Lenguas para la Resiliencia

Language for Resilience brought together civil society leaders, academics, refugees and other specialists from different fields. Meet the main speakers here. 

Agnes Kukulska-Hulme (The Open University, UK)

Agnes Kukulska-Hulme is Professor of Learning Technology and Communication in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, UK, and Past-President of the International Association for Mobile Learning. Her expertise encompasses distance education, online learning, mobile learning and language learning. Her recent projects include the EU-funded MASELTOV project on personalized technologies for social inclusion of immigrants, the British Council ELTRA project on Mobile Pedagogy for English Language Teaching, and the MK Smart Cities SALSA project on language learning in the next generation of smart cities. She is currently collaborating with Refugee Action (UK) on an evaluation of their programme for immigration advisors. She supervises doctoral students researching mobile and social informal learning and their own professional practice. Many of her publications can be downloaded from Open Research Online.

Alejandra Elichabe (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Alejandra Elichabe (Bachelor of Arts and ELSE Teacher Training Programme University of Buenos Aires). She has taught Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE) since 1994, and at the Faculty of Languages of University of Buenos Aires (UBA) since 2002. She also taught at University of San Andrés, between 2008 and 2010 and University of New York in Buenos Aires, in 2008 and 2009. She has developed materials and teaching programmes at all levels, and is currently Director of the Faculty of Languages. In addition, between 2011-2013 she joined the teaching team of the ELSE Teacher Training Programme at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, in which she taught the subject "Pedagogical Grammar I." Together with Prof. Silvia Prati she teaches the ELE Evaluation Seminar (Spanish as a foreign language) for students in the Faculty of Arts at UBA. Since 2004, she has been a member of the UBA academic committee for the preparation and administration of the CELU exam (Certificate of Spanish Language and Use). She has administered the exam and has trained teachers in assessment in Argentina and abroad.

Andrea Cristina Godoy Zamur (Municipal Secretariat of Human Rights and Citizenship, São Paulo)

Andrea Godoy Zamur is a Law graduate from University of São Paulo and holds a Masters´ degree in Law from Harvard Law School. She previously worked as a lawyer at the Reference Centre for Refugees of Caritas Arquidiocesana, São Paulo, and is currently director of the Department of Policies for Immigrants and Promotion of Work, Municipal Secretariat of Human Rights and Citizenship, Municipality of São Paulo.

Claire Duly (British Council, MENA)

Claire Duly has been working in ELT and ELT management since 2008 and has managed teaching centres and English projects in China, Sudan, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and currently Jordan.  Claire has a CELTA, Trinity Diploma and is currently studying for a Masters in Sustainable Development through SOAS.  Claire’s passion is English in emergencies and developing contexts, and has built on her experience in SSA with the current Language for Resilience portfolio in MENA, leading on Jordan’s work with UNICEF teacher development as well as a project teaching English to civil servants in Syria through the Tahdir programme.

Claudia Flores Figueroa (Universidad de Chile, Chile)

Claudia Flores holds a Bachelor's Degree in Humanities with a Major in English Language and Literature and a Master's in English Linguistics from the University of Chile. Currently, an academic and coordinator of the Spanish as a foreign language programme at the University of Chile, Prof. Flores has also been a teacher of Spanish as a second language and English as a foreign language since 1997. Since 2017, she has developed an annual workshop for the training of Spanish teachers for Haitian immigrants. Since October 2017 she has worked on the design of materials and teaching of Spanish classes for the resettlement programme for Syrians in Chile.

Corina Courtis (Universidad de Tres de Febrero, Argentina)

Corina Courtis holds a PhD in Anthropological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires and is an assistant researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research. Her work has an interdisciplinary approach and focuses on the relationship between migration, rights and citizenship. She is an associate professor of the Department of Ethnolinguistics at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts at UBA and teaches the seminar "Languages and Migration" on the Master's Programme in Language Management at UNTREF (National University of Tres de Febrero). She has directed projects on the rights of migrants in Argentina and co-directed university extension projects on linguistic diversity and educational inclusion in public schools in the south of the City of Buenos Aires. She is the author of Constructions of Otherness. Everyday discourse on Korean immigration in Buenos Aires (Eudeba, 2000), Ethnic-racial discrimination: public discourse and everyday experiences. A study focused on the Korean community of Buenos Aires (Editores del Puerto, 2012) and numerous articles on migration policy/regulation, migration and human rights, racism and discourse, linguistic practices and ideologies in migratory contexts, naturalization of foreigners, among others themes. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and the School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences in Paris and has collaborated with various NGOs and international organizations.

