In the end of year 2015 there were about 40 refugees coming to Kärda outside Värnamo in Sweden. Not long after their arrival, the churches in Kärda started a knitting cafe and a language school in order to get acquainted with the newcomers. Several of the refugees were illiterate and they were taught Swedish by a retired teacher who put in a lot of effort to help her new students. As for myself, I taught a group of young male adults and it went pretty well.
After a while the boys started talking about buying a car. I asked them if they had tools for repairing cars - They did not. Then I came up with, in my opinion, a brilliant idea! The catalogue from BILTEMA.
Yes, that´s it! We will work with the catalogue so they can learn Swedish from it.
I wrote out papers for each person and it looked something like this:
Write in Swedish……
Write in your own language………
They looked up the tool in the index and found the correct page. Hammer? It turned out that there were several kinds of hammers. Several lessons developed into discussions just about different kinds of hammers and their area of use. Other lessons were about other tools you need to repair a car. In Afghanistan, according to the boys, nails, sledgehammer and iron wires are used to repair a car.
There have been few lessons during my 30 years as a teacher that involved as much laughing, pointing and much discussions as these. I happen to be a music teacher but it is not that big of a difference between teaching students how to play a trumpet or a trombone than to teaching them the names and uses of different tools.
Several of the people that came to Kärda from different parts of the world now have jobs, the kids are going to school and they have assimilated very well in their new places. We now hope they will feel right at home here and that they are not going to be sent back to countries that do not want them.
Thank you Biltema for the best teaching material for teenage boys, and for everyone, as a matter of fact.