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An evaluation of a long term care aide/ESL program Wilson, Silvia M. 1998

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AN EVALUATION OF A LONG T E R M CARE AIDE/ESL PROGRAM  by Silvia M . Wilson B S c . N . , University o f British Columbia, 1986  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF A R T S IN T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Language Education) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A April 1998 © Silvia M . W i l s o n ,  1998  In  presenting this  degree at the  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  of  the  requirements for an  advanced  University  of  British  Columbia,  I agree that the Library shall make it  freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying  of  department  this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the or  by  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  head of my  that  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without permission.  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  DE-6 (2/88)  copying  or  my written  ABSTRACT This two-part study evaluates a government sponsored L o n g Term Care A i d e / E S L Program taken by a group o f immigrant women. The purpose o f the first part o f the study was to assess how effective a B . C . government sponsored L o n g Term Care A i d e / E S L program was in preparing a group o f immigrant women for the workplace. A questionnaire was used to determine demographics and employment status. Also, it obtained perceptions on the strengths and weaknesses o f the program. The purpose o f the second part o f this study was to hear the women's personal insights and voices about their experiences while taking the program and after the program. Semi-structured interviews were used to obtain these stories. Results from the quantitative questionnaire indicated that 94% o f the immigrant women who had taken this course were employed as care aides. Three years after the completion this program, the women felt that the course had provided them with both a vocational skill and more English language skills. Results from the qualitative portion o f this paper focused on how the women felt about their experiences in this L o n g Term Care A i d e / E S L program in their own words. The data were analyzed and put into themes. Theme 1 was "The pain o f renewal". It presented their collective stories o f being an immigrant and struggling to begin again. Theme 2 was "The costs and the benefits". This theme presented the women's insights on working as care aides. M o s t o f the women liked their jobs but found trying to secure a full time job difficult. Theme 3 was "The need to learn the language o f care". A l l the women interviewed wanted to have more "caring" language, the "everyday" language to relate to their clients. Theme 4 was "Advice to other immigrant women". This theme revealed how some women felt about the work they did. The last theme, Theme 5, was "Hopes and dreams".  H a l f o f the women interviewed had aspirations  ii  to continue their education and these women were already enrolled in other health care courses. The results o f the study are discussed and implications are drawn for research and pedagogy.  iii  T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract  ii  Table o f Contents  iv  List o f Tables  vi  List of Figures  vii  Acknowledgments  viii  Prologue  Chapter One  1  In The Beginning 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4  Chapter Two  2 7 7 9  Literature Review 2. 1 2.1 2.1.2 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6  Chapter Three  Background Purpose o f the study Design Definitions  Immigrant women Barriers Other factors Workplace E S L Vocational E S L The immigrant services agency and the long term care aide/ESL program Evaluation research Program evaluation in E S L  11 11 12 14 17 19 19 25  Methodology 3.1  A Change in the journey, from a Bureaucratic to a Democratic path 3.2 Context and Location 3.3 The women that participated in the study 3.3.1 Demographic information 3.4 Part one: The questionnaire/ the Bureaucratic position 3.4.1 Data collection 3.4.2. Data analysis  28 31 32 33 36 37 39  3.5 3.5.1 3.5.2 3.6 3.6.1 3.6.2 3.6.3 3.7  Chapter Four  Part two: The interviews/the Democratic position Data collection Data analysis The trinity o f reliability, validity and generalizability Reliability Internal validity External validity or generalizability Assumptions  43 44 45 46 46  Findings 4.1 4.1.1 4.1.2  Part one: The questionnaire Employment status Perceived strengths and weaknesses of the program 4.1.3 The E S L component 4.1.4 The long term care aide component 4.2 Part two: The interviews 4.2.1 The themes 4.2.2 Theme 1: The pain o f renewal 4.2.3. Theme 2: The costs and the benefits 4.2.4 Theme 3: The need to learn the language o f care 4.2.5 Theme 4: Advice to other immigrant women 4.2.6 Theme 5: Hopes and dreams 4.3 Summary 4.3.1 The L T C A / E S L program 4.3.2 Themes  Chapter Five  39 40 41  47 48 48 50 54 55 56 56 58 63 65 67 68 68 69  Implications, Illuminations and Epilogue 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4  Implications for teaching Implications for research Connections Summary and illuminations  70 73 74 75  5.5  Epilogue  77  References  78  A P P E N D I X I: Letter o f information  83  A P P E N D I X II: Questionnaire  86  A P P E N D I X III: Letter o f consent for interviews  96  LIST OF TABLES Table 1  Summary o f countries o f origin  2.  List o f the profession or occupation in the country o f origin and the type o f work the women did in arrival to Canada  34  35  vi  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1.  Evaluation as a mode o f inquiry  2.  Visual description o f my position within the research  25  paradigms  29  3.  Five approaches to the analysis o f meanings  38  4.  T w o versions o f interview data  42  vii  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank all o f those people who assisted me in the completion o f this research. A very special thank you to:  Dr. Margaret Early for your advice, thorough editing and directions as my senior advisor. M y journey as a researcher was made possible by your invaluable insights.  Dr. Gloria Tang for your encouragement and understanding at the beginning o f this study, constructive comments, and encouragement at the end o f it.  Dr. Patricia Duff for your helpful feedback and contributions in the final stages o f this study.  A Hampton Fund Research G r a n t , "Socializing language and sociocultural identity from the margins" (P. Duff, M . Early and B . Mohan, Investigators), for the support afforded in my review o f the appropriate literature.  The women in the study, for without your willingness to share your experiences, this study would not have been so meaningful and rich. Thank you for your comments and friendship.  Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my family, friends and colleagues who gave me advice and words o f encouragement when I most needed them.  viii  PROLOGUE Guided by my heritage o f a love o f beauty and a respect for strength-in search o f my mother's garden, I found my own (Walker, 1983, p. 243). This paper has been a journey o f self-discovery. I began this journey searching for a clear path that would lead me to "my findings". I set out to evaluate a group o f immigrant women who had participated in a L o n g Term Care A i d e / E S L program. I wanted to know how many had secured jobs, and to find out about their perceptions about the program. However, as I explored and learned I began to shift and move away from my original path. I realized that the study was more than reporting achievement o f goals; but that it was about "finding my voice" and understanding this process. I found this voice through the voices o f the women I interviewed. I learned that I did not want to speak for others, rather present their voices and include my own. The journey into an unknown "garden" o f findings became a journey towards my own garden o f understanding and knowledge.  