What is AVIOR and who is it for?
The AVIOR-project took place from December 2016 until August 2019 and aimed at improving the basic numeracy and literacy skills of migrant children and to reduce the achievement gap between native and non-native pupils in Europe. By collaborating and sharing best practices at European level, we can reduce the costs of producing bilingual materials, improve teacher professional competence and enhance migrant parental involvement in the learning process of their children.
The star Avior: a symbol
This Strategic Partnership is one of the spin-offs of the Sirius European Policy Network on Education of Migrant Children and builds on key policy recommendations from Sirius to reduce the achievement gap between native and non-native pupils in Europe. The Partnership is named after a bright star, AVIOR. The partnership brings together seven organizations from six countries. We are research and training centres, NGOs, and network organizations
Three pronged approach
We worked with partners from Germany, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Estonia and the Netherlands (see also ‘Partners’) in a three-way approach:
1) Bilingual resources: rather than creating new materials, we translate and adapt existing bilingual materials of high quality which are offered in both the host language and the mother tongue of migrant children. Originally, the goal was to use existing bilingual materials, but these turned out to be very difficult to find. Therefore, in addition to a small number of available materials, we developed new bilingual materials based on existing monolingual materials.;
(2) Teacher competence: teachers, parents and teacher trainers share best practices on multilingual and mother tongue education through study visits to schools and teacher training institutes in European countries;
(3) Teacher/parent collaborative networks: parents and teachers are actively engaged in local case studies involving the newly translated bilingual resources in order to provide deeper insight into the barriers and opportunities of migrant parental involvement. This has the added benefit of creating informal local networks of parents, communities and schools, ensuring the continuity of the project’s objectives.
After establishing a plan, partners made a selection of bilingual materials (1). For their use, a user guide was developed. By organizing study visits partners got inspired by good practices in each other’s countries (2) and by conducting case studies we explored how AVIOR could be applied at local schools and how parents could be involved in this process (3). Eventually, the selection, design and translation of 25 bilingual materials were realized in 14 different languages, which were tested in the six partner countries. Four study visits took place, in Italy, Greece, Estonia and the Netherlands.
The ultimate beneficiaries of this project are primary school children between 4-8 years with migrant backgrounds who speak a different language at home than the school language. The target groups are teachers, teacher trainers, school leaders, parents and migrant communities, schools, municipalities, Ministries of Education and EU policy makers.