This is an extremely difficult time for Ukrainians who had to leave their homes and move abroad for safety, many having to abandon their studies or their professions, at least for the time being. As a sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, the ICC has offered two free places on its online teacher training course, EUROLTA. The European Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults is an international certificate enabling participants to start a career in language teaching. ICC is also developing a special EUROLTA Course for teaching refugees. Ukrainian refugees are admitted to EUROLTA free of charge.
To get a feeling for what it is like to be a refugee from Ukraine, we interviewed our first two Ukrainian course members, Nataly Pidluzha and Diana Kopylova on their backgrounds, their professions and their aspirations. Here’s what they said.
I am 33 years old, I’m married and have 2 kids. I am a logistics specialist, and my hobbies are learning English and sport.
I am from a village located near Kyiv but as the war advanced on our capital I fled to Germany, and we are living in Hattingen in North-Rhine Westphalia. I have a bachelor’s degree in automatic computer systems. In Ukraine I was employed as a logistics specialist.
Since I was a child, I have I have dreamt of being a teacher but different circumstances did not let me choose that profession. I hope that after my finishing this course I will have confidence in pursuing a teaching career and have learned some great tools in how to be a really good teacher. My aim is to teach English. English is my passion and all my leisure time, I spent learning English. Right now, it is hard for me because I have no one who can speak in English in my surroundings. For me the most important quality of a good language teacher is to offer friendship and guidance to all your students.
I dream that the nightmare of what is happening right now in Ukraine will stop soon and I will
able to hug my husband. I am optimistic about Ukraine. I believe we will achieve victory.
Ukraine is a strong nation, and we can get through even this horrible war.
I am 17 years old and from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city. I lived and studied there till the war started. In Ukraine, I was a first-year student at the Polytechnic University and was studying “Applied and Computer Linguistics”. I have always been interested in languages and as of now I know five. I am bilingual in Ukrainian and Russian and am at intermediate level in English and Greek, and German. So, it is no surprise that I wanted to make my hobby my career.
In the first days of the war I was lucky to go to Greece and even though I know this country, it was very hard to adapt. I spent every day reading the news and feeling bad about it. And then I found out about the EUROLTA Online course. I understood that this was a chance to make my dream come true and to get distracted from this situation.
I don’t have any experience in teaching yet but it was always interesting to analyse my language teachers and think about why my classmates like some teachers and don’t like others. So, I concluded that the most important qualities are patience, watchfulness, creativity, kindness, and being supportive.
I am not afraid of the future, even though I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. My whole life depends on me and my decisions. The only thing I can’t change is war, so, here I can only believe in the strength of my country and that the war will end soon.
If you have colleagues or students who are refugees from Ukraine or other countries give them your professional and personal support. It will help them feel more at home, develop professionally, and manage better the trauma of living in these challenging times.