1  CHAPTER ONE In The Beginning 1. 1 Background Three years ago, I taught in a long term care aide/ English as a second language combined-skills program at a non-profit immigrant services agency. This program offered basic nursing skills training with vocational English as a second language instruction. I taught the basic nursing skills and coordinated their worksite practica. The long term care aide/English as a second language ( L T C A / E S L ) program at the immigrant services agency was a government funded combined-skills vocational program. This program provided a training allowance, child care expenses, transportation expenses and uniform/material expenses. The program ran for eight months each year upon renewal o f funding.  The objective o f the program was to train and/or retrain immigrant men and women  to work with elderly or dependent people. Each program had twenty immigrant students. I taught in two o f the programs, one in each o f two separate years.  The combination o f my  experiences as a nurse educator and as an E S L teacher enabled me to both train health care workers and support their language learning. During the course o f the program, I heard the students' voices, their life stories and their struggles. These stories were diverse, intense and interwoven with tears o f joy and sadness. I heard their hopes for the future and their goals. I also witnessed the students' efforts to succeed in the program despite such obstacles as limited economic resources, a large family to care for in some cases, personal illnesses and minimal time to study. Thoughts and questions that would later germinate into this study began then. I began to wonder what happened to the women after they took the course: D i d they get a job? H o w long did it take them to find employment? What did they think about the program once they had graduated? It was in this context that I began to form the questions that became central to this study. 2  The majority o f the students I taught were women and my focus for this thesis was from the women's perspective o f their experiences. Also, I was influenced in choosing this focus by my own experiences as a woman who herself emigrated to Canada. Specifically, in the first program, 1994-95, there were no male students; all twenty students were women. In the second program, 1995-96, there were four male students out o f twenty students. In the beginning, my question seemed to me straight forward: H o w effective was this long term care aide/ English as a second language program in preparing a group o f immigrant women for the workplace? I wanted originally to find out how many o f the women had found employment after graduation and how they had perceived the program after its completion. So, I decided to mail out a questionnaire to my former students to obtain information related to their employment status and their perceptions o f the program. M y intention was to report the percentage o f responses to a set o f questions and from this perspective, the study became a quantitative evaluation research study. The literature, as discussed below, pointed out the lack o f evaluative studies which have examined the success o f combined-skills programs, in terms o f later employment.  Therefore, my choice o f a thesis  topic was influenced by both the paucity o f studies in this important area and my own experiences with such a program. However, as the project unfolded, I found myself shifting and refocusing the original intent o f the study. What had begun as a goal oriented evaluation, emerged as a process oriented evaluation (Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995) as I presented my voice and the voices o f the women in the program. The study became a more collaborative research project. I was not so focused on outcomes but on insights and illuminations. Thus, I expanded this study to include interviews and I analyzed them qualitatively to consider common themes. Also, my shift in perspective was supported by the evaluation literature I reviewed. Experts in evaluation research encouraged the use o f multidimensional approaches for evaluation, in particular, using both quantitative and qualitative methods (Hitchcock & 3  Hughes, 1995; Hueftle, Stbckdill et al.,1992; Madison ,1992; Nunan, 1992; Lincoln & Guba, 1994; Patton, 1989; Reinharz,1992). M y role as researcher was further challenged and shaped by my personal experiences as an immigrant woman, a teacher and a registered nurse. A s my study progressed, the voices o f the women and their personal accounts became important. The questionnaire's open ended questions did not seem to tell the stories which I had heard in conversation. I realized that in my original research design, the voices o f the women were but a whisper. This realization caused me to question my choice o f design. I started to explore other approaches, so as to find one that would connect my voice with the women's voices. I reconsidered my original epistemological position and shifted perspectives. I had positioned myself within a positivist perspective at the beginning, and then moved towards a naturalistic perspective.  I wanted to acknowledge my personal experiences, my role as teacher and the  voices o f the women in my study. The feminist position and a participatory approach to evaluation seemed more honest and true to my evolving researcher self. I felt as i f through the voices o f the women in the study, I had begun to find my own. This study was also promted by the existing literature and the lack o f recent research about immigrant women in ESL/health care training programs and follow-up studies about such programs (Harper, Peirce & Burnaby, 1996; Joint Working Group o f Status o f Women and Labour Market Officials on Education and Training, 1994). The available research outlined the need to address concerns regarding the immigrant population growth in North America, in relation to English language education, employment and immigrant women issues. In particular, various studies about vocational E S L , workplace E S L and combined-skills ESL/content stated that there is a need for evaluative follow-up studies. The following discussion presents relevant literature that speaks to the need for evaluation studies in these areas. 4  During the last two decades, there has been a significant change in the number and origin o f immigrants coming to British Columbia, specifically to the L o w e r Mainland. Projections estimate that the number o f foreign-born living in the L o w e r Mainland will increase from 426, 000 in 1986 to 606, 000 in 1996, approximately 30% o f the total population. It was expected that the L o w e r Mainland's share o f international immigrants would increase modestly from approximately 80% o f all immigrants in 1990-1991 to 82% by 1995-1997 and would diminish only slightly thereafter (Nelson, 1992). In the 1980's the number o f new immigrants arriving in B . C . dramatically changed the demographic composition o f the L o w e r Mainland (Nelson, 1992). While this growth in immigration has added diversity and richness to the region, it has also created new demands for English language programs, education programs, bridging programs and job-training programs (Nelson, 1992). Providing programs, job-training and language instruction to immigrants has been implemented since the 1970's. In a review o f the literature in this area, Crandall (1989) reported that vocational-technical education for immigrants needs to be prioritized, allowing immigrants to gain skills which would lead to employment or higher paying jobs. In B C , there have been a few studies reviewing workplace, vocational and E S L programs which signify possibilities for tremendous growth, demand and challenges in this area. (Battrum, 1988; Joint Working Group o f Status o f Women and Labour Market Officials on Education and Training, 1994; Pharness,1991). In a study o f immigrant women in Vancouver conducted by Bhagavatula (1989), she recommended that job entry and re-entry programs be examined to determine long-term effectiveness in terms o f employment, job mobility and advancement. In addition, recent studies have documented that the lack o f English proficiency is a significant barrier to fij.ll participation in Canadian society. Lack o f recognized formal training and marginal English fluency have been associated with unemployment, lower incomes and 5  less occupational mobility for immigrants, in particular women (Alfred & Wakefield, 1991; Boyd, 1992; Doherty,1992; Nelson, 1992; Torjman, 1988). A t the level o f local adult education programs, women continue to be underrepresented in language, job retraining and academic upgrading programs (Cumming & Gill, 1992). In the early 1990's, the government o f B . C . made available a combined-skills fund. This fund was to promote the development of job-training and language instruction programs which would enable immigrants to acquire a marketable skill while increasing their command of English. L T C A / E S L at the immigrant services agency was an example o f such a program, a vocational health care training program with content specific English language instruction. Although there has been an increase o f ESL/vocational skills/ workplace instructional programs, research that addresses the need to determine long-term effectiveness on employment, job mobility and advancement for women has been scarce (Bhagavatula,1989; Burt & Saccomano, 1995; Joint Working Group o f Status o f Women and Labour Market Officials on Education and Training, 1994; Nelson, 1992). Vocational/ESL programs have remained a relatively unexplored territory in terms o f evaluating effectiveness. In particular, little research has been conducted on the effect o f health care/ESL training programs on immigrant women's lives. Thus, the literature not only points out the general lack o f evaluative research regarding employment outcomes but also the specific impact of the program on the women's lives. Overtime as I gained a clearer perspective, I positioned myself within a specific research evaluation framework. I chose to work with Hopkins' approach (Hopkins' framework, as cited in Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995) where he discusses three types o f evaluation inquiry: Autocratic, Bureaucratic and Democratic . This perspective suited my own shifting o f paradigms and approaches. I began with a positivist perspective and moved to a more naturalistic one. This shift was due to my on-going reading of the research 6  literature and to my own voice surfacing. This study has some findings which report achievement o f goals (Bureaucratic) and findings that are illuminative (Democratic), that is, they simply attempt to illuminate the field of education. These illuminations are the women's voices, their stories, their own words, together with an analysis and synthesis o f the themes that emerged.  This study attempts to  focus on the process o f having been a participant in a L T C A / E S L program rather than on the results alone.  1. 2 Purpose of the Study This study seeks to increase our understanding o f the impact o f an L T C A / E S L program on a group o f immigrant women living and studying in Vancouver. It also addresses the gap in the literature regarding specific outcomes such as employment figures and students' perceptions o f a combined-skills program. Furthermore, this study attempts to articulate the voices o f some o f the women, illustrating their opinions and perceptions. M y hope is to provide information that may help immigrant women, evaluators, E S L and content instructors, curriculum developers and government agencies in understanding the value and benefit o f courses that provide language training and job training.  1. 3 Design This research study was a two-part research evaluation o f a L T C A / E S L Program in Vancouver. The first part o f the study was quantitative in its approach; a survey was used to find out i f former participants of the program were subsequently employed as care aides. A questionnaire was sent to twenty-seven women and out o f these, eighteen responded. The other women whom I had contacted by telephone prior to sending the questionnaire gave me information about their employment status and life after the program. Many were employed as care aides but this information could not be corroborated with the questionnaire. O f the 18 women that responded, 17 stated that they had jobs as long term care aides. The questionnaire also asked for the women's perceptions of the program, its strengths and 7  weaknesses. Part one, the quantitative portion, attempted to answer the following research question: 1.  H o w effective was a B . C . and Federal government funded L T C A / E S L program in preparing a group o f immigrant women in Vancouver for the workplace in terms o f English language proficiency, basic job skills and specific job skills? Specifically, how many o f the women found employment after taking the course?  The second part had a qualitative perspective. I interviewed six women who had completed the questionnaires two months after I received them. The purpose o f the interviews was to hear their perspectives and to achieve a clearer understanding o f the questionnaire responses. Many social scientists involved in interviewing recognize that there needs to be perspectives and voices o f the participants before a narrative is complete (Guba & Lincoln, 1985; Lincoln, 1994; Mertens, et al., 1996; Patton, 1989). The main purpose o f this qualitative section was to seek and hear the immigrant women's personal accounts, insights and voices about their experiences both during the program and after the program.  This portion o f the study was an extension o f my shifting and  growth as a researcher. Here, I attempted to explore the following questions: 1.  H o w did the women feel about the program in terms o f its strengths and weaknesses?  2.  H o w did they feel about the program after graduation?  3.  What insights would they offer an immigrant woman thinking about taking such a course?  