Implications from the research for low-educated migrant adults’ learning and their teaching

Young-Scholten, Martha and Naeb, Rola (2016) Implications from the research for low-educated migrant adults’ learning and their teaching. In: The Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants: Some Lessons from Research. De Gruyter Mouton in cooperation with the Council of Europe, p. 41.

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Low-educated (0-2 years schooling) adults not literate in any language upon immigration require up to eight times longer to master literacy in their new/second language (L2) than do educated adults (Strucker & Davidson 2003). Theirs is a unique, double burden: they learn to read for the first time in a new language they are in the process of acquiring. This puts them at greater risk than other migrants of not earning a living wage or contributing to society.

Research dating back decades indicates that while theirs is a double burden, they have the potential to learn to read for the first time as adults and to acquire to a high level linguistic competence in their new language. The relevant findings relate to route of development where, regardless of age or education, route is sufficiently similar for linguistic competence (Hawkins 2001) and for first-time literacy (Kurvers 2002) to reject fundamental differences between the literate and non-literate. More than any other set of findings on migrant adults’ language and literacy, these compel us to critically consider the effectiveness of techniques and materials used in basic language and literacy teaching and to review what teachers know about their learners.

I discuss the theoretical basis of three European projects on materials for low-educated L2 adult beginners (phonics software, in Dutch, English, Finnish, German; short fiction books in English, Spanish) and on international, on-line raining/development to provide their teachers with deep knowledge of core aspects of language and literacy development (in English, Finnish, German, Spanish, Turkish).

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2016 13:28
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2017 08:27

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