In partnership with the University, the British Council has brought the Language for Resilience exhibition to Reading. Running until 29 March, this free and public exhibition is hosted in the University Library building’s new exhibition space on its ground floor, created as part of the Library Refurbishment Project.
Based on research by the University’s Dr Tony Capstick and in collaboration with international institutions across the Middle East, Africa, EU and Americas, this interactive exhibition demonstrates the ways language is used to build resilience among the millions of people that have been displaced from their homes by conflict and civil unrest.
Language learning is imperative to helping refugees and communities overcome miscommunications and social barriers. This exhibition is a valuable opportunity to understand the challenges associated with building resilience, and gives a voice to the young people and adults who deserve to have their stories heard.
Refugees displaced by conflict often find themselves far from home, without essential language skills for even basic communication, which hinders the education and career opportunities for both themselves and their children. The exhibition aims to break down barriers by protecting the use of refugee’s home languages and allowing refugee communities to integrate with their host communities so they can feel valued within their new society. Building language resilience will reduce isolation and play a huge role in helping create a safe space for refugees to address the trauma caused by their displacement.
As it stands, only 1 to 5 percent of young refugees are currently enrolled in a university programme in their host countries. Improving language skills will allow more refugees to access the information required to progress in the education system and start to rebuild their lives.
For more information please visit the project Language for Resilience website. To learn more about language and migration research at the University of Reading, please visit the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism.
Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator with Tim Yates, Marketing Communications and Engagement Team