Esteban Tomé Fuentes (Advisor in the Secretariat of Strategic Matters, Chief of Cabinet Office, Argentina and Coordinator for Programa Siria)

Esteban Tomé Fuentes' role in the Chief of Cabinet office is Advisor in the Secretariat of Strategic Matters.  The Secretariat is involved in the design and execution of international and institutional relations strategy of the President and Chief Cabinet of Ministers, in collaboration with different Ministries.  He holds the role of Coordinator for ´Programa Siria´ within the Chief Cabinet of Ministers, with responsibility for establishing general guidelines for humanitarian reception. He previously worked in an advisory role for the Sub Secretariat for International and Institutional relations of the Buenos Aires City government.  He was responsible for designing and coordinating international policy for the city, as well as international cooperation policy.  He holds a degree in international studies from University Torcuato di Tella and participated as a collaborator in the Pensar Foundation while completing his undergraduate studies.

Fabiana Mallón (British Council, Argentina)

Fabiana Mallón began her career in education in 1991. She spent her first 24 years as a University professor and is currently a Remote Teacher Coordinator at the Remote Teaching Centre, British Council Argentina.

She holds a Master’s degree in TEFL from Universidad de Jaén, Spain and is currently completing a Masters in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. 

Last year she was one of the keynote speakers at the 2nd Online Research Conference: Research into using Technology for Language Learning organized by IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG, Laureate International Universities, and Cambridge University Press. She presented the topic: The Power of Digital Badges: Impact on the motivation of primary students of EFL.

Florencia Genta (Universidad De Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Upon graduating with a BA and teaching degree from University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Florencia began her career as a teacher of Spanish as a second language at the Language Laboratory of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, UBA.  Within a short time the focus of her work became courses for refugees and migrants, as well as the homeless and students in prison. She completed her postgraduate studies in Spain, first at the University of Nebrija, Madrid and later completing her Doctorate in Applied Linguistics at University of Granada.  She returned to Buenos Aires to continue her career as a teacher of Spanish as a second language working with refugee students, as well as participating in various institutional projects.  She is currently coordinator and teacher on the Spanish for Refugees Programme run under agreements between the following organizations: ADRA (Adventist Agency for the Development of Welfare Resources) – UNHCR – UBA and FCCAM (Argentine Catholic Commission Foundation of Migration) – UBA as well as other teaching work in the area of Spanish as a second language.

Gary Motteram (University of Manchester, UK)

Dr Gary Motteram is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Manchester where he teaches on MAs in TESOL and Digital Technologies in Education, as well as on the PG Cert in Higher Education. His teaching focuses principally on learning and technology with a particular interest in language learning. He has presented at conferences and published regularly in the fields of technology in language learning and technology-supported distance teacher education. He has managed a number of international projects for the University of Manchester including: eChinaUK and AVALON (avalonlearning.eu), and ran a two-year research project for Cambridge University Press exploring what teachers do with technology. He was the Principal Investigator on the Reflected Project for the Educational Endowment Foundation looking at Metacognition in Primary schools. He was the Editor of Innovations in learning technologies for English language teaching, produced for the British Council (2013). His latest publication is: Teaching and technology: case studies from India. New Delhi: The British Council (2017). His latest research project is exploring mobile language teacher development with refugees in Jordan.

