Language, key to access to information (July edition, 26 minutes)

Jasmin and Hortense from DRC, and Yagub from Sudan reflect on the role of being able to speak English in their country of asylum. The discussants share their own motivations in learning English as well their achievements in after learning the host country languages, especially during the lockdown. Worth noting is book writing project undertaken by Yagub, the music and video clips that campaigned for the adherence to SOPs in the fight against COVID-19 made by Rendezvous group members. Additional benefits include better integration with host communities. As Yagub remarked, “Any language you learn in the country of asylum can help you get friendships with the local community and also get their culture” The discussion specifically highlights how knowing some languages spoken by the host communities relatively lessened the effects of the pandemic. Discussants also tackled some of the reasons why many refugees have not embraced learning English even when they know they need it, including ignorance of the availability of learning centres, affordability (where cost applies), competing demands (for example parents fending for their dependants), hopes for imminent resettlement. The trio also suggested that more English centres be built and more refugee English tutors be employed to encourage their fellow refugees. Your browser does not support the audio element.

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