Helping Ukrainian refugees learn English with The Educational Equality Institute

12 February 2024
3 min read

We have partnered with The Educational Equality Institute (TEEI) to provide free digital content to Ukrainian refugees learning English. 

Our partnership supports TEEI’s commitment to offering English language learning opportunities through remote and online classes to those displaced in Ukraine or residing in other countries.

As part of our initial two-year agreement, we have made two of our digital English language teaching coursesSmart Choice and English File—available to TEEI teachers in Europe, enabling learners to study English flexibly.

Vince Glover, Head of Strategic Partnerships for our English Language Teaching division, said:

“We’re happy to partner with The Educational Equality Institute to provide refugees with flexible and accessible digital teaching and learning. As we noted in our paper on teaching refugees, we must support educators to give refugee students the best chance to succeed. Our high-quality English language content will enable teachers to help students to progress and rebuild their lives.”

In a recent global survey we ran, we found that just 9% of teachers feel very confident in teaching refugees. Of those based in Europe, 43% said they did not feel confident. Additionally, teachers who have taught refugees cited cultural adjustment and a lack of basic literacy skills as major challenges faced by refugees in the classroom.

Thanks to TEEI, we heard from two refugee students and their teacher who have felt the impact of our partnership:

“As a Ukrainian war refugee, now I live in a [non]-English-speaking country. I live in Estonia and try to learn Estonian too. I think many of us know how difficult it is to learn two languages at once. That’s why I want to thank you for this free learning and practice possibility—because as a refugee, I can’t afford English courses now. I use English for communication with my colleagues at university in Estonia. Now I feel more comfortable communicating with them. By learning with Leila, I’ve also published two articles in English—it was my first experience [doing this] as a PhD student. And of course, now I have English-speaking friends. Thank you all for this course.”

– Kateryna, student 

I’m a journalist and knowing English is important for my career […] For me, as a non-native speaker, the hardest part of studying and using English is pronunciation because English letters and sounds are completely different from sounds of my native language. These books have many exercises connected with understanding and practicing pronunciation […] I also studied many new words which I now use to write journalistic articles and simply when speaking with people. I’m very thankful for this very helpful and supportive initiative.”

– Iryna, student 

“Studying with American English File guarantees a successful learning experience with a high level of learner engagement […] The main source of encouragement is the up-to-date content of lessons which makes it possible for the learners to use English for studying and talking about ongoing events in the world and their own lives.”

– Leila, teacher 

You can learn more about our support for Ukrainian students and teachers here.

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