Gilles Eric Tashe Dzudie, Spanish learner

In Eric´s own words:  I´ve been in Argentina a year and five months, during the day I attend a Spanish course and at night I work in a launderette.  Before coming here, I was studying to become an accountant in my country (Cameroon).  I came here to continue studying as an agricultural engineer because this is what I love, I didn´t study it there because it was too expensive.  I began studying Spanish almost seven months ago:  the first two months at FCCAM (Argentine Catholic Federation Commission of Migration), in levels 1A, 1B and 2 where I obtained a scholarship to continue studying at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of University of Buenos Aires (UBA).  At UBA, I have completed levels 3, 4 and 5 which I finished last October.  I would love to continue up to level 8, but the latest courses to open didn´t include a level 6 course due to low student numbers.

Jennifer Anyuli Pacheco Alvarez (Municipal Secretariat of Human Rights and Citizenship, São Paulo)

Jennifer Pacheco Alvarez is a Social Sciences graduate from Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo (FESPSP) and holds a Masters in Communication and Culture from the Post-Graduate Programme in Latin America Integration, University of São Paulo. Currently she works as a technical adviser at the Department of Policies for Immigrants and Promotion of Decent Work, Municipal Secretariat of Human Rights and Citizenship, Municipality of São Paulo.

Johan Duarte Sáenz (British Council, Argentina)

Johan holds a Degree in Education with specialization in Spanish and English teaching, from the National Pedagogical University, Bogotá Colombia. He has worked in teaching contexts with vulnerable populations and special needs students in Colombia as well as indigenous populations in pedagogical exchanges.  In 2014 he moved to Buenos Aires to study a Masters in Discourse Analysis at the University of Buenos Aires and in 2015 he joined the staff at the British Council Remote Teaching Centre.  During his time at the Centre, he has worked as remote teacher and teacher coordinator for the Plan Ceibal in English project and has participated within the Language for Resilience programme as a remote teacher of Spanish to Syrian students and Iraqi students in Kurdistan.  Since the start of the project for remote teaching of Spanish to refugees he has played a key role in material design and coordination.

Jorge Javier Fernández (Centro de Apoyo al Refugiado de ADRA, Argentina)

Jorge Javier Fernández has a degree in Organization and Management of Institutions from the National University of San Martin (UNSAM), an International Diploma in Human Rights, Risk Management and Public Policies for Disaster Prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean from the Henry Dunant Foundation of Chile, and is currently studying for a Master's Degree in Human Rights, State and Society at the National University of Tres de Febrero (UNTREF). With more than 25 years´ experience in the management of social organizations,  risk management and humanitarian affairs in Argentina and abroad, he has held positions of responsibility in organizations such as Scouts of Argentina, Amnesty International Argentina, World Organization of the Scout Movement (Interamerican Region), De Wall Foundation, Fundación Vivienda Digna. In the humanitarian field, he was General Director of the Argentine Red Cross, UNDP Chile consultant for humanitarian aid issues, and in 2010 he was the Head of Mission for Save the Children in Chile following the tsunami and earthquake in the country. Regarding his work with refugees, he has been the Coordinator of the Humanitarian Assistance Program of the Fundación Católica Argentina de Migraciones (FCCAM) and is currently Coordinator of the Refugee Support Centre of ADRA Argentina (Adventist Agency for the Development of Welfare Resources), associate agency of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Kylie Alcoba Wright (Senior Regional Programme Official, Regional Representation for South America, United Nations High Commission for Refugees)

Kylie Alcoba Wright holds an undergraduate degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Granada (Spain), obtained a qualification in European Law from University of Bristol, UK and a Masters in International Humanitarian Action from University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. 

She has worked with the United Nations for over nine years, eight of which have been in UNHCR.  In March 2016 she was appointed Senior Regional Programme Official in Buenos Aires, Argentina, covering areas relating for the refugee programme in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru y Uruguay.  Before assuming her current post, she worked in various roles in the Programme and Protection units in Paname, Costa Rica and Haiti.  Prior to her positions in UNHCR, Kylie worked as a UN volunteer in Chad and with the American Red Cross and Ecuadorian Red Cross in Quito, Ecuador. She speaks Spanish, English and French.