This part o f the research was conducted in interview form. I interviewed six women who had answered the questionnaires. I chose these women because they agreed to be interviewed, had different backgrounds, covered a range o f ages and had different employment 8  experiences. I analyzed the information gathered in an interpretive style. This data is relevant to other immigrant women considering taking an L T C A / E S L program and to E S L and content teachers wishing to gain a better understanding o f a combined-skills workplace program. Finally, the key reason for wanting to interview some o f the women is best explained by Patricia Cayo Sexton (1982) in her study o f female hospital workers: Generalizations can be misleading, inadequate, and lacking in any flesh and blood reality, they can also fail to take account o f the astonishing variations among women and the work they do. Women have not one but many voices. Both themes and variations, the individual and the collective voices need to be heard (p.5). In both part one and part two, I wanted to report the findings o f the study in such a way as to inform curriculum developers interested in this type o f program and offer suggestions from the findings for future programs offering long term care aide skills training.  1. 4 Definitions T o facilitate the reading o f this research paper, I would like to define the following key terms as they are used in this study.  Immigrant women:  F o r the purpose o f this study, immigrant women refers to those women  who have come from another country, live permanently in Canada and whose first language is not English.  Long term care aide program: A long term care aide program is an entry level health care worker program. It is usually five to eight months in length. Its focus is care o f the institutionalized elderly and persons with disabilities. The program teaches basic therapeutic communication skills, basic anatomy and physiology o f the human body, disease processes most commonly found in the elderly, basic personal care skills and the health care worker's 9  role. The program provides a "clinical" placement in an extended care facility where students under supervision o f a registered nurse, provide basic nursing care.  ESL/vocational ESL: Vocational English as a second language ( V E S L ) provides non-native English speaking students with the English necessary to complete vocational training successfully. The content o f the V E S L class is directly related to the content o f the vocational class. V E S L teachers coordinate their lessons with vocational instructors to determine what job-related language needs to be taught and when (McGroarty, 1992). This type o f V E S L training is usually government funded.  English proficiency: A t the time o f the study, the English proficiency level o f the participants was intermediate to advanced. Proficiency involves a range o f abilities to communicate competently (linguistically, discursively, sociolinguistically and strategically) in some unpredictable contexts and to function independently in most familiar situations o f daily social, educational and work-related experience (Canadian Language Benchmarks, 1996)  Basic job skills: B y basic job skills, I refer to the ability to independently search for jobs, ability to do job interviews, ability to communicate competently (linguistically, discursively, sociolinguistically and strategically) in the workplace in some unpredictable contexts and in most familiar contexts (Canadian Language Benchmarks, 1996).  10  CHAPTER TWO Literature Review M y journey began with the literature review. The readings not only helped me shape this study but they also expanded my understanding o f the original research questions. This chapter is a review o f some o f the existing literature.  It is not an exhaustive review  but a selective discussion o f important writings in three areas: immigrant women in the workplace, vocational and workplace E S L and evaluation research.  2.1 Immigrant Women One key issue I found discussed in the literature about immigrant women in the workplace was the barriers that affected their ability to gain access to language and job training. This information clarified my understanding o f the issues that the women I surveyed faced in their lives.  2.1.1 Barriers Several studies discuss the barriers that immigrant women experience which prevent them from accessing English language education, literacy and work-place English training. These barriers, therefore, make it difficult for immigrant women to secure jobs and economic empowerment  (Boyd, 1992; Cumming, 1992; Cumming & Gill, 1992; Doherty, 1992; Das  Gupta, 1996; Harper, Peirce & Burnaby, 1996; Peirce, 1994; Rockhill, 1992 ; Torjman, 1988; Wismer, 1986 ). Access to language training has been limited by barriers that are both external and internal. External barriers such as inadequate training information, program co-ordination and referral prevent immigrants from even getting into programs in the first place. Internal barriers, such as long waiting lists, few training seats and the inadequacy and unfeasibility o f free programs have been factors that make programs inaccessible for those who have managed to get into them (Doherty, 1992). Another internal barrier identified in the literature is secondary sexism. It is described as an indirect kind o f sexism. It includes criteria such as weight, height, educational 11  described as an indirect kind o f sexism. It includes criteria such as weight, height, educational background, salary. These criteria have had nothing to do with gender but could be employed in ways which end up discriminating negatively against women (Doherty, 1992). In another study, a pilot survey was undertaken o f both male and female students enrolled in several different apprenticeship programs in a community college in Ontario. The survey identified areas o f linguistic difficulty that students experienced in their course work and issues o f perceived discrimination (Goldstein, 1993) Moreover, racist attitudes in the health care field have in some cases led to little chance for advancement and to a lack o f feelings o f empowerment for immigrant women health care workers (Das Gupta, 1996). L o w median wage, poor working conditions, and lack o f official language ability have left immigrant women very vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace. These barriers have affected some immigrant women's abilities to help themselves (Doherty, 1992). Language training, educational upgrading, and improved job-related skills are potential mechanisms for improving the socio-economic position o f immigrant women who are not able to communicate in one o f Canada's official languages (Boyd, 1992).  2.1. 2 Other Factors The literature also identifies other factors that influence immigrant women's ability to access language and job training. A growing body o f literature refers to the loss or gain o f status and power o f immigrant women within the family (Buijs, 1993). Factors related to the influence o f ESL/job training programs on immigrant women's socio-cultural life are also relevant to my study, because the women who I interviewed discussed the impact o f the program from both a socio-economic and socio-cultural point o f view. Peirce (1994), in her study o f immigrant women as language learners examined the relationship between language learning and social identity. The data illustrated that language learning is a social practice that must be understood within and not apart from the context o f 12  larger, and frequently inequitable social processes (Peirce, 1994). In a study addressing the situation o f Punjabi-speaking women in Vancouver learning English and literacy, Cumming and Gill (1992) recommended that consideration of various contextual factors was necessary to understand how literacy and language instruction could