Family learning in English for speakers of other languages (FLESOL): a case study of Yemeni women’s perspectives
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AbstractThis research examined a group of Yemeni women enrolled on a Family Learning (FL) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme in the UK. The study addressed three central elements: the ways in which the women conceptualise learning, their motives for engaging in FLESOL, and the barriers to learning they experience. The investigation begins by reviewing Government policies on ESOL learning in Adult Education (AE) and considers the challenges faced by ESOL learners. The review explores the wide-ranging factors which impact upon learning as discussed in existing research and literature. This research argues that government policy and cuts in funding underestimate the complexities of developing life chances for learning. The study contributes to the debate about the value of FLESOL in community learning and aims to provide a deeper understanding of the benefits for this group of learners. The notion of community underpins the learner-centred approach employed in the study, which used a narrative inquiry methodology. An in-depth narrative inquiry was conducted with five participants, involving qualitative semi-structured interviews and a focus group. The study employed imaginative strategies including memorable items and photo elicitation to prompt the views of the participants and to examine their experiences. By selecting a group of FLESOL participants who have not received consideration before, and whose voices are rarely heard, the research demonstrates the nuances of their learning, motivations and perceived barriers. Participants’ stories provide insights into what they feel is important for their learning in a FLESOL environment. Their stories have important implications for decision-makers regarding funding allocation and eligibility criteria to access ESOL. The emergent findings highlight the importance of learning English as a tool which supports change in women’s social capital, well-being and empowerment. It also illustrates that these changes have to come from within the Yemeni women themselves through balancing their new life in the UK with traditional family roles and expectations.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Education in Professional Inquiry.
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