Laura Masello (Universidad de la República de Uruguay, Uruguay)

Laura Masello has a doctorate in Language Sciences from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina.  She specialized in teaching Portuguese as a foreign language at University of the Republic of Uruguay (UDELAR) and has a degree in modern languages from University of Bordeaux III.  She is associate professor of Portuguese, French and academic coordinator of graduate and postgraduate teacher training in the areas of Spanish and Portuguese as foreign languages, at UDELAR.  She is also a literary translator with over 30 translated books published.  She was director of the Centre of Foreign Languages of the University of the Republic from 2005 – 2016 and again returned to the post in 2017, which she has filled since that time.  She is representative of UDELAR since 2007 in the PELSE Hub (Portuguese and Spanish as second and foreign languages) of the Association of the Universities of Montevideo Group, where she acted as Coordinator between 2009 and 2016.

Leonor Corradi (Lenguas Vivas Juan Ramón Fernández, Argentina)

Leonor Corradi is a teacher of English; she holds a Master’s degree in Education and Teacher Training from Surrey University, UK, and a post degree in Education and ICT. Former member of the Foreign Languages Team at the National Ministry of Education, in charge of English, lecturer in Didactics at IES en Lenguas Vivas Juan Ramón Fernández and ISP Joaquín V. González – both in primary and secondary school orientations, and coordinator of state plurilingual schools in the City of Buenos Aires. She has extensive experience as materials designer and coursebook writer, and is an academic consultant for different educational institutions such as bilingual schools, the British Council, international publishers like Pearson and Ministries of Education in Latin America. She has also written a number of academic articles for different publications. 

Leonor has run professional development sessions in Argentina and abroad, and has presented extensively at national and international conferences and congresses. She has also worked at a State Special Needs School teaching English to blind students as part of a pilot project. She has coordinated the creation of online materials for language teaching and has acted as an online tutor for different seminars. Ms Corradi is the author of the Curriculum for Foreign Languages for the City of BA (2001, English); she has also worked in both the creation and reforms of curriculum designs at different teacher training colleges and provinces, and has been an ELTon Judge since 2014.

Lisa Herrera (Programa LINC, Canada)

Lisa Herrera has worked for the LINC program in ISSofBC in Vancouver, BC for 25 years: 15 years as an English teacher and for the last 10 years as the Lead Instructional Coordinator working with the ISSofBC LINC Division Manager to guide the instructional direction of the program.  In her private life, Lisa is one of ten Regional Coaches for the national Portfolio Based Language Assessment strategy (PBLA) introduced across Canada in 2013 to increase the reliability of language outcomes of the LINC program.  Lisa is also a Lead Trainer for BC on the Canadian Language Benchmarks, the standard measure of English levels used in LINC.   Lisa holds a Master of Educational Administration and Leadership degree from the University of British Columbia.  

Luciana Marchen (United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Argentina)

Luciana Marchen holds a degree in Scientific and Literary Translation and English Literature and Language from University del Salvador, Argentina, a specialization in Gender and Public Policy from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) and is currently completing the second year of a Masters in Design and Management of Social Programmes, at FLACSO.  She has 15 years of experience at UNHCR where she has occupied various roles in the areas of Protection and Programmes in the Regional Office for South America.  In her current role as Assistant Official for Long term Solutions and Local Integration, she is responsible for the promotion of access to basic rights for refugees, creating links with the local community, authorities and strategic partners to ensure the inclusion of the target population in public policy, identification of solutions and the promotion of self-sufficiency. 

Mariana Beheran (Investigation and Publications Unit, International Organization for Migration)

Mariana Beheran is a Doctor of Social Sciences (National University of General Sarmiento), holds a Masters in International Migration Policy (University of Buenos Aires), a degree and teaching degree in Sociology (University of Buenos Aires).  She has conducted research into the training and work integration experiences of young migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.  She has published articles in specialist publications and chapters in books on these issues.  She she worked as a graduate and post graduate teacher in various universities and has coordinated numerous courses and workshops on intercultural communication and the rights of migrants for teachers, health workers and security forces, amongst others.  Currently she coordinates the Research Unit for the Argentina country office of International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Mike Solly (British Council, UK)

