Watch: Opening up dialogues about culture through learning

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A number of students have successfully completed a course entitled ‘Improving the cultural competences of Third Country Nationals’, as well as an English language course organised by the Cross Cultural International Foundation (CCIF).

A certificate award ceremony was organised recently where Newsbook.com.mt caught up with students and trainers alike. The students who spoke to Newsbook.com.mt hailed from Tunisia, Colombia, Sudan, Algeria and Libya.

Miguela Xuereb

Mohammed from Sudan told Newsbook.com.mt that when he came to Malta he found it difficult to communicate with others; however, he said, now he finds it a bit easier, citing ordering food as an example.

Hanan from Algiers told Newsbook.com.mt that she found the cultural lessons useful. Asked how she felt that she had changed since she came to Malta, she explained that one gets used to the situation. For her, the most difficult bit was leaving her family behind. She urged those who could not communicate in English to take up classes so that they could communicate more easily with others.

Amal from Libya told Newsbook.com.mt spoke about the need to continue learning, while

Miguela Xuereb

Najia from Tunisia said that she was greatly motivated by the fact that the classes were made up students from all over the globe; followed by her wanting to continue improving her English.

“As a teacher it is nice to interact with some of the new people coming to the island”

Trainer Tendy Bvumburah taught English to the students who enrolled for the course. He described the whole experience as great, adding that it is always a blessing when one gets to use their skills to communicate with different types of people.

He stated that there were also some challenges, saying that migrant situations vary from one case to another. Some of the students could not always commit to classes, do their homework or carry out projects they were sometimes tasked with. Bvumbarah said that their performance was also affected by the outside environment.

“As a teacher it is nice to interact with some of the new people coming to the island,” Bvumbarah added. He explained that the lessons were practical rather than textbook based, which led to people opening up dialogues about culture and various cultural differences.

Founder and director of Cross Cultural International Foundation Alec Bvumbarah, told Newsbook.com.mt that the organisation aims to reduce human trafficking. He explained that a lot of third country nationals have moved to Malta, with some of them not being able to speak any of the languages which are spoken in Malta. He added that the aim of the project was to try and get them communicate in English both for employment purposes as well as for them to be able to integrate.

READ: Foundation offers Third Country Nationals opportunity to learn Maltese culture in English

Videos by Miguela Xuereb.