Motivation and self-efficacy generate a virtuous circle to learn language
Marine, age 40, is a woman from Ivory Coast who arrived in Italy in 2014. She grown in a family of six children she spent her childhood with a cousin who did not let her go to school. When she arrived in Italy she was analphabetic and had a poor French oral knowledge. During the civil war in Ivory Coast she had left the country to go to Libya, where conditions of life were hard and dangerous. So she decided to escape together with a man from Ghana sharing the same bad conditions of life. When arriving in Italy she was followed by a cooperative working with refugees and she was immediately enrolled in an alphabetization programme where she learnt to write and read in Italian. It was really difficult for her and she was ashamed in comparison to her mates (all adult refugees but with higher education), but she was highly motivated to learn Italian : her engagement was full-time since after school she kept studying Italian. She tells that TV used with Italian subtitles was a great source of self-learning. She used to set small and simple weekly goals in learning Italian ; she lived every goal achieved as a great success that pushed her to set further higher goals. Her alphabetization coincided with Italian language. Now she reads and speaks currently and has just some problems in writing. She feels very grateful and says that “they let her become a person”. Now she works as a cook in internship in a centre receiving unaccompanied minors and is able to maintain herself (in Italy these internships are specifically defined for refugees and beneficiaries of international protections (they are called “borse lavoro”) and are paid by national or local public administration). She is very proud of herself even if the sorrows of her previous life in Africa are still open, but now she has new projects for the future: to study to become a certified cook and to learn French.
Professional' adaptation to the needs of a migrant
Ana is a from Colombia, she's 40 years old. She has three children and is divorced. She didn’t make her High School Diploma equivalent and she didn’t reflect in her Spanish CV her experience as waitress in Colombia. She is very active and shows high motivation: she did several courses (food handler, hotel waitress…).
She accepted the orientation sessions very well, but individually. The professional identified that she lacked digital competences to search for a job, but she didn’t come to the group workshops about this topic. The motivation for developing this competence took place in individual meetings. At the beginning, the professional did the work instead of her: register in job websites, apply to offers. Good results brought herself to be interested in the digital competences and she started to have motivation to learn about it.
We can see that the intervention adapted to the needs and willingness of the person. It’s important to take into account migration and pre-migration experience, but also the professional respected the needs of the person at the moment. Professional understood that she changed her priorities and her professional career (she wasn’t interested in searching for waitress jobs from the beginning). At the same time, professional identified her lack of digital tools for job search and she motivated her about this and key competence learning to learn.