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The Goods: NaTakallam

24 June, 2022

This week is Refugee Week. So this week we are focusing in on a tech solution that supports migrants and could help you overcome that inevitable language learning slump you may be experiencing if you downloaded Duolingo during Covid and are wondering why you still can’t order a meal effectively when you get to the Spanish restaurant.  

Every two seconds, someone is forced to flee their home. From the millions of Ukrainians left homeless by the war, to the 21 million people dislocated by extreme weather events, many displaced people struggle to earn a living, whatever their qualifications.  

At the same time, in an increasingly globalised world, more of us are seeking out the skills to travel, work and socialise across different locations and cultures. As of 2020, DuoLingo had over 500 million registered users. 

NaTakallam offers a solution for both groups. It provides language learning, translation and cultural exchange services delivered by individuals who have been forced to flee their homes, and those based in countries that host large communities of refugees. Virtual sessions are accessible worldwide, and start at around £13.  

This is not just a language learning service. By using refugees as teachers, NaTakallam challenges stereotypes of displaced people as ‘dependent’ or ‘weak’, showing that they have enormous skills to offer. And through shared conversations, refugee teachers and learners build empathy and connection with one another, as well as accessing new cultures and networks. 

With over half of UK adults wishing they’d made more of language lessons at school, NaTakallam offers the chance to turn back the clock, discover new cultures and support a displaced individual in the process. Sign us up! 

By Sarah Howden

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