Language Education Policy Studies
An International Network
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MEMES Survey Information for Educators of Refugee and other Displaced Students 

Spring 2018 Project at University of Wisconsin-Madison Curriculum & Instruction

Making Empathetic Multilingual Environments in Schools: MEMES to Support Refugees and Displaced Students  

To the right (content being added) you will find links to the information, surveys and spaces for this current project at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison. It is an online, easily accessible space for teachers to share problems and difficulties, seek solutions and both asynchronous and live support, and find resources. It should be easily accessible and provide even urgent solutions. Despite the title, the focus is not only language, but transcultural understanding, recognizing that students often have (had) another life in their own (at time heritage) languages. (See Conceptual Framework, Goals, and Integrated Resources). By using the acronym MEMES, we hope to use a popular symbol shared ubiquitously to advocate for participation and change.


The webpages are a permanent resource, comparative, and not a mere study. Hopefully the discussion board and weekly meetings will also become a permanent resource to both support teachers and promote social & global justice and change. The website pages will contribute to building a policy like Wisconsin's Act 31 that requires the teaching of history and culture of the First Nations of Wisconsin (U.S.A.), with resources, and teacher training program.

Who is Invited to Collaborate & Privacy Information:

These pages and the survey, discussion, and Zoom meetings are an online space for teachers to share problems and difficulties, seek solutions, and find resources related to teaching and working with displaced and refugee students. The issues that emerge will be used for a future grant and longer study. We want to support and hear from the following:

Teachers (subject or language), administrators, support staff, other school personnel; policymakers; who deal with refugee and displaced students (see definition). International Locations: U.S., Canada, Turkey, Lebanon, Sudan (active recruitment); all places are welcome.

Those interested may participate in three ways, all of which are available on laptops or mobile phones:

1. Fill out an anonymous Qualtrics survey about their experience(s),
2. Teacher support: participate in an online asynchronous discussion group on or Facebook
3. Teacher support: attend a live video meeting on Zoom to discuss the issues and listen to guest speakers.

Privacy Issues are addressed as follows:
By participating you give your assent: Assent is non-signed consent with agreement expressed if and when you 1) write in the survey, 2) join the discussion group, or 3) attend the live session.
In the Qualtrics survey, no identifying information such as name or email address is collected.
Piazza is a wiki-style format that allows for anonymous posting, if desired.
Zoom allows attendees to participate without turning on their webcam, post questions anonymously and receive private responses.

Click here for information on How to Participate:

please email Dr. Kristine Harrison with questions at

Use of the data
Use of the Surveys, Discussions, and Videos
Theory and Conceptual
Goals & Expected Result
Content/Integrated Resources
A few resources

A few references:

Dawson, G., & Farber, S. (2012). Forcible Displacement Throughout the Ages: Towards an International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Forcible Displacement. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Fábos, A. (2015). Refugees in the Arab Middle East: Academic and policy perspectives. Digest of Middle East Studies, 24(1), 96–110. 

Kambel, E. (2016). Translanguaging: the answer to 21st century multilingual classrooms? Rutu Foundation. Retrieved at

Sugarman, Julie. 2017. Beyond Teaching English: Supporting High School Completion by Immigrant and Refugee Students. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute. 

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). (2016). Figures at a Glance. Geneva. Retrieved at  


This web page has a copyright. It may be referred to and quoted, or reproduced and distributed for educational purposes according to fair use legislation only if the following citation is included in the document:

This information was originally published on the website of the International Network for Language Education Policy Studies ( as

Harrison, K.M. (2018). Survey Project Info: Making Empathetic Multilingual Environments in Schools: Memes to Support Refugees and Displaced Students. In F. V. Tochon (Ed.), Language Education Policy Studies (online). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin—Madison. Retrieved from: (access date).