Creation and translation of signs/signposts and rules

In this activity students will work together to learn about the countries of origin and mother tongues of their multilingual classmates or children with refugee experience.

Furthermore, they will decide what signs need to be placed in the school and translated into all tongues, as well as the texts of regulations in order for all students to gain knowledge and understanding of both the layout of the school and the basic rules of the school.


  1. The Teachers’ Council decides that everything that pupils need in their everyday life at school should be available in the mother tongues of all children, and appoints a working group of its members for this purpose (the number of members depends on the particular circumstances of the school).
  2. The working group collects information on the origin of all students in the school. It records the countries of origin and the mother tongues spoken there. It would be interesting to collect data from fellow native students. Each student who is a senior in the school will become a mentor to a student with refugee experience. See activity Mentors at school.
  3. Students are given an illustrated layout of the school, so that the context is clear. A tour of the school premises by classmates and a responsible teacher may be given. The students may also provide a map of the school drawn by themselves. From the tour, an initial discussion with the children can arise about the signs they consider necessary in the school area, so that students with refugee background can know what everything is, or where everything is located.
  4. The working group collaborates to come up with the final list of signposts. Afterwards, they use translation applications and/or ask the children to draw or point. The result of this collaboration can decorate the final products. The multilingual students who are literate may be asked to render signs in their own language with or without their parents’ assistance. External services may be consulted regarding the final spelling version. The Teachers’ Council validates the outcome of the team’s work and ensures its implementation. Students co-create the final sign products. After approval they can be printed by graphic designers or simply glued authentically as produced by the students themselves (graffiti, collage, etc.). As a symbolic opening to multilingualism, the inscriptions could be placed in the presence of the school community.


Reflective discussion with students about the feelings they had when they saw or heard other languages, or when their mother tongue was included in the school (legitimized by the official school system).

Duration: 90 minutes


  • (in French)
  • Gatsi G. (2020) Educational practices of empowering the ever-evolving identity of children with refugee backgrounds in and out of the classroom, Refugees and Education. Field studies and theoretical issues. Edited by Nikos Gogonas – Stamoulis A. Thessaloniki p.227-257 (in Greek).

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