The three day conference was organised by the staff at UWC Maastricht and UWC Atlantic College, to consider how to improve support for those students who have come from countries which are not English speaking.
The conference brought staff together to identify the issues and share good practices, identify areas in need of development, and work towards creating an action plan. This action plan will establish solid support structures across the UWC movement and in our individual contexts.
Peter T Howe, our new Head of UWC Atlantic College opened the ceremony, along with the keynote speaker, Dr. Marco Tamburelli, a Senior lecturer in Bilingualism at the University of Bangor, Wales. Dr Tamburelli made the 13 UWCs consider the importance of actively encouraging mother-tongue use on our campuses.
Two days of very intense conversations gave all of the staff a lot to think about and take back to their individual UWC colleges across the world. The staff stated how, "It was stimulating and nourishing to learn from engage with others who spoke the same language."
It was also considered how the support for those learning English needs to go hand in hand with the pastoral support, and how the the next conference can involve staff members who are involved in both areas of UWC life - educational and personal.
Finally, the staff state how the newly formed network of UWC Hub will be a great group space for the staff to share materials and ideas to improve the support that they offer to all students.