Faculty of Education - Theses

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    Supporting English as an Additional Language student wellbeing in secondary schools: Teacher perspectives and a group psychoeducational program
    Lyu, Mengyu Andy ( 2022)
    Objectives: There is increasing recognition that English as an Additional Language (EAL) students need additional support to thrive in an English-speaking country, particularly when adapting to a new country and developing English language skills. Yet, the understanding of their acculturative needs is limited. Further, no targeted interventions for their psychological adaptation or wellbeing are available in secondary school contexts. The present study aimed to address this gap in knowledge and practice. Methods: Mixed methods were used. In Phase 1, semi-structured interviews were conducted with three EAL teachers. In Phase 2, the adapted Coping with Study Abroad (CSA) program was piloted with 25 EAL students in an Australian secondary school. The effectiveness of the program was evaluated using a repeated-measures design (n = 20) and a qualitative feedback survey (n = 6). Results: EAL students experienced pervasive stresses in various aspects of school life, including learning (e.g., language barriers to participating in class activities) and wellbeing (e.g., negative emotions due to difficulty communicating in English). While the adapted CSA program provided an opportunity for EAL students to connect with each other, no significant changes were found between the pre- and post-intervention scores in proactive coping behaviours, psychological wellbeing, and negative stereotype about help-seeker. Conclusions: There are strengths and limitations in the current school practice and the adapted program for EAL students. To effectively support EAL students in secondary school, wellbeing support and English language skills development should work in synergy, with each enhancing the other.
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    Translingual language education: towards the resourceful speaker
    Smith, Hannah ( 2017)
    The aim of this research report is to outline a preliminary guide of how to implement translingual language education. Currently, language education is based on modernist ideas about language. Learners are expected to master the same standard form as a native speaker does. Few language students achieve this goal. Minority language students are particularly disadvantaged, as this approach to education hinders their ability to access the majority language. Their home languages are often ignored or forbidden by teachers which has led to academic failure. The translingual approach is grounded in the work of multilingual education researchers, and poststructuralist sociolinguistic scholarship. This report answers questions about how a translingual approach can support language minority and majority students to adopt new attitudes and skills in line with modern research. These skills include being resourceful speakers who are able to adapt to the communication needs of the moment. This report uses a literature review of published academic works describing the translingual teaching practices of teachers in Western contexts. The analysis revealed possible ways for teachers to model a new attitude towards languages, and utilise their students’ language resources. The report provides recommendations for facing future challenges in the field.