Prototype in context of building an online community for refugees…….

This week’s asynchronous class readings and videos were incredibly informative and motivational. We were particularly impressed by the flow of the videos and the positivity they instilled regarding teaching online and moving forward with our course prototype. Michael Wesch’s videos were especially enlightening, sparking so much excitement that we ended up watching 2-3 more on his YouTube channel. Jasvinder and I have been wondering how to implement these strategies in our teaching program, especially considering the shyness often observed among immigrant populations. We found the introductory part of Wesch’s videos particularly insightful, where he emphasized the importance of introducing oneself genuinely. We also resonated with the motivational quote, “Everybody worships; the only choice we get is what to worship.” We aim to create a nurturing community for refugee immigrants, providing them with a supportive environment where they feel comfortable expressing themselves and sharing their challenges. After watching all the videos and going through the topics in the weekly plans, Jasvinder and I believe that creating introductory videos aligns with the first step of our course. We aim to help refugees feel comfortable introducing themselves and speaking in front of others. While recording a video, they can proceed at their own pace, allowing for multiple takes and adjustments to make it perfect.
For the formative assessment, we will use Zigsaw, which we got to know through 6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses earlier we were using Zoom. In breakout rooms, students will be engaging in one-on-one interactions. Our goal is to encourage them to speak, so for sentence formation we will assign them daily routine-based topics and they will submit it in the Google Forum. Adding to this, we are also planning to share recorded videos of speaking conversations so that they can watch them at their convenience and try to speak. Throughout the speaking sessions in breakout rooms, they will get feedback from their peers as well as from the instructor that will be instant. For summative assessment reading comprehension and essay writing submission Google Forums will be used.
Topics that are routine-based are assigned so that they can feel their learning is productive and applicable to their daily lives. Instant feedback encourages them to do more and learn new things, enhancing their knowledge
In short, the assessment will be based on Google Forums, and, frankly speaking, this is not an academic course where pass or fail matters. It is a course designed to help those in need, enabling them to build a brighter future in a new country. Participants will be judged based on their performance. If somebody is performing well, we will promote them; if not, we will try to modify our teaching approach so that they can learn. Through this interactive approach, not only students but also we will enhance our teaching skills, acknowledging that we are always in the process of learning and can never be perfect.

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A Journey of Hope & Progress…..

Greetings, everyone! Jasvinder and I are international students from India who arrived here in the fall. Both of us hold master’s degrees in zoology and have experience teaching elementary science classes in our home country. We are not employed as school teachers and initially felt uncertain about which topic to choose for our project. During our first semester, we were assigned an action project where we had to dedicate time to volunteering. Through this assignment, we discovered the Regina Immigrant Women Centre (RIWC) and have been actively involved with them since. As graduate students, RIWC has allowed us to lead literacy classes for refugee immigrants from countries such as Ukraine, China, and Afghanistan. To our surprise, we encountered refugees who hold permanent residency here but struggle with English proficiency due to their mastery of their regional language. RIWC is dedicated to assisting new immigrants in settling into their new lives here and aiding them in finding employment. Currently, we are conducting English classes for them via Google Classes.



When analyzing an orientation session for new immigrants, it is critical to comprehend the particular demands and difficulties they confront. Upon arrival, immigrants face a multitude of challenges, ranging from adjusting to strange surroundings to obtaining necessary services and negotiating local traditions. Disregarding these requirements may result in feelings of loneliness, annoyance, and reduced efficiency. While participating in volunteering, we met numerous refugees facing language barriers. Abdullah and Rabia are two of them, assigned to us for English literacy classes. They have undergraduate degrees from their country but struggle to find jobs. They moved here last year, but in the settling months, they found difficulty finding jobs. Job employment and language learning are crucial for them at that point. However, this is a minimum of a nine-week course and was created in such a way that each student will feel more excited to finish each training session to progress to the next advanced class. Since all of the students are at similar learning levels, they feel comfortable asking the instructor whatever they want to know. They may express themselves freely in group discussions and debates, which makes it possible for students to initiate speaking in front of others while having fun in the classroom. They learn and remember new vocabulary terms by working through puzzles and quizzes. The environment is designed to be friendly and engaging, ensuring they don’t feel nervous. Watching English movies with subtitles improves both their receptive and productive skills. We have included some musical songs in the course that they can listen to of their choice with subtitles, and we have given them exercises to sing along with the singer. Through this, they practice speaking English and try to improve their listening skills as well. Since English is not their first language, it can be challenging to sing at the same pace as the singer; yet, by doing this exercise, they can get better at speaking and listening as well as gain a better understanding of Western language and culture. For the next level of training, we start their training with some fundamental grammar courses as soon as they start participating in the above-mentioned activities, which will improve their language skills on a professional level.


Through a variety of engaging activities and opportunities for hands-on learning, participants can actively work towards mastering the skills and knowledge outlined in the workshop’s objectives. Ultimately, students will learn how to create resumes in the second phase, and after this, they will get an assessment According to their performance in formative and summative examinations, and based on their performance, they move on to the next learning step of the training. In the third step, one-on-one sessions were used to practice interviews. These classes give refugees a chance to fully engage with a new culture. They now have the opportunity to enroll in several educational courses and more after learning the fundamentals, setting the foundation for their future. There would be one compulsion for the students throughout their coaching period: they have to participate. They must participate so that they can learn, and the best part about this course is that it is free, as the Google sites are freely accessible. Only one must have a personal device and proper access to the internet.

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My first Blog

Well, I would love to share my personal experience with this online learning and blending platform. I used it during my Master’s degree back in India. When COVID-19 started, I took on a part-time job as an English tutor. Initially, classes were conducted online due to the pandemic Situation. It turned out to be a unique experience as it allowed me to provide my students with real-life Experiences by conducting mock interviews, especially when preparing them for UK embassy interviews. The online sessions gave them a genuine feeling, and they learned exceptionally very well. On weekends, I also conducted in-person classes, offering a different direction to my teaching. For me, it served as a significant advantage because it was very convenient for people living far from me. I enrolled several students and earned well. As for the disadvantages, I observed that students with a weak foundation in English, meaning those whose English basics were not clear, faced difficulty accessing the class due to a shortage of time. Additionally, some students encountered network issues due to technical errors, leading to unclear doubts at times. Like a coin with two sides, online learning and blending have both pros and cons. During my first semester online, the main challenge I faced was the lack of an in-person opportunity to do my practicum.
This is all about my experience, and since blogging is new to me, there might be some mistakes in my posts.

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