The second day of LERI’s second teacher workshop was all about developing and adapting the Language Friendly Subject Lessons. We met in a room at the University of Applied Sciences for Teacher Education in Amsterdam. All initial, and very creative, ideas for the lessons were presented. The ideas ranged from cooking lessons to literature, art, and many other subjects of secondary education. In discussion groups the ideas were deepened and feedback was provided. The organizing team provided knowledge-sharing on frameworks and aspects of Language Friendly learning, as well as practical tips and tools for using digital means in the subject lessons. With a self-evaluation tool called the Language Awareness Checklist, the teachers could see what they were already doing, what they wanted to improve and what points they would like to incorporate into their subject lessons.
This day’s workshop was hybrid with teachers and part of the voXmi team joining from Vienna. Especially for the organizing team, this was an opportunity to improve their digital skills for hosting training and events through hybrid working.
Circling back to a few hours prior, we had our lunch during the Black Heritage Boat Tour. This was an extra activity outside of the programme that gave depth to why it is so important to provide language and culturally inclusive education. In a tour over the canals of Amsterdam, our guide [name] told the often unheard stories of the black community in Amsterdam since the 1500s. She told about the rich culture that was not recorded in those times. The boat passed landmarks, buildings that were built and occupied by people, companies, and institutions involved in slave trade, and the area where the black community used to live in the 15th, 16th and 17th century. The guide connected these landmarks and the black people’s untold stories in Amsterdam to the painful memories and experiences, and institutional racism that is present in today’s society. There was room for sharing perspectives, experience and stories from the group, which made this history also personal.
At the end of the day, we had dinner at the best Surinamese-Asian restaurant in Amsterdam, Lalla Rookh. The flavours we tasted there were completely new and surprising for some of us. With some fun icebreakers like 2 truths 1 lie, the LERI team got to know each other more.