best serve the interests o f adult immigrant learners, particularly those who are often disadvantaged in conventional programs o f E S L or literacy training. A m o n g the factors were gender roles, the felt needs o f learners and their extent o f socioeconomic stability (Cumming & Gill, 1992). Other factors that may contribute to the achievement o f immigrant and minority women were explored in a study by Aguilar and Williams (1993). They looked at how Hispanic and African-American women achieved self-defined success. The women in this study believed that personal strength, family support, and role models were critical to the achievement of their goals. Their findings suggested a basis for a model o f conscientization and empowerment that could be used to nurture and develop the strengths o f minority women by increasing their personal, interpersonal, and political power through the improvement o f their life situations (Aguilar & Williams, 1993). Bhagavatula (1989), sponsored by the Vancouver Society o f Immigrant Women, conducted a research project to determine the needs o f immigrant women in Vancouver. She surveyed 206 women o f various ages and ethnic backgrounds. The study identified current common difficulties experienced by immigrant women when they arrive in Canada and still experience them. The top five persistent difficulties were described as: jobs, language, money, culture and friends. Thirty percent o f the "top five" responses reflected continuing difficulties experienced in these five areas. Strategies, as suggested by the immigrant women surveyed and interviewed in her study, to overcome these difficulties included learning the language in order to obtain a job, or to help with social integration; looking for a job; job training; support from friends and community; studying and personal efforts consisting o f several ideas (e.g. positive thinking, determination). 13  Bhagavatula's findings concluded that immigrant women faced a wide range o f social, cultural and economic pressures when they immigrated to Canada. Specifically, these women as a group had a wide range o f educational qualification and skills, however a large number o f them were under-employed or employed on a part-time basis. The relevant studies discussed above speak for the need to "find out" what happens to the women after they take an ESL/job training program. The job entry and re-entry programs, appear to target a very small proportion o f immigrant women, both in terms o f numbers and the nature o f skills required; and the long-term effectiveness o f these training programs in terms o f employment and other outcomes continues to very limited (Bhagavatula, 1989; Boyd, 1992; Doherty, 1992; Goldstein, 1994). Finally, though not large, my study addressed immigrant women's issues as they relate to E S L and job skill training . There is a large body o f literature looking at women's issues in the workplace and immigrant women's issues in the workplace. However, my focus was that o f immigrant women's issues in a Canadian context in the health care training field. Emphasis has been on the broader issues with scant attention given to immigrant women training in the ESL/health care field.  2.2 Workplace ESL W e have learned a great deal in the past few years about refugee and immigrant language and employment education programs (Applebaum,1984; Belfiore & Burnaby, 1984; Bell and Goldstein, 1993; Crandall, 1979; Crandall, 1989; Cumming & Gill, 1992; Goldstein, 1992; Goldstein, 1994; Harper, Peirce & Burnaby, 1996; Isserlis, 1991; McGroarty & Scott, 1993; Peirce, 1994; Pharness, 1991; Rosemblum, 1996; Svendsen & Krebs, 1984). However, there have not been many studies in the area o f workplace or vocational E S L that have investigated or followed-up immigrant women after an ESL/combined skills program (Bell & Goldstein, 1993). Specifically, little literature exists documenting i f such programs assisted women in obtaining jobs (Harper, Peirce & Burnaby, 1996) 14  There is a continuum o f definitions that exist within the field o f women in the workplace about vocational/workplace E S L . Following, I will review key reports and studies that express ideas that were useful in my research. Integrated courses, or content based courses, provide a relationship between teaching a subject and teaching a language as communication rather than just usage (Widdowson, 1983). Snow and Brinton (1988) proposed an adjunct model o f language instruction as an ideal framework for English for Academic Purposes. They implemented this framework at the University o f California, L o s Angeles, in the freshman summer program for E S L students. This adjunct model focused on the academic writing, reading and study skills development. These activities were geared to stimulate students to think and learn in the target language. The materials used were specific and relevant content material which motivated the students in the language class (Snow & Brinton, 1988). This model applies very well to academic or professional courses in particular. Also, the students must usually be at a high proficiency level and have a great deal o f E S L and content support.  Vocational and workplace English, as we shall see, has some connection to the Adjunct  M o d e l proposed by Snow and Brinton (1988). However, unlike the Adjunct M o d e l which is heavily academic, vocational E S L has a strong work related component and is usually connected to a work site. The usual meaning o f workplace ESL is second language instruction held at the work site. Goals for such programs generally reflect a competency-based approach, particularly i f they have been developed based on an employer's perception o f participants' language needs for their positions. Thus, the language structures, functions, and vocabulary are drawn from the work life o f the participants and can range from a concrete study o f specialized vocabulary items to the more abstract and often convoluted language used in procedures manuals or benefits packets, to the language needed to communicate with co-workers (McGroarty & Scott, 1993). Workplace E S L is training for employees within a company with limited English proficiency. In some E S L classrooms, depending on the goals o f the students, part o f the 15  instruction may be focused on one or more specific occupations. Workplace-based/ESL programs have differed from traditional classroom-based literacy programs with a workplace component. They have taken place at the work site or at a location designated by the site, in response to needs identified by staff o f the site's top level management, personnel officers or union representatives (Isserlis, 1991). Also, workplace-based/ESL programs have incorporated the range o f approaches and techniques found in many adult E S L programs, using activities from many different approaches: from competency-based and grammar-based approaches to the more participatory approaches such as whole language, language experience or a problem-posing approach (Roseblum, 1996). Curricula for English in the workplace programs have grown out o f the learner's language needs in an employment situation: T o determine the language and communication needs o f a workplace, we have to involve ourselves in the employment situation so that we come to know and feel the unique aspects o f the workplace (Belfiore & Burnaby, 1984). However, English language instruction for immigrant men and women's economic protection and control over everyday living conditions and