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The influence of prior schooling on second language learning: A longitudinal study with former refugees

Citation: Field, J., & Ryan, J. (2022). The influence of prior schooling on second language learning: A longitudinal study with former refugees. New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 28(2), 52-68..

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Notions of ‘best practice’ in English language teaching are fundamentally shaped by the economic clout of large and lucrative markets that invest heavily in education. Consequently, teacher teaching and practice typically assume that adult learners will be accustomed to formal classroom education, thereby overlooking the distinctive characteristics of many learners in community ESOL programmes. In Aotearoa New Zealand, this oversight is reflected in the funding mechanisms for supporting adult former refugees, where no distinction is made between those with higher education and those entering a classroom for the first time. To address this gap, this paper reports longitudinal quantitative data on the performance of low-level English learners over 18 months, comparing the progress of learners with limited schooling of 0-2 years (LS) and those with 8+ years’ prior schooling in their first language (SL1). Overall, the latter group made substantially greater progress. Indeed, while each of the SL1s made demonstrable gains, this was true for fewer than half of the LS group. The paper considers avenues for further research and implications of the findings.

Item Type: Journal item
Uncontrolled Keywords: refugee; language learning; second language acquisition; schooling; educational experience; L2 literacy; New Zealand
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P 95 Oral communication. Speech
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Languages
Depositing User: Jonathon Ryan
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 23:22
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2023 23:22

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