Section 1 Mind Map
Section 2 Searches
I have had to change the area of my research in the last few days for reasons beyond my control, and perform the searches and draft this submission fairly quickly as a result. Therefore, I limited my searches for now to Google Scholar. However, where search results turned up a book, I would go to the university’s library site to check its availability, (see Reflections).
Below are 6 searches which yielded initial titles relating to policy. There were too many results in the earliest searches, and I gradually refined the terms to get 66 results on the 6th attempt. On the earlier searches, with many results, I would skim through the first few pages of results, to get a feel for them.
- *"English Language" "Asylum Seekers" Refugees Scotland* [Google Scholar, All, 2,260 results]
- *ESL "Asylum Seekers" Refugees Scotland* [Google Scholar, All, 260 results]
- *ESL ESOL "Asylum Seekers" Refugees Scotland* [Google Scholar, All, 64 results]
- *ESOL "Asylum Seekers" Refugees Scotland* [Google Scholar, All, 595 results]
- *ESOL "Asylum Seekers" Refugees Scotland* [Google Scholar, Since 2011, 215 results]
- *ESOL "Asylum Seekers" Refugees Scotland* [Google Scholar, Since 2014, 66 results]
Bonfiglio (2010) was found in a title’s reference section for my earlier, now abandoned, research.
Subsequent searches, (looking for definitions of “high stakes” and “emergent bilingual”):
- "high stakes" def* bachman
- "high stakes" assessment testing definition
- "emergent bilingual"
- emergent bilingual definition
Turner (2009) on washback, (a matter I want to research), popped up coincidentally in search B.
Section 3 Bibliography
I haven't come to a final title, but it's going to involve an examination of the ESOL assessment of asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland, though I prefer the terms "emergent bilinguals" and "new Scots". References at the end. 5 titles dealing respectively with definitions, policy, theory (x2), and practice.
1 (Partly) Refugee Council (2015)
• ESOL, "English for Speakers of Other Languages" is the term I will use to describe the teaching of English as an L2 to people who have an L1 other than English. The same acronym is deployed to mean "English as a Second or Other Language". For the purposes of this research, "ESOL" should be taken, unless otherwise indicated, as a blanket term for this activity and process, and will therefore incorporate all of the other acronyms used, such as EFL, EAP, ESP, BE.
• Assessment: Any "high stakes" language testing of an ESOL learner. This includes tests of any of the "four domains", Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening by any means, (face to face or recorded interviews, pen and paper or computer based tests) conducted by a government department, a company recognised as having authority to conduct language assessment or examination board. The term "high stakes" is used to describe assessment which is liable to have significant consequences for the test taker, regarding immigration status, employment, entry to education or to a profession.
• Asylum Seeker. I rely on Refugee Council's 2015 definition: "someone who has lodged an application for protection on the basis of the Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the ECHR."
• Refugee, again per Refugee Council 2015: "[someone] who ‘owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country…’ (Definition quoted from the 1951 Refugee Convention)”
2 Mulvey (2015) considers the effect of the UK and Scottish Governments' policies on community integration with particular reference to Scotland in light of the two governments overlapping responsibilities. Much of this paper has no direct relevance to my research, but it is helpful in setting the policy background to the questions I have. Mulvey asserts (p355), without a reference, that Scottish policy is to provide funds for asylum seekers who are ESOL learners, and that there is a "nuance" whereby in Scotland the process between newcomers is seen as a "two way process”, in contrast to the rest of the UK where the focus is on "Britishness", but again there is no reference for these assertions.
3 Bonfiglio (2010) is also somewhat off-topic but important to my research in informing my ideas about the situation of emergent bilinguals (see Garcia 2009) in Scotland, and the danger of their being "othered" by "native speakers". He looks at concepts of "mother" tongue, "native speaker" and arboreal models of language origins, and concludes that they have no validity when we put them against the reality of horizontal language acquisition, for example in creolisation. This echoes what Mulvey says about a two-way process and accords with my own experience of the reality of language learning and teaching; perhaps "two-way process" oversimplifies it - better to say that language acquisition is a complex but largely horizontal process. To summarise where Bonfiglio has taken me, I'm critical of the discourse whereby a new Scot could be regarded as an "other", a problem to be solved by the "natives".