relationships, must be understood differently from the way current workplace English language training is often understood. T o differentiate between the two types o f practices, the term critical pedagogy has been used in contrast to the terms job-specific language training, vocational E S L , industrial English language training, E S L training, E S L instruction, E S L teaching, English language training, English language instruction, all o f which are presently used in the field o f workplace E S L (Goldstein, 1994). The word critical in the term a critical pedagogy of ESL  refers to an understanding o f  E S L practice as transformative. L i k e job-specific English language training, much is based on the teaching o f English for everyday use and mobility in workplace situations. A critical pedagogy o f E S L takes as its starting point the reality that we teach E S L to immigrant workers in an ethnically  16  stratified society where members o f different ethnic groups have differential access to valued resources and power (Goldstein, 1994; Harper, Peirce & Burnaby, 1996). Critical pedagogy o f E S L goes beyond survival English. It teaches E S L learners the concepts and language o f questioning, decision making and empowerment. In my study, the women discuss workplace issues connected to these concepts. Problem-posing approaches are particularly relevant to immigrant and refugee E S L students who have little control over their lives (Belfiore and Burnaby, 1984; Sanguinetti, 1993; Wallerstein, 1985). A problem-posing E S L curriculum is centered on talk about shared conflicts and problematic interactions. Programs that are responsive to the learners' various backgrounds, personal needs and address particular workplace issues tend to have a low dropout rate and the program participants enter jobs that were originally beyond their reach (Belfiore & Burnaby, 1984; Pharness, 1991). There are a variety o f workplace language programs. There are pre-workplace classes or E S L literacy programs, and work-centered approaches where second language instruction is held at the work site to reflect competency-based approaches based on an employer's perception o f participants' language needs (McGroarty & Scott, 1993). Also, there are Bridging training programs, which can be in part, another version o f workplace E S L . Bridging  can take many forms, it may include life skills and academic  upgrading, specific job skills, job search and E S L with transferable and specific job skills and work placements for immigrant women (Joint Working Group o f Status o f Women and Labour Marker Officials on Education and Training, 1994).  2.3 Vocational ESL Vocational English as a second language ( V E S L ) has been described as providing nonnative English speaking students with the English necessary to complete vocational training successfully and secure and keep a job. The content o f the V E S L class is directly related to the content o f the vocational class. V E S L teachers coordinate their lessons with a vocational 17  instructor to determine what job-related language need to be taught when (McGroarty, 1992). Occupation-specific V E S L teaches the specialized language o f a particular job. Depending on the setting in which it is taught, it may include the language skills necessary to function in a training program, to achieve certification and to perform satisfactorily on the job. Vocational English as a second language ( V E S L ) courses have usually concentrated on language for entry level jobs. Svensen and Krebs (1984) in an article discussing "English for the Job", relate their experiences and strategies that helped them design job-specific English classes. The presence o f many immigrant adults, especially in vocational training and retraining programs and in workplaces where specific English needs to be upgraded, has resulted in an expansion o f specific-English instruction courses. Courses now include pre-employment Englishbasic English, cultural orientation, and skills required to see, find and maintain a job, usually at an entry-level; prevocational E S L programs that prepare students for vocational training; and specific V E S L courses in welding, accounting, machine shop, etc.(Crandall, 1989). Vivian (1984) described two courses in vocational E S L for students preparing for the occupations o f nursing assistant and home health worker. These courses prepared them to meet the entrance requirements for the vocational training course and for the occupation specific course itself The courses provided language support for the vocational courses in nursing assistance or home health. The V E S L courses were developed and taught in close coordination with the content instructor o f the vocational course. Instructional strategies in the more vocation-specific course, were designed to encourage language behavior which allowed students to assume responsibility for their own professional learning (Vivian, 1984). There is an awareness that students need carefully coordinated language and content-area instruction. Moreover, as with Snow and Brinton's Adjunct course, there is the realization that instruction that uses concepts and procedures from vocation-related areas for teaching the language, increases the motivation and success o f the student in both content areas and in English 18  language skills (Snow and Brinton, 1988; Crandall, 1986). Furthermore, programs need to involve teachers and students in all aspects o f design, implementation, and assessment; identify and build on the strengths that learners bring to instruction; and explain the focus o f instruction so it does not simply develop specific skills but also increases individual's options as workers and as citizens (Isserlis,1991). There are two settings within which occupation-specific V E S L is most often taught. In the vocational classroom, students are trained in a closely coordinated program in which they learn a vocational skill and related English. In the work experience site, the training combines work experience in a public or private sector work site with classroom V E S L and vocational instruction. In whatever setting the V E S L class exists, the instructor is challenged to determine the language requirements o f the target vocations and then apply E S L teaching techniques to help the students achieve necessary proficiencies (West, 1984).  2. 4 The Immigrant Services Agency and The Long Term Care Aide Program Where and how then, does the program I evaluated fit in the continuum? The government sponsored L T C A / E S L training course in which I taught can be described as a V E S L program. The content instructor (myself) and the E S L instructor coordinated the curriculum so it would be relevant and specific. However, it was student-centered  in terms o f considering the students'  areas o f expertise, English language ability and cultural background. The E S L instructor and myself, as the content instructor, approached the curriculum from a critical pedagogy E S L perspective. A s both a content and E S L teacher, I had the unique opportunity to bring together the content skills which I am knowledgeable about and my experience as an E S L instructor. This dual perspective allowed me to understand effectively the challenges faced by many o f my immigrant women students.  2. 