“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” -Frank Smith
CRP is pleased to announce that we received a funding grant from the U.S. Department of State in October 2020. Awarded through the U.S. embassy in Jordan, the grant supports volunteer-led English language and computer skills training programs that serve teenagers and adults from refugee and marginalized communities in East Amman. Through a partnership with the US-based non-profit Paper Airplanes, CRP is expanding the outreach of their English and International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) programs. Paper Airplanes uses virtual learning technology and the benefits of online tutoring to bridge gaps in language, higher education, and professional skills training for conflict-affected individuals.
The English language program, which began in 2008, has proven to be one of CRP’s most popular programs. Across the TEFL, e-learning, and Conversation Club, 48 CRP volunteers currently work with 143 adults and 14 teenagers. Paper Airplanes’ partnership allows CRP to increase these numbers. . Alongside this, more than 100 native English-speaking volunteers based in the U.S. will work with program participants through one-on-one lessons, in small groups, via Skype, and other accessible video conferencing platforms.
English is a modern lingua franca. Being proficient in English allows people to access educational and employment opportunities in Jordan and overseas. At CRP, program participants learn the basics of grammar, vocabulary, and they practice the four primary language learning skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The instructors and the students work in pairs; this means the focus is on that participant’s specific individual needs. CRP’s Conversation Club aims to provide a fun and interactive environment where participants can develop their speaking skills and vocabulary. Participants here are free to suggest topics that interest them and have more room to interact with each other and the teacher in a more light-hearted setting. The program coordinator stated this:
“Aside from the benefit of learning a new language, especially one that is as in-demand as English, there is also an aspect of bringing the community together in a shared sense of camaraderie around learning something new and exploring unfamiliar territory. Furthermore, giving people a sense of structure and belonging does a great deal of good for the community’s mental welfare in these uncertain times.”
As of March 2021, CRP has succeeded to enroll 50 participants in the ICDL program. The program, which runs twice a week for one and a half hour sessions, allows participants to navigate Microsoft software, the internet, communication online, and even coding. Such skills are essential in today’s climate to increasing employment opportunities. According to the ICDL program coordinator, the program has already enabled some participants to find computer-oriented work in Jordan.
We look forward to sharing success stories from the English and ICDL programs at CRP in the coming months. We express our thanks to the U.S. Department of State for this opportunity. Without the support of the U.S. Embassy, CRP would not have expanded its high-quality English language and ICDL programs, benefitting more youth and adults in our community.
Both the English language and ICDL programs are currently running online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The movement of all CRP programs online has been a difficult adjustment. The experience, however, has allowed program coordinators to learn how to adapt and improve their programs.
Eliza Ward, Marketing and Communications team
Collateral Repair Project, 2021