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Title: The perceived influences of child-related and situational/systemic factors on EAL learners
Author: Shaheen, Lina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 8681
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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This research aimed to explore perceptions about the influences of child-related and situational/systemic factors on English as an Additional Language (EAL) children’s learning and language development. The research was carried out in three primary schools in Coventry in England, with a particular focus on year six (Y6) children with EAL. Through a case study approach, two phases of research were employed: the preliminary phase and the main phase. Via the preliminary phase, an exploration of EAL provision and practice was achieved, and decisions were made on the selection of methods and the recruitment of participants by using unstructured observations. By using a mixed method approach in the main phase, qualitative and quantitative data were collected to examine perceptions of EAL children, parents and school practitioners in terms of the influences of child-related and situational/systemic factors on EAL learners. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems, namely the microsystem, the mesosystem, the exosystem and the macrosystem were used to structure the thesis along four major sections: child-related factors, the schools’ organisational structures of EAL, the wider social and cultural context of EAL and the policy context. The research has made a substantial contribution to knowledge in EAL by arguing that an ecological perspective is necessary to understand EAL children’s needs and to examine perceptions about factors influencing their learning and language development. Through the ecological perspective, it has become evident that gaps and inconsistencies in EAL exist at a number of systems, and that child-related and situational/systemic factors interact, overlap and complement each other, and neither perceptions of child-related nor of situational/systemic factors are sufficient on their own, but rather, a combination of both is necessary to explore the contributory influences on EAL children’s learning. A major contribution that emerged from the study was highlighting different perspectives emerged from different participants and methods which enabled a critical perspective on the participants’ contributions and the identification of different contradictions and inconsistencies in EAL policy, practice and provision. Specifically, the study uncovered different areas of discrepancies across perspectives on several issues such as the use of first language, EAL children’s cultural values, the distinction between EAL and SEN, inclusion and equality issues and the use of EAL materials and resources.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1501 Primary Education