Success Stories of Refugees in Europe: Celebrating the contributions of children and highly skilled adults

Date and time

Wed, 16 June 2021

10:00 – 12:00 BST

Register here:

About this event

Europe has experienced major waves of refugee immigration, which has led to over a million refugees and asylum seekers across EU countries to date. Children and adults have been equally affected and often placed in marginalised positions by their host communities who often failed to fully value their contributions. This event, which has been organised by the BAAL Multilingualism SIG and hosted by Newcastle University’s School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, celebrates the linguistic and cultural contributions of refugees, both children and adults, in Europe. It will bring together researchers, practitioners and members of the public interested in current debates about refugee integration in Europe.


10:00 – Welcome by the BAAL Multilingualism SIG Committee

10:10 – Keynote: LADO in the UK: Does it work?. Dr Mohammed Ateek (Birkbeck, University of London)

10:40 – Teaching refugee children in Cyprus: Developing inclusive and multilingual practices. Dr Alexandra Georgiou (University of Nicosia)

Ms Rena Choplarou, Mr Giorgos Stogias (Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Republic of Cyprus)

11:00 – Break

11:10 – Success stories of highly-skilled refugees in Europe. Dr Sara Ganassin, Dr Alina Schartner (Newcastle University)& Dr Stefanie Schneider (The Open University)

11:30 – Q&A. Chair: Dr Judith Reynolds (Cardiff University)

11:50 – Closing remarks

Speakers’ bios

Dr Mohammed Ateek is a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL in the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication at Birkbeck, University of London. Mohammed’s main areas of interest are theories and practice of TESOL, language and migration, and Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO). He also researches the role of language in refugee/migrant education and how it facilitates social cohesion in hostile environments.

Dr Judith Reynolds is a Lecturer at the Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University, UK. Her research examines legal advice communication between immigration lawyers and refugee and asylum seeking clients in the UK, engaging with issues of intercultural communication, legal-lay communication, professional and institutional communication, and critical perspectives on multilingual interaction. 

Dr Alexandra Georgiou is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of Education at the University of Nicosia. Her research focuses on inclusive education and multilingual teaching and learning drawing on sociocultural perspectives. She shows special interest on the ways in which researchers and practitioners create inclusive practices that allow refugee children’s voices to the forefront.

George Stogias studied at the University of Crete and University of Cyprus (Curriculum Studies). He has been working for three decades with children in diverse contexts (e.g. SOS Children’s Villages, Faneromeni Educational Priority Zone, Private and public schools, Summer Camps). He directed dozens of plays with children and adults. His work includes the novel Spring Semester (APOPIRA, 2013), the theatrical Excretions to kill (APOPIRA, 2015) and the collection of short stories The Last Wheel of the Carriage (MELANI, 2018).

Rena Choplarou holds a BA in Primary School Education, University of Crete; a BEd (Hons) from the Faculty of Education, University of Greenwich; a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies from the Institute of Education, a post Ad. Certificate in Theatre Education, from the Central School of Speech and Drama, London. An educator, teacher trainer and author of educational materials, she has been working in schools (public and private sector) and universities in London, Athens and Nicosia since 1996.

Dr Sara Ganassin is a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Communication at Newcastle University, UK. Sara teaches and researches in intercultural communication and sociolinguistics, with a particular interest for migrant and refugee communities and heritage language maintenance. Sara has also worked for seven years in the voluntary sector as project coordinator with refugee women and young people

Dr Alina Schartner teaches and researches intercultural communication at Newcastle University, UK. Her research interests focus on internationally mobile individuals and groups, including refugees and international students. She is especially interested in intercultural adjustment and adaptation. 

Dr Stefanie Schneider is a Lecturer in Intercultural Communication at the Open University, UK. One of her main research interests lies in intercultural communication in the workplace, and she currently creates short courses in Intercultural Competence in a range of professional settings for the Open Centre for Languages and Cultures.

2nd Annual Event

Dear all

Following its postponement earlier this year, we are delighted to announce the 2nd Annual Event of the BAAL Multilingualism SIG, which will take place via Blackboard Collaborate from 13:00 to 16:30 on Wednesday 3 February 2021.

Featuring Joanna McPake from the University of Strathclyde and Philip McDermott from Ulster University as invited speakers, the theme of the event is Multilingualism in the UK in the post-Brexit climate. Our aim is to showcase projects that illustrate the rich linguistic diversity of the UK, while providing opportunities to explore how this richness might be promoted to benefit society in the post-Brexit climate.

In an inclusive spirit, we encourage participants to submit a poster on a current project on multilingualism, which will be displayed virtually in the lead in to and during the event.

