MGW- NW Seminar: Dr Giovanna Fassetta

15th of November 2018, 3 – 5pm, Room SC101

 Title:  Online Arabic from Palestine and ‘linguistic hospitality’


This presentation will discuss the process of online collaboration to design an Online Arabic language course. The project was funded by the AHRC under their GCRF scheme and resulted in the Online Arabic from Palestine language course. The international and multilingual project was based in the School of Education, University of Glasgow (UK) and in the Gaza Strip (Palestine). A team of academics, teachers, administrators, IT experts, videographers and graphic designers. Worked online to circumvent the blockade of the Gaza Strip in order to design and develop an online Arabic course for beginners that is:

(a) grounded in Palestinian culture, history, language and art;

(b) tailor-made for online delivery from the challenging context of the Gaza Strip;

(c) collaborative and

(d) holistic i.e. focusing not just on language for communication but also on the emotional and aesthetic dimensions of language.

The Online Arabic from Palestine course will be taught by trained and experienced teachers based at the Arabic Center (Islamic University of Gaza) and will make use of bespoke interactive materials created over the past year by an international team of language experts. It will offer Gaza’s graduates a way to earn some much-needed income through online work and also a chance to relieve the isolation they experience.

The presentation will also illustrate a new project that aims to link the Online Arabic from Palestine course and the New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy for 2018-2020, which has recently been launched by the Scottish Government. It will discuss how ‘linguistic hospitality’ can be a way to welcome refugees and thus effectively facilitate integration as a two-way process.


Dr Giovanna Fassetta is Lecturer in Intercultural Literacies and Languages at the University of Glasgow (School of Education). She works within the UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts and has been engaged in several projects relating to multilingualism and intercultural communication in research. Giovanna is currently P.I. on the AHRC funded project Online Palestinian Arabic Course (OPAC) and has worked for several years on different online collaborations with the Islamic University of Gaza. Giovanna is also P.I on an ESRC funded project working towards a Think Piece on Indigenous Knowledges. She is part of the executive of the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet) and has been a GRAMNet member since the Network’s start, ten years ago.

This seminar will be chaired by the MWG-NW director, Dr Zana Vathi
Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice

This event is sponsored by I4P, Edge Hill University’s cross-disciplinary research and knowledge exchange initiative. The Institute is committed to exploring the opportunities for cross sector collaboration and co-operation and to draw on the experience of practitioners as well as academic researchers to inform new ways of working and learning.

Learn more here: I4P