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An investigation into the value of informal and experiential learning with Syrian refugees in the ESOL context.

White, Sophia (2021) An investigation into the value of informal and experiential learning with Syrian refugees in the ESOL context. Masters thesis, University of Sunderland.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)


This thesis investigates informal and experiential learning for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) specifically Syrian refugees in the North of England. Not typical ESOL learners, Syrian refugees have a very particular set of circumstances to overcome and traditional ESOL methods do not always support their learning. Progress can be poor making integration into British life difficult. Recently arriving refugees from Syria provide a unique opportunity to research effective models for non-traditional ESOL teaching.
This research explores how ESOL could be taught through informal, naturalistic and experiential methods. It draws on the work of Halima Ali in her 2016 report and the Casey Review (2015) which focus on integration within deprived and isolated communities. This is related to educational contexts where the purpose of teaching is not specifically focussed on ESOL but where language learning occurs in experiential and naturalistic ways. Early indications suggest that creating contextually rich learning opportunities benefit the learner and facilitate the learning process. The thesis reports on a range of techniques used to enhance meaningful learning experiences. A key challenge is to engage Syrian refugees in activities that draw on Syrian culture whilst embedding language learning. This thesis is informed by Dewey’s (1916) pragmatic epistemology approach where people are encouraged to learn through experiences and hands-on, active approaches to learning. Direct observation, field notes and interviews are the primary methods employed in this thesis to bring the experiences of this group of refugee learners to light.
Findings from this thesis point to a new way for delivering ESOL learning that can be used to improve language acquisition that allows better integration into the host society.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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Depositing User: Leah Maughan


Item ID: 13601

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Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2021 13:51
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 14:00


Author: Sophia White

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