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Migrant ESOL learners : a   Foucauldian discourse analysis
This study aims to contribute uniquely to both the   debate and the literature on diversity and difference within the college   sector in Scotland. It investigated how migrant ESOL learners are supported   within one large college in Glasgow, and adopted a qualitative approach   underpinned by a previously under-used strand of Foucault’s theory of   practices of the self to interpret the language and practices of both ESOL   learners and their lecturers. It analysed how the college situates the   migrant learners’ experience by examining the discourses of two focus groups   of learners and staff, as well as seven individual members of staff and selected learners at both Intermediate and Advanced levels. The research found that   both the learners and their lecturers have to negotiate quite different   manifestations of power as they work towards their individual goals. The   learners’ practices illustrate their sophistication as they assimilate   behaviours and language which help to ease their progression through and   beyond the college, while the lecturers work within the challenges of their role to enable, with evident care, the goals of the learners which are   entangled with their own. The findings raise issues for practitioners working   within the field of ESOL learning and teaching, specifically how to support students in negotiating the learning process, and the associated layers of   power embedded within the practices of the college. The key beneficiaries of   this study are the lecturers but, ultimately, the migrant ESOL learners and the potential is identified for Foucault’s framework of practices of the self   to be used to support lecturers in developing more culturally sensitive   practices.
Key words
discourse analysis ; migrant ESOL learners ; Foucault ; English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers
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Contributor´s name + email
Stéphanie Barillé - stephanie@unak.is
Co-funded by The Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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