Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Volunteering with Refugees

Cambridge English Language Assessment via FutureLearn


Learn how to identify and respond to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers

When volunteering with refugees, it’s important to understand their backgrounds, current situations and needs in order to provide the best support.

On this 3-week course, you’ll look at strategies and techniques for identifying the diverse needs of refugees and asylum seekers. You’ll develop your knowledge of the emotional and linguistic needs of those settling into life in a new country, and the role you can play in supporting them.

This course has been developed by experts from Cambridge University Press & Assessment and The Human Hive.

Explore teaching strategies to aid communication

For many refugees coming to a new country, communication can be a huge barrier. On the course, you’ll develop strategies for communicating with refugees and for building positive learning relationships.

You’ll learn about the importance of understanding refugees’ home languages and cultures and explore different contexts where you might be working with refugees.

Become an effective volunteer

You’ll explore behaviours associated with trauma and look at how to manage your own needs and responses in order to create safe spaces for learning.

You’ll also work with The Human Hive Framework and learn how to design and structure appropriate learning activities.

Unpack language teaching methods

During the final week, you’ll explore key teaching strategies for language learning. With this knowledge, you’ll develop resources to support your learners in becoming confident in using English.

By the end of the course, you’ll have raised awareness and developed some new skills to effectively support refugees from different backgrounds and cultures.

This course is designed for those either currently volunteering or planning to volunteer with refugees and asylum seekers.

The focus of the course is on providing appropriate linguistic support, such as teaching English to refugees, taking into account their needs and future plans. Previous teaching experience will be helpful but is not essential.


  • Identifying and responding to needs
    • Introduction to the course
    • What are refugees' main needs?
    • Understanding refugees' home languages and cultures
    • Building relationships for learning
    • Round-up of Week 1 and preview of Week 2
  • Creating safe spaces for learning
    • About The Human Hive
    • Understanding and working with trauma
    • Preparing yourself to be a safe space
    • Round-up of Week 2 and preview of Week 3
  • Developing learners' language skills
    • Structuring language learning
    • Supporting language learning
    • Resources for language learning and refugee support
    • Course review and what's next

Taught by

Kate McAllister


4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 49 ratings

Start your review of Volunteering with Refugees

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.