THE CANADIAN CENTRE FOR  THE VICTIMS OF TORTURE

CCVT is a non-profit, registered charitable organization which aids survivors to overcome the lasting effects of torture and war.

THE IMPACT OF AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM ON

Transformative Learning Experiences among Victims of Trauma

 

 

Research  Project

 

Seminar: Issues in Education

Central Michigan University

 

 

Prepared by:

Alqi Beqo

                 Abdul Abubaker( CCVT Language & Skills Development Coordinator)

Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT)

 

December, 2014

 

 

 

Research Monitor

Dr. David Lloyd

 

Abstract

This mixed method research explored transformative learning experiences among victims of trauma in an English language study program, Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC).  The survey aimed to identify the percentage of students experiencing Transformative Learning (TL) due to participation in the LINC program and the catalysts that initiated TL experiences.  The interviews explored further the nature of students’ TL experiences. The survey data collected from a modified version of Learning Activity Survey (King, 2000) from 56 participants revealed a high rate of students experiencing transformative learning, 48 (85.7 %) students out of 56 participants.  In addition, the survey data identified four major TL catalysts - classroom learning activities, support from instructors and classmates, life change events such as immigration, and the ongoing length of time participating in the LINC program.  None of the demographics had any significant impact on proportion of students experiencing TL.  The account of eight interviews revealed three main themes including language learning, cultural and personal change. Furthermore, the use of TL theory among adults who had experienced trauma was found valuable to foster post traumatic growth. It is maintained that the practice of TL theory as an instructional strategy should be encouraged in LINC programs as it plays a key role in shaping students’ positive TL experiences.

 

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