Saving the Children: The Challenges of Educating Refugee Youth

  • Aram Ayalon
  • Michal AyalonEmail author


The overwhelming migration of refugees from wars and famine, of which one third are children, are ruinous to their countries and impacting to the host countries. These children and youth arrive in western countries with diverse languages, cultures, and backgrounds, often showing the signs of severe trauma. The authors questioned: “How do hosting countries could assist refugee children integration into the new culture, language, and schools” and, “And are the host countries prepared to welcome this immigrant population by offering bilingual and bicultural education? In this article, the authors explore the complexity of preparing to receive and integrate these children and youth in hosting countries. The authors share their experiences in a refugee camp in the island of Lesvos, Greece where they taught English and assessed the literacy skills of unaccompanied minors who fled from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria.


Refugee youth Unaccompanied immigrant children Refugee education Literacy assessment Teaching english as a second language Bilingual education Asylum seeking children Refugee minors trauma Holistic literacy assessment Nurturing school environment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education Leadership, Policy, & Instructional TechnologyCentral Connecticut State UniversityNew BritainUSA
  2. 2.Department of Language and Culture StudiesTrinity CollegeHartfordUSA

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