Mike Solly has worked in the English language teaching field for almost 30 years, having spent 15 years as a classroom teacher, and then managing both small and large scale ELT projects and networks for the British Council.  He has lived and worked in a number of countries and spent many years in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.  Mike worked across formally hostile communities in English projects in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina.  He started working at the Open University UK, as a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education  in January 2009 where he worked on all aspects of the now highly acclaimed English in Action project in Bangladesh – becoming the lead on the project’s work in Secondary Schools.   It was in Bangladesh that Mike became interested in the language needs of migrants moving to the Middle East.  He then became Director of the teacher development project, TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa) where his long-standing interest in the issues surrounding the globalization of English, and the attitudes to English (as a medium of education as well as a subject) were particularly relevant.  Mike returned to the British Council at the end of 2015 as a senior advisor, with a particular responsibility for the British Council’s approach in the area of languages for migrants and refugees.  His research interests are informed by his work above, and he has published in the areas of attitudes to English language in development context, the language needs of migrants from Bangladesh, sand the use of video in teacher education projects.

Nengumbi Celestin Sukama, Spanish learner

Nengumbi Sukama has a degree in Company Administration, and Higher Technical qualifications in Business Studies, Transport and Distribution.  He was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  He arrived in Argentina in August 1995 and has been an Argentine citizen since 2005.  He is Founder and Executive Director of the Argentine Institute for Equality, Diversity and Integration (IARPIDI), Coordinator of the Commission for Social Inclusion of the American Argentine Network for Leadership (REAL), member of the Political Commission of the National Network of Migrant Leaders in Argentina, and President of the Congolese Association of Argentina amongst other responsibilities.  He first studied Spanish at the Argentine Foundation Commission for Migration and later at the Language Laboratory of the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

Okba Aziza, Spanish learner

Okba Aziza is a teacher of English. He has a BA in English Literature (Tishreen University, Syria) and an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (University of Essex, England). He has good teaching experience in different educational contexts. He taught in different universities in Syria. He teaches English in companies, institutes, and schools in Buenos Aires. He has been in Argentina for 9 months. He started learning Spanish on his own using self-study materials. He took an online Spanish course offered by the British Council and two Spanish courses at the Language Laboratory of University of Buenos Aires.

Peter Hare (British Council, Ethiopia)

Peter has extensive experience of managing capacity building ELT projects with the British Council in China, Ethiopia, Hungary, Georgia and Mongolia. Since 2016, as the Head of English for Education Systems in Ethiopia, he has been managing a Language for Resilience programme in western Ethiopia that has focused on teacher development in refugee camps. Most of these teachers are refugees from Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but a significant number are Ethiopians. His work there involves cooperation with the UNHCR and the Ethiopian authorities responsible for refugee affairs. 

Tony Capstick (University of Reading, UK)

University of Reading, UK. He holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics and a Masters in Development Education. Tony has worked as the English Language Adviser at the British Council in Pakistan and as a teacher trainer in Cambodia, Indonesia, Romania and North Korea. His research interests include language education for teachers and learners in resource-low environments and exploring the role of language, literacy and power in migration. He recently co-authored a British Council report exploring the role of language in enhancing the resilience of refugees who have left Syria and are now living in the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Kurdistan region of Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey. His monograph Multilingual literacies, identities and ideologies exploring migration between Pakistan was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016. 

Vera Lúcia Benedito (Municipal Secretariat of Education, São Paulo)

Vera Benedito holds a Masters´ degree and a PhD in Sociology and Urban Studies from Michigan State University, USA.  She holds a degree in Portuguese-English from UNIFAI and Social Communication/Journalism degree from Fundação Cásper Líbero.  Currently she holds the role of coordinator of the Ethics-Racial Hub, Municipal Secretariat of Education of São Paulo, focussing  on the areas of African and Afro-Brazilian history and culture, history and culture of indigenous peoples and education for immigrants. She has also worked in the areas of equity, racism, educational policy, political activism and exclusion. 

See also