5 Evaluation Research The readings o f this section introduced me to several ways of viewing and writing 19  research. They led me to much soul searching and , ultimately shifting. The review o f evaluation research literature helped me in that shift, in finding "voice" and a perspective to express it. The following discussion presents the relevant research evaluation themes found in the literature, specifically, definitions and perspectives o f what evaluation research can be. Talmage (1982) suggests the three purposes most frequently used in definitions o f evaluation are: 1) to render judgments on the worth o f a program, 2) to assist decision-makers responsible for deciding policy, and 3) to serve a political function. H e notes that these purposes are all included in an evaluation but may receive different emphases in different evaluation studies (Talmage, 1982). Furthermore, two distinctive types o f evaluations have been identified by evaluation researchers; formative and summative evaluation (Patton, 1994; Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993). Most educators have recognized that evaluation can serve a formative purpose, such as helping to improve a curriculum, or a summative purpose such as deciding whether that curriculum should be continued (Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993). If I juxtapose my question: how effective was the L T C A / E S L program in assisting the participants in finding employment and in improving their language skills? with Talmage's discussion o f the three purposes used in definitions o f evaluation outlined above, my question then can be defined as evaluation research. However, Guba and Lincoln (1989) argue that there is no right way to define evaluation, that definitions o f evaluation are human mental constructions. They discuss the development o f the evaluative process in terms o f "generations" whereby each generation o f evaluation represented a step forward, both in the range o f content and level o f sophistication. Guba and Lincoln state that as a group, all generations have had certain flaws or defects which warranted raising the question o f looking at a new generation o f evaluation. The three flaws o f major implications have bee: a tendency toward managerialism, a failure to accommodate value-pluralism and overcommitment to the scientific paradigm o f inquiry. 20  They call for a challenge to the "facts", and encourage value disclosures and interpretations because "every act o f evaluation becomes a political act" (Guba & Lincoln, 1989; 1994). A s I explored further Social Constructivist perspectives, I began to feel at odds with my original approach to the study. Guba and Lincoln's statement that every act o f evaluation becomes a political act and the feminist premise that "the personal is political" were key concepts that began my journey towards "voice". Recently there has been wide interest among evaluation researchers on constructivist approaches to evaluating programs. The following discussion examines several perspectives. A major concern in many programs has been individualization. Individualization means matching program services to the needs o f individual clients. While clients or students in a program may experience a similar program process, the meaning o f the outcomes for their personal lives may be quite different. What has been needed is descriptive information about how clients' lives change over the time period o f the program and in the period following the program. Qualitative methods and design strategies are particularly useful for evaluating programs which emphasize individualized client outcomes (Patton, 1989). Another important approach in evaluation research is from a feminist perspective. The purpose o f feminist evaluation research is to evaluate the effectiveness o f different types o f actions in meeting needs or solving problems. It is used to evaluate individual and organizational behavior, and to evaluate evaluation research itself (Reinharz, 1992). Feminist evaluation research tries to be sensitive to the danger o f sexist bias creeping into the very process o f evaluation, particularly in the form o f sexist concepts and inappropriate comparisons. The feminist program evaluation requires that the evaluator and program recipient articulate their values (Reinharz, 1992). Racial and ethnic minorities and the poor, who are disproportionately represented among social program participants, have been omitted as stakeholder participants in evaluation (Madison, 1992). Postmodern perspectives o f evaluation have recognized evaluation as political 21  activity, carried out in political contexts (Lincoln, 1994). Lincoln calls for the inclusion o f postmodernist theory such as critical theorists, feminist researchers and ethnic/racial/cultural studies researchers, in the models o f evaluation, so as to make evaluation more flexible and more responsive to the changing contexts in the real world programs. A n important new direction for program evaluation has been to seek ways o f actively involving people o f color in evaluation processes; to think about multicultural perspectives in evaluation as involving different voices. The evaluation process needs to be sensitive to and empowering of, people o f color and respectful o f their diverse perspectives (Hueftle, et al. 1992). Lincoln (1991) pointed out that most people who evaluate social programs know very little about the minority program participant's world view, the appropriateness o f program interventions in meeting their needs , or the programs' personal consequences for these clients. The move in the social sciences more broadly is toward pluralism, and many social scientists now recognize that what is needed is many perspectives, many voices, before we can achieve deep understandings o f social phenomena, and before we can assert that a narrative is complete (Lincoln, 1994). The evaluator needs to seek out all possible stakeholders, in an effort to persuade them to speak, to grant us their narratives, to talk about the benefits and detriments o f programs, and to invite them to have their perspectives represented in the studies. Furthermore, it has been suggested that all stakeholders should have access to the text which has been constructed about them, and should have the opportunity to respond (Guba & Lincoln, 1989; Lincoln, 1994). Finally, evaluation research points towards the need for a collaborative and participatory relationship between the respondents and the researcher; with "the Other's" voice in the text (Lincoln, 1994). Yet, participation in the evaluation, in and o f itself, may not ensure that traditionally marginalized groups will be heard during the evaluation process. In their paper, Mertens et al. (1994) offered an alternative process, "emancipatory evaluation", a perspective that encompassed 22  the views o f feminists, minorities and persons with disabilities.  