Lifelong Learning Programme
Lifelong Learning Programme, Grundtvig - Multilateral Project
Project no.: 142235-2008-LLP-NL-GRUNDTVIG-GMP
Project title: TRICC - Training Intercultural and Bilingual Competencies in Health and Social Care
Interdisciplinary Social Science Department
Utrecht University

Utrecht, the Netherlands
Boğaziçi University
Istanbul, Turkey
COOSS Marche
Ancona, Italy
dock europe e.V.
Hamburg, Germany
PPRE Limited
London, Great Britain

Training Intercultural and Bilingual Competencies in Health and Social Care

Project description: background, aims and result

In European countries, immigrant health care users have poorer access to and receive less quality in medical care, are sometimes excluded from treatments, and the communication is less effective. Cultural and linguistic barriers form the main obstacles. Good facilities for translation or interpretation are essential for access and quality of care, but are frequently lacking. Very often, migrant health care users and providers in primary health care have to rely on ad hoc interpreters (mostly family members). In many cases, hospitals organize ad hoc interpreters, or cooperate with professional interpreters who are specialized in health care matters.

During a two-year programme of training and development, senior clinical staff, linguists, social scientists, public health experts, social care experts and ad-hoc interpreters (employees or volunteers) will develop training courses for different target groups. Such trainings are aimed to enhance intercultural and bilingual awareness and competencies in health and social care services. The following target groups have been identified: ad hoc interpreters (family members, teenagers, medical staff), mediators, health and social care providers (family physicians), and migrant patients. In order to accomplish a maximum effect, this project will mainly but not exclusively, focus on the Turkish minority community.

The aims of this project are:

  • to acknowledge, support and enhance migrants’ informal bilingual and intercultural competencies
  • to develop non-formal adult education courses,
  • to test the training methodologies, based on varied forms of learning techniques, and
  • to make these courses ready for implementation for any European minority groups dealing with multilingualism.

The training courses in intercultural and bilingual competencies are designed to enhance intercultural and bilingual awareness and competencies, in order to empower the relevant target groups in health and social care.

The applied learning methods are varied, and include discussion panels, forum theatre, expressive theatre, role play, focus groups, and education and counselling methods. The main evaluation strategies contain questionnaires and in depth interviewing. The application of these strategies will result in a portfolio of best practice for training courses in intercultural and bilingual competencies for health and social care providers as well as service users from ethnic minority groups. The groundwork for this innovative project has been undertaken in the past two years via a Grundtvig II programme, in which relevant information on multilingualism as a human resource in health care was collected and exchanged (see: