RefuLingua - Arabic Tutoring Pilot Project

Do you want to learn Arabic with a refugee in Bristol?

Over the past year Bridges for Communities has piloted a new language project that enables refugees to take a step towards employment by tutoring people in conversational Arabic.

** Refulingua is now not receiving any more students whilst we review the pilot year and prepare for the 2019 academic year ahead**

If you are interested to learn Arabic with us starting in September, we invite you to register your interest by following the link below and we will be in touch later in Summer to let you know what the options are.

Many thanks!


Learning Arabic with Refulingua**

**note- this MAY change for the 2019-2010 academic year depending on our review of the pilot project**

The options for learning Arabic with Refulingua are

1-1: meeting with a tutor 1-1 at a time and place that suits you both

Small group: we organise small groups learners at a similar level who study together on a weekly basis with a tutor.

1-1 sessions are £10 per hour. Small groups are £50 for 6 classes.

This income covers all the tutors’ expenses, including monthly bus passes for Bristol, as well as ongoing teacher training, provision of materials and support.

Most of the tutors come from Syria or the surrounding area, so the dialect they teach will be the dialect of that region (Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon). If you have requests for other dialects do let us know and we can try to accommodate you.

Please note! Most of our tutors have arrived in the UK in the last year. They have varying levels of English and may not have previous experience of tutoring. We are sure they will manage well and ask for your active participation as learners to make the classes a success!

For more information get in touch with Rose Codner (Refulingua Project Manager) at


If you are a native Arabic speaker and recent refugee and you are interested in teaching Arabic as part of this project, please get in touch with Rose Codner on the email address above, or via the contact form found at نحن في انتظارك!

Some things to consider......

There are many types of Arabic! Most books, courses and online resources are designed to teach Modern Standard Arabic – this is a literary language understood across the Arabic speaking world, but nobody actually speaks it. With our program, you will focus on spoken Arabic. The Arabic language is spoken from Morocco across to Iraq, and there are at least as many dialects as there are countries. The majority of our tutors are from Syria and so will teach the Syrian - Levantine dialect. This will allow you to communicate with people from Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon, although people from other countries will understand you too. If you'd like to learn another dialect, please let us know and we'll try to accommodate you. 

More about the pilot project

For refugees who are seeking to rebuild their lives in the UK, finding employment can be a huge challenge, and that their lack of proficiency in English is often held up as the primary barrier to finding a job. We want to turn this on its head and say that refugees’ language skills should be seen as an asset and not a barrier. We feel passionately about enabling refugees and asylum seekers to use the skills and assets that they bring with them to this country, including the languages that they speak.

On this basis, Bridges for Communities has been piloting a project which enables refugees in Bristol to volunteer as Arabic language tutors and enables others to benefit from the opportunity that learning Arabic presents. We aim to enable refugees to take a step towards employment in the UK, and to grow in their confidence and well being as they teach others their language. Alongside this, we aim to enable British people to gain an insight into a new language and culture as they learn Arabic and interact with their refugee tutor. 

In the year ahead we are looking to expand RefuLingua to include group Arabic classes at beginner and improver levels, as well as tuition another community language (Somali or Kurdish anyone?!) Please let us know if you have a particular request for a community language, as we may be able to accommodate you. 

The RefuLingua pilot project is funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation. We would like to express our thanks to them for enabling us to develop this exciting initiative.