Refugee resources

Background to the production of A Whole New World

Driven from their homes, they flee into the unknown, with their battered bodies, their nightmare memories, their frightening uncertainty about the future and terrible fears for the safety of those they have left behind.  As they arrive on our shores and at our airports, they are confronted by our strange faces, our peculiar customs, our incomprehensible language and an unpredictable welcome.  They have truly leapt into a whole new world.

 To a far less frightening extent, we too as teachers leap again and again into a new world as we try to help yet another new wave of disoriented people, about whose customs and language we have completely inadequate knowledge and understanding.  In time, of course, we learn to help more effectively.  But we are always frustrated by our inability to provide miracles from the very first.

 A Whole New World  and the sound CD Songs for a Whole New World are the result of collaboration between a group of ESL teachers who hope that, by pooling their resources, they will be able to make the unknowns a bit less intimidating for other teachers and especially for the students we all so desperately want to assist in their new lives in our country.

 The advice, teaching tips, materials and exercises in this book may also be of use to teachers of others in the community who, for whatever reason, find the linguistic, literacy and cultural demands of our society extremely challenging. 

 We wish you all good luck!