School support programme for migrant children is going strong
2015-10-01 12:49:27 -

By Margot Garnier


Dublin’s New Communities Partnership is celebrating three years of its English language classes and homework support for migrant children.


Helping pupils coping with difficulties in learning English, the programme has been a roaring success, according to co-ordinator Sevak Khachatryan.


“We had fantastic feedbacks from the families and teachers,” he told Metro Éireann. “The students are being more social. After a few classes, they start to speak with their peers and they significantly improved their English.”


Originally, the courses took place as tutorials in children’s homes. Student teachers and recent graduates volunteered for these home lessons with the support of parents who sometimes had difficulties with English themselves.


“But we always wanted to do classes inside of schools so teachers will also get involved,” said Khachatryan. “So last year, we worked with St Mark’s Junior School in Tallaght.”


Once a week, in a 90-minute class, five volunteers helped around 30 children using games and songs.


“Teachers identify the children who need support and try with us to overcome their difficulties. The classes are very interactive,” said Khachatryan.


For its third year, which begins this month, the programme is working to find two or three schools in Dublin city centre to join in.


And in future, Khachatryan hopes to take the scheme national within the next few years, starting with Cork.

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