Tag Archives: birmingham

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Volunteer with ‘Talk English Project’ in Birmingham

Fircroft College will be delivering the NEW Talk English Programme in Birmingham. Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Talk English is a volunteer led project, that offers a fantastic opportunity to develop English language skills for people with low levels of English within the local area.

The project will run a number of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses across community venues. It  will be taught by volunteer ‘Talk English Tutors’ and supported by volunteer ‘Talk English Friends’.

Sound interesting? Read more below….

Volunteer needed for Talk English Project in Birmingham

Make a difference.. become a Talk English Volunteer!

‘Talk English Tutors’ will receive

  •  Free training courses
  • Gain teaching experience
  • Develop new skills

‘Talk English Friends’ will have the exciting opportunity to facilitate a range of fun learning activities for people learning English and/or can support learners one to one , or in a small group within a classroom setting.

We are now recruiting for volunteer Talk English Tutors, Talk English friends and partners, If interested in volunteering for the project please register your interest HERE 

To find out more please get in touch with Neena Chauhan, Talk English Project Coordinator on 0121 472 2016 or via email       neena.chauhan@fircroft.ac.uk.

To find out more about Talk English visit www.talk-english.co.uk/birmingham

Scott Lucas’ Trump Talk – A Guide to Critical Thinking

The Trump Talk held at Fircroft College on 4th July was a great success and our thanks goes to Professor Scott Lucas for a stimulating and thought provoking session.  

 

You can find out more about Scott’s work through his journalism at EA WorldView (www.eaworldview.com), covering US politics and foreign policy and also international affairs, notably in Iran, Syria, and the wider Middle East, or by following him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ScottLucas_EA).

In this era of ‘Fake News’ and an ‘Age of Uncertainty’, the talk and discussion highlighted the ongoing and increasing importance for students and citizens to develop critical thinking and critical reading skills in order to navigate the ‘mediascape’ and mountains of misinformation.  

The importance of triangulation, ie getting at least 3 reliable and different sources of information, was highlighted by Scott and discussed in reference to the current American and Global political landscape with the audience. 

Staff and students were buzzing at the end of the evening, one student said ‘It was fantastic, I could have carried on for hours!’ 

Here are a couple of resources that Scott finds valuable for his work.

On US politics: FiveThirtyEight (www.fivethirtyeight.com), RealClearPolitics (https://www.realclearpolitics.com/), and individual journalists like Maggie Haberman of The New York TImes or David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post.

On checking some of the stories in the media, BellingCat (www.bellingcat.com).

On Syria and Iran (with apologies for a lack of modesty), EA WorldView!

And the day always starts with a review of some of the most reliable outlets, such as The New York Times and The Guardian.

Perhaps most importantly, talk to each other and compare your thoughts. Scott says, “Please get in touch with me to discuss ideas!”

Birmingham Conversations: Faith in the Public Sphere

The third ‘Birmingham Conversations’ took place recently on the theme of ‘Faith in the Public Sphere’ and explored the issue of how faith communities engage in all areas of public life.

The Conversations were attended by Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Humanists, Muslims and Sikhs as well as people involved in local politics, business and education.

The group met once a month for six months which enabled friendships to grow and for trust to be built up so that difficult or controversial topics could be considered.

Under the heading of ‘Faith in the Public Sphere’ they discussed what it would mean for faith communities, and by extension all communities, to flourish in the public sphere. Can everyone flourish or does the flourishing of one community necessitate the diminishing or restricting of another?

They then went on to consider how what this flourishing might look like at work, in places of education, in political life, in the media and in the street during festivals or demonstrations.

A Policy Report of the findings was written by Dr Andrew Davies from the University of Birmingham which includes specific recommendations and can be downloaded here faith-in-the-public-sphere-policy-recommendations

A Summary of the conversations was produced which includes questions for discussion and is written with members of the public in mind to enable different groups to join in the conversation. A copy of the summary can be downloaded here. map-of-birmingham-conversationland

They invited two local artists, Jake Lever and Mandy Ross, to be artists in residence and reflect on what they heard during the conversations. As well as creatively facilitating conversations they produced artworks at the end as a response to the conversations.

Eid Mubarak!

Join us at Fircroft College to celebrate the diversity in our community on Monday 3rd July. With a number of workshops and exhibitions as well as deliciously authentic food,  it promises to be an event not to be missed.

Break bread with us as we get to know each other and find ways to better understand the differences and similarities in our cultures.

 

Black Feminist Protest – Mary Prince’s Slave Narrative by Ifemu Omari-Webber

Mary Prince’s autobiography – The History of Mary Prince (1831), was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published.

On Thursday 22nd June at the John Lewis Community Hub, Ifemu aims to share some of these stories in her seminar, and argues that Mary Prince is indeed one of the first black feminists to actively resist the dehumanisation process of West Indian slavery, ensuring that her life experiences continues to be passed on almost two centuries later.

We hope you can join us for this interesting and informative event.