Schumpeter BHAK Wien 13

Guest School

Mission Integration

How the ? to successfully integrate young refugees into the class

Together as a class of twelve students at the age of 17 to 19, we decided to focus on the topic “How the ? to successfully integrate young refugees into the class”. Our motivation to work on this specific topic came from two refugees who attend our school.

First, we had to take a look at the situation in Austria. We researched answers to questions like “How many young refugees are attending schools in Austria (especially in Vienna).” For this, we used sources like Österreichischer Integrationsfonds (Austrian Integration Fund).

Afterwards, we focused on hurdles these children and teenagers have to overcome when studying at a school in Austria. For this part, we organized a workshop with Macedonian students in which we discussed the different problems they could probably face and brought them all together in a cause-and-effect analysis.

However, due to our lack of personal experience, we decided to interview refugees themselves but also their supervisors, for instance, teachers. It not only gave us the opportunity to improve our knowledge but also helped us to empathize with their situation and get a better understanding of their living conditions. In addition, we have also contacted a so-called learn space, that especially helps younger students attending an elementary school to learn the language, get to know the culture and also speak freely about their everyday problems. One of the main aspects they mentioned was the lack of contact with German-speaking students.

Therefore, we came up with the following solution: The formation of a group with refugees, but also native students. One of the greatest aspects is that both groups can profit from this constellation. The students that migrated get to meet new friends and improve their language skills and the German-speaking students get the chance to learn about different cultures through group activities such as cooking, playing football and watching movies. Also, every student, no matter of colour, religion, gender or sexuality, has the possibility to express his/her opinion in an open and save space without getting judged by anybody.

First, we will get help from the learn space, but we have another target group (students attending secondary school), that is why we will have to make our own programs so that every student has the chance to finish school!

Their YES! topic

Learning together – How can the integration of refugee children in German classrooms succeed?

by Rebecca Fehn and Lisa Sofie Höckel, RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Since 2015, over one million refugees have come to Germany. Among them were an estimated 320,000 young refugees of school age. These children and adolescents with refugee experience have different cultural backgrounds and usually have only limited knowledge of German. Therefore they attend language learning classes, pre-courses, and welcome classes to integrate in Germany. However, integration into the German school system as well as into German society is often a challenge. Yet, successful integration and a successful school-leaving certificate are essential for later success in the German labour market. For socially disadvantaged school children and children with a migration background, the scientific literature shows that they have difficulties in the German education system and often only achieve a lower level of educational attainment. It is therefore crucial that teachers and pupils work together to ensure the integration of children and young people with experience of flight.

How can German schoolchildren support children and young people who fled to Germany in integrating into the German school system? Can they help them to learn German? If so, what form could such support take and what could German schoolchildren possibly learn from them in exchange?

How can everyday school life be structured so that children and young people with experience of flight are better supported? What can school management and teachers do better to integrate these children and young people and to enable them to exchange experiences with German school children?