RefuLingua is a grassroots language project in Bristol that enables people of refugee and migrant background to gain employment experience by teaching language and culture classes.
By providing basic language teacher training and ongoing support, RefuLingua offers an opportunity to develop new skills, meet new people and gain confidence in a new country. We offer a variety of languages, topics, and group sizes, and the option of learning online or in-person.
Lesson costs go towards paying our tutors and resourcing lessons. Lessons are booked in blocks of 8. Group classes are made up of 3-6 students.
Group classes online cost £7.50/hour (£60/block) or £10/hour (£80/block) in person.
Introductions (Level 1)
This course will introduce you to a wide range of common greetings, useful expressions, numbers 0-10, family vocabulary, and how to exchange personal information (what’s your name, where are you from, jobs etc.). It is a great place to start if you are new to the language.
Sharing Food (Level 2)
This course will introduce food vocabulary (fruits, vegetables and more), how to request food and drinks in a café or grocery store, useful expressions for sharing food in someone’s home as well as information on popular dishes from different regions from the language and dialect you are studying.
It is helpful (but not necessary) to have completed the ‘Introductions’ course before completing the ‘Sharing Food’ course.
Making Plans (Level 3)
This course will enable you to make basic plans with a native speaker of the language you are learning. It will cover days of the week and time telling, talking about places (café, hospital, park, etc) and prepositions (next to, near to, opposite etc) as well as basic activity vocabulary (drinking coffee, playing football, going to the park etc).
It is helpful (but not necessary) to have completed the ‘Introductions’ course before completing the ‘Making Plans’ course.
This is a basic introduction to body parts internal and external, and common ailments. It will also cover common greetings, useful expressions and basic vocabulary for discussing a problem. We imagine that medical professionals will benefit the most from this course, but that others may also be interested.
Reading & Writing Arabic
Available on request & subject to demand – please contact us to register your interest.
1:1 & 1:2 Classes
Many of our tutors accept 1:1 or 1:2 students on an independent basis. These lessons may be online or face to face, at any time, according to the convenience of both the tutor and yourself. Your tutor can guide you through any of the above topics, or create a personal programme depending on what you want. To find out more, please register your interest in the form below and we will get in touch with you to discuss possibilities.
Lesson costs go towards paying our tutors and resourcing lessons. Lessons are booked in blocks of 8.
1:1 classes online cost £15/hour (£120/block) or£20/hour (£160/block) in person.
1:2 classes online costs £10/hour (£80/block) or £15/hour (£120/block) in person.
Language Classes for Business
If you are an organisation, business, or group of friends and you would like to learn a language with us please get in touch and we will try to accommodate you. This also works if you’re a group of friends.
In 2023 we are planning to offer six languages and dialects: Sudanese Arabic, Syrian Arabic, Pashto, Dari, Farsi, and Somali.
Sudanese and Syrian Arabic
There are many types of Arabic. Most books, courses and online resources teach Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) – this is a literary language understood across the Arabic speaking world, but nobody really speaks it day to day. We would recommend learning to read and write MSA if you want to read the Qur’an, engage with Arabic media (i.e. newspapers, websites), or commit to a more academic understanding of the language.
Arabic is spoken from Morocco across to Iraq, and there are at least as many dialects as there are countries. Dialects can vary a lot. It could be argued that each different village, or each area of Damascus, has its own unique dialect. This can make studying dialect feel like a slippery process! Our group classes offer the dip of a toe into a couple of different dialects (Sudanese and Syrian). They cover the basics that should allow you to make a friend, share some food or make a plan across Sudan and the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine).
Pashto, Dari and Farsi
Pashto and Dari are the two official languages of Afghanistan, and are both written using the Arabic abjad (alphabet). In our classes, we transliterate these languages and write them in English. Pashto is originally the language of the Pashtun people and is spoken more in the East of Afghanistan, as well as in Pakistan. Dari is usually the language of business and higher education, and is spoken more widely in the West of Afghanistan. It has many Arabic and Persian loan words. Dari is the Afghan dialect of Farsi, with the main difference being pronunciation and accent.
Farsi (Persian) is the language of Iran, and although it is written in the Arabic alphabet, you’ll find it shares more in common structurally and grammatically with European languages such as German.
Somali is the official language of Somalia and is spoken in several East African countries including Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya. It is the language of the Somali diaspora and there are many Somali speakers in Bristol. Somali is written using the Latin alphabet, so if you can read English you can read Somali.
Learn a Language
You can book a group language class on our upcoming Events page. For one-to-one language classes, or classes for a business or pre-existing group, please contact us using the contact form below.