Loughborough University London and Samosa Media collaborative project supports bilingual learning in the curriculum for 11-18 year olds
Samosa Media challenged a group of 20 students enrolled in Masters’ programmes at the Institute of Media and Creative Industries, Loughborough University London, to create a set of materials and research which will potentially help support teaching professionals with bilingual learning in the curriculum for 11-18 year olds. The students were a diverse group from various countries in the world.
Many young people in London don’t speak English as their first language at home or among friends at school, meaning the language they use with family and friends and the material they use to learn – TV, internet, magazines – is different from the language and communication channels used at school. Given the institutional and ethical restrictions on working with under-18 year olds, the students conducted secondary source analysis combined, where possible, with direct interviews and questionnaires with teaching professionals and alumni. They focused on these questions:
- What are the key statistics concerning bilingual populations in UK schools?
- What can help educational development and pedagogy regarding bilingual
- What do employers want? What are the labour market advantages of
bilingualism in today’s interconnected world?
Course tutor Dr Tatevik Mnatsakanyan said: “Masters students from the Institute of Media and Creative Industries were offered a wonderful opportunity to work with The Samosa Media on an interdisciplinary project that benefited both their team building and research skills, and had the potential to contribute to The Samosa Media’s valuable work towards more empowering and meaningful integration of bilingual students into mainstream British schools and the wider society.”
“Students had to tackle institutional and other restrictions (limited access to schools), as well as grapple with themes and research problems crossing disciplinary divides and being beyond their usual comfort zone. But precisely for these reasons students who embraced the challenge with all its difficulties, grew and enriched their skills and felt the reward of potentially contributing to a charity organisation and to social change in this country.“
Feedback and quotes from students Avi, Anh and Yan who worked on the project under Team Melo are below:
“This collaborative project with Samosa Media has opened a door to new experiences and knowledge that we barely had the chance to gain before. The project does not only aim to help the bilingual secondary school students but also we, as bilingual students, can relate to this phenomenon that forces us to do the work even better with tremendous meaning.“
“We gained an understanding of the bilingual students’ groups and sympathised with their difficulties. The project helped us to practice our interdisciplinary skills.“
“Teamwork and establishing relationships with each other were crucial to help progress through complex situations and further involve ourselves with the topic at hand.“
The report produced by Team Melo was also selected for the Collaborative Project Show which took place at Loughborough University London in June 2022.
Anwar Akhtar Director of Samosa Media said: “This collaborative project was a positive, fascinating education experience and live work experience for students, as they had to analyse in many cases a different cultural and social education from their own societal context, dealing with bi-lingual communities, pedagogy and education policy. They then analysed that research and provided policy recommendations.”
The Collaborative Project is a unique module, requiring students to work on a ‘live brief’ from a partner organisation, to bridge innovation between academia and practice through learning.
It encourages multi-disciplinary collaborative working, as well as hands-on experience of real-world challenges, organisational development, and business model innovation. The Collaborative Project is where students from across the University form interdisciplinary teams and use their individual experiences and expertise to solve a real business problem, provided by one of our corporate partners.
Samosa Media is a BAME-led education charity working primarily with young BAME people with a focus on young people in East London. We produce media and run workshops in schools, colleges and universities to promote and support diversity across in the curriculum. This supports young BAME working class people in their social and educational development, helping them gain cultural capital and confidence. Their educational work has been recognised as a model of good practice for supporting social mobility and community cohesion and challenging extremism, and is now being embedded into schools, colleges and universities. www.thesamosa.co.uk/2020/02/18/schools-colleges-and-universities
Samosa Media is an arts and educational charity, and works to embed diversity in the arts and humanities curriculum. This work is supported by The Portal Trust, The Foundation for Future London and The Arts Council.
Anwar Akhtar Director – Samosa Media www.thesamosa.co.uk
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