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“Dealing with language barriers in refugee and asylum support work" training workshop to be delivered for Welsh Refugee Council

9 July 2021

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This half-day workshop follows a Presentation Skills bespoke CPE course that was delivered to two cohorts of staff from the Welsh Refugee Council (WRC).

We are delighted to be working with the WRC again following a successful two-part course on presentation skills. Having discussed the broader skills training requirement and identifying broader communication skills needs for support staff working directly with refugees and asylum seekers, we approached Dr Judith Reynolds, a communication expert from the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, to develop a half-day workshop that could respond to these needs.

Dr Reynolds is currently a lecturer in the Centre for Language and Communication Research (part of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy), and has a specific research interest in multilingual and intercultural communication in refugee and asylum legal advice work in the UK. To design and deliver the workshop, Dr Reynolds has worked together with Dr Katy Brickley of King’s College London, whose research focuses on communication issues in repatriation programmes for asylum seekers and irregular migrants.

The short workshop developed for the WRC is designed to support staff and volunteers, including case workers and immigration legal advisers, by developing their language awareness. It will touch upon key concepts and assumptions about language and communicating with diverse client groups, drawing on current research on language use. Through a range of interactive activities and reflections on their own professional experience, participants will explore a range of topics including multilingualism, language fluency, literacy, linguistic discrimination, and the impact of workplace norms on communication.

Dr Reynolds commented:

We are delighted to be working with the WRC on this project. Our research is particularly focused on how language and culture intersects in professional and workplace settings, in particular in advice and support work. The session we’re planning for the WRC draws on both my and Dr Brickley’s research – we’ll explore multilingual and intercultural communication, developing participants’ awareness  and understanding around language, and also learning ourselves from the extensive experience of WRC staff as they support some of the most vulnerable groups in our society.

Find out more about the Welsh Refugee Council and the vital work they do to support refugees and asylum seekers.

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