4 Easy Ways to Support Refugee Students with Guest Elle Burdett


Click below to hear how to support refugee students:

Imagine living in a war-torn country where there are not enough school buildings because they’ve been destroyed by war, not enough teachers because wages are so low, and many families are living in camps because they’ve been displaced and are living far away from everything that is familiar to them. Just think of the impact this has on children, families, and communities after years and years of this type of crisis that nations like Iraq in the Middle East and in other parts of the world are facing. 

Sometimes it can feel like we are so far away from those types of conditions that it can be difficult to shift our perspective, but as ESL teachers, it is so important for us to be aware of what’s going on in the world and how it is impacting education.

Today’s guest, Elle Burdett, gives us insight into how to support students and families who immigrate to the United States and help them feel welcomed. When we open ourselves up to learn about what people have gone through, it can change us forever and give us a new perspective, allowing us to approach students and families from other parts of the world with empathy and understanding.

Elle Burdett was raised in Latin America and even as a child expressed a desire to become an educator with a special calling to serve marginalized populations.

During college, she had the privilege of working with immigrant children from all over the world in a variety of contexts. In her first year of teaching, her kindergarten classroom had children of many different nationalities, some of whom were introduced to English for the first time. 

Elle now lives in the Middle East and is privileged to serve refugees and internally displaced populations. Her work consists of teaching English to refugee children who do not have access to school as well as working with local educators to train on best practices.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Why Elle says living in Iraq is a great gift to her and what she’s learning by being immersed in an unfamiliar culture and language
  • A glimpse of what education looks like in Iraq and in many of the Middle Eastern countries that have been impacted by years of political conflict, devastating wars, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Why it’s so important to see and understand the global view of what’s happening in education as ESL teachers
  • 4 simple tips you can use to welcome refugee students and families into your classroom and school that will make a big difference to them
  • Ways to get involved and help support teachers and education initiatives in other countries around the world

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More about Equipping ELLs:

We all know that teaching isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be this hard. Equipping ELLs is a podcast for both ESL specialists and homeroom teachers who are looking for effective and engaging ways to support their English Language Learners without adding to their endless to-do list. Tune in each week to hear tips, strategies, and inspirational stories that will empower you to better reach your ELL students, equip them with life-long skills, and strengthen relationships with colleagues and parents.

Your host, Beth Vaucher, is the founder of Inspiring Young Learners. She is an ESL certified homeroom teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching in the US and internationally. Her background of M.Ed in ESL and Curriculum and Instruction combined with her experience has led her to develop a bestselling newcomer curriculum that has sold in over 90 countries around the globe. She brings a different perspective to teaching ELLs from her years teaching and living abroad and working with ELLs from around the world. You will walk away from each episode with the ideas and tools you need to transform your experience as a teacher and cultivate a thriving and welcoming environment for your ELL students.



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