Develop Your Creativity – Effective Communication with Adults from disadvantaged groups

Welcome! Together with Sarah Naylor McNamee from Sarah Naylor Academy we wrote this article yesterday! We felt inspired and wanted to share our expertise. Our article is waiting for the approval of the European Commission European Union, an official EU website! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰ The bad news is, that only registered and verified users have access to the EU platform. The good news is, that you can still read our article below ๐Ÿ‘‡ ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

We feel proud and inspired! Fingers crossed article will be chosen to be published at the official European Union website ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿคž

Have a good day! Aleks & Sarah

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Authors (in alphabetical order) :


Sarah Naylor McNamee Sarah Naylor Academy  

Our goal of this article is to help educators to understand how to connect with their clients,  learners, service users, especially those, who have immigrated to a new country and are finding it  hard to integrate into a new culture and community.  

Let’s begin by exploring some of the challenges that newcomers face. Adults from different  backgrounds (including young adults) are at a stage in their lives where they are trying to figure out  who they are, where they fit in, and how they can establish their own identity. For those who have  immigrated to a new country, the process of identity formation becomes even more complex as  they navigate through cultural differences, language barriers, and social norms. Educators have to  be much more creative when working with multicultural groups rather than working with natives.  

As educators, it’s important to understand that adults need support and guidance during this  phase of their lives. However, the key to effective communication with them lies in educatorโ€™s  creativity and ability to listen, empathise, and validate their educational process.  

Here are some tips and tricks that you can use to communicate more effectively with your groups:  

Active Listening: Listening actively means paying attention to what your service users, clients are  saying, without interrupting or judging them. This means putting aside your own opinions and  biases and trying to understand their perspective.  

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to put yourself as an educator in someone else’s shoes and  understand their situation. By showing empathy towards learners, you can help them feel heard  and validated, accepted and included.  

Validate their feelings: Validating your groups’ feelings means acknowledging their emotions, even if you don’t agree with them. Being part of different cultures may cause conflict. It is important that as an educator you know your group, you know your dos and donโ€™ts. You are aware about other people background and education about different nations. By doing so, you can create a safe and supportive environment where your vulnerable adults feel comfortable expressing themselves.

Avoid Criticism: Avoid criticising your groups, even if you disagree with their choices or behavior.  Criticism can make them defensive and resistant to your input. Instead, try to offer constructive  feedback that focuses on their strengths and helps them learn from their mistakes. As learners  from different cultures they might not see your feedback as a constructive one. They might feel  offended. So whatever works for you as an educators, make sure it works for them as well.  

Set boundaries: Setting boundaries is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with your  learners. It’s important to communicate your expectations and rules clearly, and to enforce them  consistently. This helps them to feel secure and respected, even if they may not always agree with  your decisions.  

Now, let’s explore some exercises that you can do with your groups to help improve their  communication skills and develop their creativity:  

Active Listening Exercise: Sit down with your learners and ask them to share their thoughts and  feelings on a particular topic. You can use some pictures, photographs, coaching cards as part of the creative educational process. As they speak, practice active listening by focusing on what they are  saying, rather than formula ng your response. Once they finish, summarise what you heard them  say and ask for clarification if needed. You can use a paraphrase tool. This is a neutral feedback  form when used with the โ€™โ€™ I โ€™โ€™ statement.  

Role-Play Exercise: Role-playing is a fun and interactive way to practice communication skills and  develop creativity. Take turns playing the role of the educator and learner, and act out different  scenarios that may come up in your professional relationship. This can help you identify potential  areas of conflict and develop strategies for resolving them, especially when working with migrants.  Remember to educate yourself about different cultures. It will help you to understand certain  behaviors and not take things personally.  

Journaling Exercise: Encourage your learners to keep a journal where they can write down their thoughts and feelings. This can be a great way for them to process their emotions and communicate with you in a non-confrontational way especially while entering a new reality in foreign countries. You can also keep a journal of your own to record your thoughts and reflections on your relationship with your learners too. This will help you to build a solid ground of trust.

For adults, who have immigrated to a new country, the process of integrating into a new culture  can be overwhelming. Here are some tips and tricks that can help them navigate through this  process:  

Support them to learn the language: Learning the language of your new country can help you  communicate with others and feel more integrated into the community. Consider taking language  classes or practicing with language apps or books. Be creative! Use Kahoot, Inshot, Canva as part of  your workshops and educational process. It is so much fun! Creativity does not need words.  

Task example while working with disadvantaged adults:  

1. Create your own โ€œFive ideas for your holidayโ€™โ€™. Ask learners to use any of the tools mentioned  (Kahoot, Inshot, Canva) to express their ideas and present the content on the forum.  2. Practice with them  

3. Teach them how to find &me for cohesive creative thinking and how to โ€™โ€™sellโ€™โ€™ their ideas to  participants of adult workshops.  

4. Teach them how to pitch their ideas during workshops with no English.  

5. Bounce ideas off others  

6. Discuss  

7. Present  

8. Network  

You can use a META Plan – Ask participants to complete META plan of 6 questions including:    

Who are you?  

How would you like to be seen by others?  

How do others see you?  

What are you best at? How do you know that?  

What do you need to develop your creativity?  

Who and what could help you with your ideas for your business  

Ask learners to respond to those questions by creating a content using InShot or Canva.  

Canva is a very simple free-to-use online graphic design tool. You could use it to create social  media posts, presentations, posters, videos, logos and more.  

InShot is an editing app for videos and photos. With InShot – video maker with music, you can  easily make basic video and even advanced assets like video collage, smooth slow mo on, stop  motion, reverse video and more.  

Remember! People cannot, and should not, be defined by their disadvantage: it is the inequalities  to which these potential disadvantages lead that need to be addressed.  

As literature we recommend: Council of the European Union (2008) Council Resolution on beOer  integrating lifelong guidance into lifelong learning strategies. 2905th Education, Youth and Culture  Council meeting. Brussels: European Commission. 

These are:  

  • Political, legal or civic equality.  
  • Equality of outcome (financial equality).  
  • Equality of opportunity (leveling of life chances).  
  • Equality of treatment (such as removing the means test) or responsibility (such as scope for  making own decisions).  
  • Equality of membership in nato on, faith and family Mount, F (2008) โ€˜Five types of inequalityโ€™. JRF  Viewpoint. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.  

Thank you for reading our article. If you feel inspired, leave a comment and share our content.

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