radicaleducationforum.tumblr.com/]. This will be followed by a two-hour skill-share in which our teachers will bring topics for discussion – from problems they faced in their classes to particularly successful teaching strategies they’ve used.

All welcome!

Register for Yiddish, Hebrew & British Sign Language classes 2016 – and support our crowdfunding!

Here’s a suggestion for anyone struggling to think of a New Year’s resolution, or feeling themselves sliding into that xmas holiday slump of nothing to look forward to but family drama and overcooked turkey…

Registration is now open for four of our upcoming courses!

In January 2016 we will be running¬†beginners’ British Sign Language,¬†improvers’ Hebrew, improvers’ Arabic, and two¬†Yiddish¬†classes covering various ability levels.¬†A new Bat Mitzvah class will also be starting in February/March – stay tuned!

The term will be 11 weeks long with a half-term break in February, to fit in with school/university holidays. Classes will start on January 11th (Yiddish) and January 17th (Hebrew & BSL). Our course fees work on a sliding scale with £10 per class as the standard rate, £5 for unwaged/low waged learners and £15 for those who have a good income and would like to subsidise the fees for less fortunate language fans.

We will also be expanding our provision of free ESOL classes for refugees and migrants. Any surplus money from your course fees goes directly into running these classes, so by signing up to learn a language with us you will also be helping many wonderful, vulnerable and isolated people to learn English in a welcoming, safe, participatory environment.

If you would like to help us out even more, we are crowdfunding some extra cash to run a very special class: an advanced level ESOL class with a focus on teaching skills, for refugees and migrants who are interested in becoming the next generation of London ESOL teachers. More details here:

https://chuffed.org/project/participatory-esol-teacher-training-for-migrants-refugees

Thanks to everyone who has supported Babel’s so far – and thanks in advance to all of you who are going to sign up, donate, and/or share this page widely across the social media stratosphere ūüôā

Happy Holidays xx

Film screening with Radical Education Forum

https://www.facebook.com/events/1668352993448777/

Friday 27th November, 7.30pm. Join the Radical Education Forum and Babel’s Blessing – Radical Language School for a screening of

MAESTRA
Cuba, 1961. 250,000 volunteer teachers teach 700,000 illiterate adults to read and write in one year. Over half of the teachers – and students – were women. This film explores this controversial experience through the eyes of the women teachers, and how it changed their sense of themselves.

– followed by discussion and drinks –
– a fundraiser for Common House ‚Äď

http://radicaleducationforum.tumblr.com/
https://babelsblessing.wordpress.com/
http://maestrathefilm.org/

Bat Mitzvah class – a student’s experience

So here I am, all whacked and weary. Why, you ask? Well, I became Jewish by choice through the Reform Judaism movement few years ago. However, I cannot miss the opportunity to have a bar mitzvah, so I will have to be a boy again!

When a boy comes of age at 13 years old, the Jewish tradition recognizes him to have the same rights as a full-grown man (some have beards), and he becomes a ‚Äúbar mitzvah‚ÄĚ i.e. the son of the commandment. I want to experience how important a bar mitzvah is in the Jewish religion. It is a profoundly significant milestone in a person‚Äôs life. It calls out for a big celebration.

This is a great chance to learn to read from the Torah and reinterpret how a reading from the Torah relates to today‚Äôs society. Recently I enjoyed learning about different kinds of kippots, the concept of sukkot, and discovering the feminine version of the divine presence ‚ÄėShechina‚Äô which was new and refreshing.

I was thrilled and delighted to be a part of such a central event of people who want to learn about Jewish life. It’s tough to think of an event more joyous than a bar mitzvah.

Jewish adulthood comes with a lot of responsibilities. I was content to have fulfilled the responsibilities set on my shoulders with coherence and proficiency, so I was told. I’m looking forward to the bar mitzvah success in all my endeavors.

Kenneth, Bat Mitzvah class student