The event will close with the SIG AGM.

The programme is as follows:  

13.00 Welcome by the SIG Committee
13.15Virtual poster sessions
 Poster session 1 

Chairs: Salman Al-Azami, Alexandra Georgiou 


Rabeya Binte Habib: Do, and to what extent, the generation z in Bangladesh know that we have people speaking other languages, too? 

Katie Harrison: Researching linguistic diversity in diasporic contexts

Petros Karatsareas: Negotiating ethnolinguistic heterogeneity in Greek complementary schools post 2010 

Sabine Little: ‘Lost wor(l)ds: using nature to bridge children’s home/school Divide  

Diane Potts: (title tbc)
Poster session 2 

Chairs: Froso Argyri, Barbara Mayor, Siân Preece 


María Fernández-Toro and Lina Adinolfi: A multilingual Decameron: students’ stories of a different world 

Faidra Faitaki: Greek children’s acquisition of English in monolingual and bilingual immersion preschools 

Dobrochna Futro: Translanguaging Art 

Jiayin Zheng: The impact of second language proficiency and language switching practice on Chinese-English bilinguals’ executive functions

14.30Plenary session: Joanna McPake and Philip McDermott in conversationChair: Barbara Mayor
15.15Round table discussionChair: Alexandra Georgiou
16.00SIG AGMChairs: Petros Karatsareas and Siân Preece (SIG Co-convenors)

The event will take place on Blackboard Collaborate. Joining instructions will be sent out to all registered attendees on 2 February. If you have not already registered for the event, please do so by filling in the following form by 1 February at the very latest:


Posters will be available after 25 January on the Google Drive folder that can be accessed here:

All participants are encouraged to peruse posters ahead of the event and formulate questions and comments for poster presenters.


All members of the SIG Committee are reaching the end of their two-year term and are standing for re-election. The Committee consists of the following positions:

  • (Co-)Convenor(s)
  • Treasurer
  • Events Coordinator
  • Membership and Communications Secretary
  • Ordinary Member
  • Ordinary Member

We welcome nominations and self-nominations for the above positions. Nominees for the (co-)convenor and treasurer positions must be members of BAAL. This is not required for the other positions. (Self-)nominations must be sent to the Co-Convenors via email (, by 13 January 2021. They must consist of the nominees’ details (full name, contact details, position and affiliation – if applicable) and a brief statement outlining their reasons for wanting to join the Committee and what they can contribute to the running of the SIG (no more than 200 words).

Only members of the SIG will be able to vote in the event that elections are held at the AGM.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

We look forward very much to welcoming you to our event.

The SIG Committee
Petros Karatsareas (Co-convenor)
Siân Preece (Co-convenor)
Lina Adinolfi
Salman Al-Azami
Froso Argyri
Alexandra Georgiou
Barbara Mayor

Guest speakers’ bios

Joanna McPake

Joanna McPake is a Reader in Education at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow). She has long-standing interests in theory, policy and pedagogy relating to bi- or plurilingualism in individuals and multilingualism in classrooms and communities. Her recent research has focused on teacher education for the Gaelic-medium sector, and on the transformational power of local language encounters for primary pupils.

Philip McDermott

Dr Philip McDermott is a senior lecturer in sociology at Ulster University. Philip’s research focuses on the relationship between the state and minority groups – especially linguistic minorities. A focus has been in the area of language policy and planning for (and by) migrant communities. He has a specific interest in the perception of migrant languages in public places, the ways that government and communities deal with such linguistic diversity and the manner in which multilingualism and bilingualism are dealt with in policy contexts. Philip was a Charlemont scholar of the Royal Irish Academy in 2015 and currently acts as co-editor for the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures and the Irish Journal of Sociology.

AGM Agend

(British Association of Applied Linguistics)

Wednesday 3 February 2021


  1. Minutes of the 2019 AGM
  2. Matters arising
  3. Amendment to Constitution and Committee, changing ‘two ordinary members’ to ‘three ordinary members’ in sections 4 and 6 of the constitution. 
  4. Report of the 2020 year from the committee
  5. Ratification of SIG committee positions

Co-Convenor: Petros Karatsareas 

Co-Convenor: Siân Preece 

Treasurer: Lina Adinolfi

Membership/ Communications Secretary: Froso Argyri

Events Coordinator: Sara Ganassin

Ordinary member (responsible for social media): Salman Al-Azami 

Ordinary member: Alexandra Georgiou 

Ordinary member: Alexandra Shaitan

  1. Any Other Business
  2. Notification of next AGM