Lingua +

Using photography to explore language with migrants and refugees

A learner-centred pilot to explore the use of participatory photography as a tool for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to explore language.  


London, UK 

Kate Watson

Kate Watson

Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network and The Mosaic Art Sound Ltd

Erasmus+ and European Commission

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“Innovative host-country language learning through socio-cultural inclusion and empathy”

“The project Lingua+ is a programme co funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union that seeks to address challenges within immigrant language learning and integration in Europe. The partnership comprises partner organizations in Iceland, Czech Republic, Italy, Cyprus and the UK. We are the UK partner.

Where existing methodologies and learning scenarios designed for adult immigrant learners lack a holistic approach, Lingua+ brings innovation into the linguistic integration of immigrants by offering tools to language teachers through state of the art methodologies and practices embedded into socio-cultural interplay. The acquisition of means to express the learner’s own diverse identity through the process of adaption to a new cultural environment are essential components of the Lingua+ approach.”


A one-day workshop to explore the use of language with participants beyond the classroom.  Using reflective visual dialogue activities and practical exercises which support participants and identify key areas that can be explored further in the rest of the programme.

The workshops were attended by 7 adult participants and 3 children, all of different nationalities and with English levels ranging from 0 – 2

The workshop delivered activities that explored themes such as community, identity,support network and communication, including sessions on:

– Visual Literacy
– Camera Skills
– Photo Dialogues exploring identity, culture, community
– Storytelling and language through photography

Participants were supported with 1:1 support to write captions, and support during group activities was provided to factor in proficiency in English.

Participants produced a series of captioned photographs to share with Mosaic and publicly.

Participants more proficient in English were able to support those who were less so building confidence.

100% of the participants would be interested to take part in similar future workshops using participatory photography as a tool to learn English.

As a one-day pilot PhotoVoice were able to provide Mosaic with recommendation on integrating future workshops in the programme.

“I would like to have more days workshop like this. I think photography helps us to learn English and communicate. I would like to take the camera home to show people things about my life and have inspiration.”

“I met many people today and through photographs learnt and shared something about me and my home. Thank you.”


Project Gallery:

The images produced by participants are not shared outside this project.