The Bildungswerk der Niedersächsischen Wirtschaft gemeinnützige GmbH (BNW) is among the prize winners of this year’s Lower Saxon Integration Award for its ‘Sprache und Kunst’ [‘Language and Art’] project. Inspired by the motto of ‘integration through music, arts and culture’, the award was conferred this year for the eleventh time. Four initiatives from the music, arts and culture sectors and one special prize winner were chosen from a total of around 170 entries. The competition promotes the participation and inclusion of people with different language, ethnic, religious and cultural roots in social life in Lower Saxony.
‘Sprache und Kunst’: What is it about?
The ‘Sprache und Kunst’ [‘Language and Art’] educational service, an innovative language course for refugee women, was provided by the BNW, the Training Institute for the Lower Saxon Economy, the Theaterpädagogische Werkstatt Osnabrück [an educational theatre workshop in Osnabrück], the Maries Hütte neighbourhood support facility, and the municipal employment agency MaßArbeit (Job Centre) of Osnabrück county. Through role play, the women practised conversation situations about everyday life and their experiences in their home countries. Half of the 300 teaching sessions were devoted to language instruction and the other half to role play. ‘I benefitted tremendously from the course; it was very useful and helped me talk a lot in the group to improve my German skills,’ emphasised participant Narges Jafari. The combination of teaching with movement, emotion and role play made learning German much easier for the participants. The aim was to help participants master the situations practised in the ‘safe’ environment of the classroom later in their own social environment. The participants completed the 2019 course with a certified language test.
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