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When words aren’t enough, teachers find a common language with iPad

12/6 07:55

When words aren’t enough, teachers find a common language with iPad<br/>A single voice calls out “Sabah-ul-khair” and an eager chorus returns the greeting. <br/>At the beginning of each language class at Wilhelm Ferdinand Schussler Day School in Dusseldorf, Germany, teacher Nick Kyriakidis asks a different student to say “good morning” in his or her native language. On this morning, as is the case most often now, that language is Arabic. <br/>The diversity of this classroom is a reflection of the changing face of Germany and Europe. Over the last five years, the region has seen the largest influx of immigrants and refugees since World War II. Many have fled violence and war in the Middle East, which presents a unique set of challenges to educators, who are not only contending with different languages, but entirely different alphabets. In some cases, new arrivals have never stepped foot in a classroom before. <br/>For Kyriakidis, 47, and his colleague Sinaan El Haq Hadjeri, 31, who alternate teaching the class on different days, one of the most powerful tools they have to bridge that language divide is iPad. <br/>“Kids withdraw when they’re afraid of [making] mistakes,” says Kyriakidis. “If we try to reduce this fear, it’s much easier for them to work with us because they don’t have anything to lose.” <br/>“With iPad … it’s different than when they write something [on paper] and I come in with my red pen and say ‘that’s wrong,’” says Hadjeri...

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