In the previous article about the role of the trainer, the focus was on one of the four main areas that they need to reflect on in order to deliver an effective training program: knowing themselves as a learner.
Now, it is time to call attention to another area: Know your target group
Migrants, although neither inherently vulnerable nor lacking resilience and agency, find themselves in vulnerable situations as a result of the situations compelling them to leave their country of origin, the circumstances in which they travel or the conditions they face on arrival, or because of personal characteristics such as their age, gender identity, race, disability or health status.
Therefore, the trainer needs to have the following characteristics:
Be culturally aware: The trainer needs to understand that the migrant learners often come from different cultural backgrounds, and understanding their cultural context is crucial for effective training. This means developing cultural sensitivity, avoiding misunderstandings, and creating a culturally inclusive learning environment that respects and appreciates diverse perspectives. Most importantly, the trainers need to be aware of their own cultural biases that shape their own understanding.
Provide individualised instructions: Each migrant learner has unique experiences, skills and challenges to face. The trainer needs to identify the learners’ strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles, and adapt their teaching methods accordingly to maximise the learning outcomes.
Build trust and rapport: When the trainer takes the time to know their migrant learners, it helps create a positive and supportive relationship. Learners feel valued, understood and respected, which encourages active participation and engagement in the learning process.
Address the learners’ needs: Migrant learners may have specific needs related to language proficiency, cultural integration, or overcoming barriers associated with migration. By knowing their learners, the trainer can identify these needs and provide appropriate support, resources, and referrals to help them overcome challenges and succeed in their learning journey.
Enhance relevance and contextualisation: Knowing the migrant learners allows the trainer to relate the training content to their learners’ specific experiences, backgrounds and aspirations. This enhances the relevance and applicability of the training materials, making it easier for learners to connect with the content and apply it to their own lives and goals.
Provide effective examples and role models: Migrant learners often benefit from seeing examples and role models who have successfully navigated similar challenges. The trainer who is familiar with their learners can incorporate relevant examples, case studies or guest speakers from migrant backgrounds, providing inspiration and motivation for them.
Overcome language and communication barriers: Language proficiency can be a significant challenge for migrant learners. Trainers who know their learners can assess their language abilities and adapt their communication accordingly. They can use clear and simple language, provide additional explanations, and visual aids, or utilise interpreters, if necessary, to ensure effective understanding and communication.
Empower the learners: Knowing migrant learners allows the trainer to identify and build on their existing skills, knowledge and experiences. By acknowledging their learners’ strengths and empowering them to contribute actively to the learning process, the trainer can foster a sense of ownership and self-confidence among migrant learners.