4 Garcia (2009) discusses the concept of emergent bilinguals as a more appropriate term for those residents of a country who are learning a language, (although she refers specifically to children, and the focus of my study is adults, there is nothing in her thesis which precludes adults being included in the concept). The use of the term rather than English Language Learner (ELL) argues for a change in perspective (not unlike that being urged by Bonfiglio) whereby we consider what the student brings to language learning, rather than seeing them as an object of instruction. It acknowledges that teaching and learning will continue in their L1, as well as informal classroom synthesis of both L1 and L2, and perhaps a third language. It also empowers learners as people who are becoming bilingual. This is relevant to my research as it addresses one of its themes, the power relationship between those who assess language, and those whose language is assessed. NB, a search of "emergent bilingual" on Google Scholar conducted on 20/11/15 yielded 1080 results.
5 Turner (2009) examines the relationship between ESOL provincial high school (high stakes) and classroom assessment practices as a study of the effect of washback. This is relevant to my research because having examined policy, (Mulvey) and theory (Bonfiglio, and Garcia) I want to pin it down to real classroom practice: how does the form that assessment takes impinge upon what is taught and learned? Are teachers simply "teaching to the test"? And this will be tied up with the theory to examine suggestions for improvement of the relationship between ESOL and new Scots. This may be the arena where I collect the qualitative data for my own research, though it will be in Further Education classroom practice in relation to the emergent bilinguals’ high stakes testing.
Section 4 Reflection
I found it difficult to keep track of my searches. The initial 6 I did were fine, simply refining terms and then skimming through the results to inform my thinking, reading more and more closely as I refined them. The problem came when my thinking was developing as I processed the titles in the results, (through both close and brief reading), I would sometimes get an idea, search, and then get involved in the results, forgetting to note the search terms. One title would lead to another, and another search term, and I would get absorbed and like a child lost in the woods have no idea of my point of departure. However, although I did not always retain a good record of searches made, I would be sure to get a citation for everything that was read. I have referenced below the five titles used in Section 3, above, but also those other titles which informed my thinking as I got to grips with this area, most of which I need to return to for closer reading.
Another thing that I’ve found difficult is getting to grips with searching for articles (though not books) in the university’s library portal. I think I just need some practice with this. Google Scholar is still my first port of call.
Bonfiglio, T. (2010). Mother tongues and nations. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
Doyle, L., & O’Toole, G. (2013). Refugee Council A lot to learn: refugees, asylum seekers and post-16 learning. Refugee Council, (January).
Garcia, O. (2009). Emergent Bilinguals and TESOL: What's in a Name?. Tesol Quarterly, 43(2), 322-326.
Hynes, P. (2011). The dispersal and social exclusion of asylum seekers: Between liminality and belonging. Policy Press.
Khan, A. W. (2014). Asylum-seeking migration, identity-building and social cohesion: policy-making vs. social action for cultural recognition. Contemporary Social Science, 9(3), 285-297.
Mulvey, G., & Council, S. R. (2013). In search of normality: Refugee integration in Scotland. Structure, 5, 6.
Mulvey, G. (2015). Refugee Integration Policy: The Effects of UK Policy-Making on Refugees in Scotland. Journal of Social Policy, 44(02), 357-375.
Piętka-Nykaza, E. (2015). ‘I Want to Do Anything which Is Decent and Relates to My Profession’: Refugee Doctors’ and Teachers’ Strategies of Re-Entering Their Professions in the UK. Journal of Refugee Studies, fev008.
Refugeecouncil.org.uk,. (2015). Terms and Definitions - Refugees and Asylum - Refugee Council. Retrieved 20 November 2015, from http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/glossary
Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) (2015). ESOL and Citizenship in Scotland. http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/15463.html?style=white [Accessed on 19/11/2015]
Smyth, G. (2015). What languages do you speak? A reflexive account of research with multilingual pupils and teachers. Language and Education, 1-15.
Strang, A., & Quinn, N. (2014). Integration or isolation?: Mapping social connections and well-being amongst refugees in Glasgow.
Strang, A., Baillot, H., & Mignard, E. (2015). Insights into integration pathways: new Scots and the Holisitic Integration Service.
Turner, C. E. (2009). Examining washback in second language education contexts: A high stakes provincial exam and the teacher factor in classroom practice in Quebec secondary schools. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 5(1), 103-123.