Wednesday, November 18, 2015

EdD: Bringing It All Back Home

Change of direction in the research. The organisation in China that was paying me for assessment of young ELLs (English Language Learners) following a curriculum based on the Common Core are paying me no longer.

Frankly, it's a relief to not have to base my work and studies on Learners thousands of miles away to the East, whose studies are, in turn, based on a set of Standards drawn up in a country thousands of miles away to the West. And I've travelled enough in the last twenty years that the prospects of school visits in China, and conferences in the States, have limited appeal.

I've a formative submission for the EdD due this Saturday, which wants a mind map of my Lit Rev, summary of searches, bibliography, and a short reflection on what I've learnt from the foregoing. Luckily, I haven't started that on my Common Core v English as a Lingua Franca proposal from August, so, if I get cracking, like-say, this morning, I can do the submission for a new proposal by Saturday.

And so: it seems unlikely that the horrible situation in the Middle East and North Africa, (and other parts of Africa) is going to improve any time soon.  This means that Europe's "refugee crisis" ("migrant crisis" as some discourses have it) is going to continue. This in turn means that Scotland is likely to have a number of new residents whose L1 is not English. I think there may be demographic imperatives here, too, but I haven't any data on this, at the moment.

Note, I'm focussing on adults whose L1 is not English. For all kinds of reasons we treat adults and children differently in terms of educational provision:

I need to tease out a research question from the following formative questions.

  • What's the history of adult ESOL provision in Scotland, (consider Foucaultian methodology)?
  • What are the practical, humanitarian and demographic considerations now and for the future?
  • What is the need for ESOL for L2 speakers now?
  • Are Asylum Seekers/Refugees treated differently to other ELLs, such as Europeans?
  • What are the views of current ELLs in Scotland about their L2 learning?  
  • Do we know what the likely future needs of ELLs will be?
  • What is being done to address the needs of ELLs now in and in the future?
  • Is it right to see this only from the perspective of "the needs of ELLs"? 
  • Can we be more objective, and look at this situation in policy and demographic terms, and ask, what are Scotland's needs in terms of population and workforce in terms of the emergent bilingualism of sections of its population?
So there's scope here to look critically at the past and current discourse regarding our emergent bilinguals. Wow. Weave in policy and the reality. And posit what we need to be doing. 

Coming soon to a blog post near you: the nitty gritty of the literature.