Children of Roma Nationality Learn English


The English Language Summer School for children of Roma nationality ended with its program on Friday, July 6th, 2018, at the ''Škurinje'' Elementary School in Rijeka. Volunteers from the University of Rijeka worked with Roma children according to the curriculum of learning English for the youngest. The children learned English for 4 days at the level of the 1st grade of elementary school.

Prior to the beginning of this Summer School, six American students from the State University of New York, headed by their Professor Christine A. Lai, Ph.D., visited Rijeka within the framework of the American program entitled "Developing Student Volunteer Work – Civic and Community Engagement in the Global Community". Every year, Prof. Lai takes a group of students from her University to a certain city/country where volunteering and civic and community engagement are not part of a regular curriculum to teach them to be socially engaged in the community.

As a part of the Summer School, the US Embassy American Corner at the Rijeka City Library ''Trsat'' helped the Roma children discover and learn the English language through an interactive program. The children attended an interactive workshop, prepared by Prof. Sanja Štajduhar, where they were introduced to the English language through a picture book and a play in an interesting and understandable way.

Professor Štajduhar read the children's interactive picture book Freddie and the Fairy, where children adopted the text in English through various didactic aids. The children later got an opportunity to enact the characters from the story by participating in a play where they were expected to use English, with the help of their teacher, of course.

The children got the ''American packet'' containing the well-known American toy yo-yo, and Prof. Štajduhar taught them how to use it properly. The professor tried to familiarize the children with the American culture, briefly touching upon the theme of American independence and the Independence Day celebrated in the US on July 4th.

This Summer School was formed in cooperation with the NGO "Oaza", led by Prof. Borka Babić, a psychology professor. The aim of this association is to reduce the social exclusion of vulnerable groups, integrate them into society and raise public awareness of the problems of minorities, poverty, and social exclusion.

A project called ''Education and Integration'' was created within the framework of ''Oaza'' association. It is a supplementary education program for children of Roma nationality attending ''Škurinje'' Elementary School.


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