Specifically, this paradigm placed  central importance on the lives and experiences o f the diverse groups that have traditionally marginized, analyzed asymmetric power relationships, examined how results o f social inquiry on inequities have been linked to political and social action and used an emancipatory approach in evaluation. In this approach, the evaluator is required to be sensitive to gender, race and disability issues, search out inequitable power relations, identify them and address them. Also, the emancipatory perspective reminds the evaluator o f her/his position: to define diverse groups, to select evaluation/research questions and interpret the outcomes. Through these actions, evaluators not only contribute to images concerning these diverse groups but also contribute to knowledge building about them. Empowerment evaluation, emancipatory evaluation and different kinds o f naturalistic evaluations approaches tend to use criteria which judge a program depending upon the particular beliefs, goals or preferences o f the client or other stakeholders (Stufflebeam, 1994) and they include and consider the stakeholder groups in the evaluation process (Guba & Lincoln, 1989; Lincoln, 1994; Mertens, et al. 1994). In my study, I began with a questionnaire to find specific outcomes. Participation, voice and other issues were not part o f this approach. Yet, I saw myself as a facilitator to the stories these immigrant women wanted to tell. So, how could I bring together this new shift in perspective and my own reflection to this quantitative approach? Also, I understood that as an immigrant woman, I was sensitive to their experiences and life stories. The women were open, candid and giving o f themselves and their homes. I wanted to truly "listen" to the women in my study. This selective literature review helped in the journey towards my own garden o f knowledge. I found many seeds strewn along my path: seeds o f self-awareness, o f voice and o f understanding. In time, some o f these seeds began to germinate and some actually bloomed. In 23  particular, the review o f existing perspectives on evaluation research made me much more reflective o f the methods I used in this study.  The "seed" for the qualitative section o f this  research study was planted partly by these readings, specifically by Hitchcock and Hughes' perspectives (1995) on evaluation research. I wanted to facilitate the voice o f "other" to tell their stories and in Hopkins' framework (as cited in Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995), these voices could be heard. Hitchcock and Hughes (1995) see evaluation as examining a set o f practices with regard to their functioning, efficacy and quality. A s with any other kind o f research, evaluation researchers will collect data in much the same ways as other researchers, via observations, interviewing, the use o f questionnaires, testing. Furthermore, Hitchcock and Hughes (1995) define evaluation in the following way: Evaluation is not neutral, is systematic, is about products and processes, is concerned with policy and practice, it defines and explores effectiveness. It can be a process o f curriculum inquiry, it may be central to professional development, is part o f the quality assurance process. Evaluation and improvements are linked (p. 31). Also, two questions arise from Hitchcock and Hughes's perspective: 1. Is it purely educational research or applied or action research? 2. What are the most appropriate forms o f data collection for evaluation studies? (Hitchcock and Hughes, 1995). These two questions truly reflect the very same ones I had. The model they present, allowed me to re-frame my research study and bring to it a qualitative part. Hopkins' approach to evaluation is the framework that best suits this shift.  24  Research  Data Collection  Design  Methodology  Data Analysis  Findings Report Recommendations  Evaluation Types of Evaluation Inquiry Autocratic  Non-Participatory  Evaluator  Imposed  Often quantitative  as external  External  Implementation  validator  Systematic  Closed variables  Clear statements of revised practice  Bureaucratic Consultant/  Clear definition  In relation to  Organization  client  of researcher  practice  Systems reported  relationship  Non-reactive  Achievement of  to  goals Democratic Confidential  Negotiated Accessible  Participatory  Open  Non-recommendatory  Collaborative Democratic  Often qualitative  Illuminative  Figure 1-Evaluation as a mode o f inquiry: From Hopkins (1989, as cited in Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995, pp.32-38). Within this model, I saw room for both my original quantitative approach with the questionnaire and my desire to bring a more participatory, feminist approach to the study. In terms o f the scale o f my study, Nunan (1992) supports the small-scale program evaluations, for they can provide an excellent research training ground for graduate students.  2. 6 Program Evaluation in ESL In language programs, specifically E S L programs, evaluation research has examined what happens in a language program, and it usually serves as the basis for judgments and decisions about these programs. It has focused almost entirely on specific issues o f methodology and 25  measurement. It rarely addressed the full range o f concerns o f language teaching programs (Lynch, 1990). The context-adaptive model suggested by Lynch (1990) features flexibility in responding to the range o f contextual constraints that program evaluation can encounter. In a series o f steps and considerations, the model can be adapted to different contexts, combining qualitative and quantitative methods and encourages a multi-strategy approach. Lynch (1992) also conducted a study at the University o f California, L o s Angeles, to investigate the two major approaches to program evaluation: quantitative, experimental evaluation and qualitative, naturalistic evaluation. H e concluded that program evaluation should probably always require a traditional, quantitative component. This design can give a useful picture o f the extent to which the program reached or not reached its goals. The qualitative data should also be used in evaluation. It provides different viewpoints, it represents an inside view. Furthermore, the linking o f qualitative and quantitative data can be useful and illuminating (Lynch, 1992). Lynch's study supported the new approach I chose to work with, combining the questionnaire with a qualitative interview. Beretta (1992) in his writings about "What can be learned from the Bangalore evaluation", discusses his own personal shift o f perspective after conducting a program evaluation. Specifically, evaluations take place in the real world, where results will always be tentative and non-conclusive at best (Beretta, 1992). I found his disclosure o f how he would have done things differently, encouraging and refreshing. It supported my own growth as a researcher. With the increase o f ESL/vocational skills/workplace instructional programs, a need has arisen for evaluation o f program effectiveness (Burt & Saccomano, 1995). Evaluations o f E S L workplace programs have attempted to determine i f the attention given to improving basic skills and English language proficiency has made a change in the participant's lives. They also identified practices associated with program effectiveness so that successes could be replicated (Burt & Saccomano, 1995). 26  Lastly, evaluation has reached a stage o f development where an evaluator can construct an evaluation using elements from different models or even constructions that the models do not encompass. Thus, evaluation designs can consist o f a complex set o f evidence to be examined from an eclectic approach and also employ a combination o f data collection procedures (House, 1994; Lincoln, 1994; Lynch, 1990; Patton, 1989) . The study I conducted was a combination o f quantitative and qualitative approaches. I utilized Hopkins' (1989) evaluative framework to position myself within the context o f Evaluation research. A feminist perspective was the underlying epistemological position o f the study. The ultimate goal was to bring the women's voices forward, so that they could share with us, their opinions, perspectives and feelings about a L T C A / E S L program and how it affected their lives.  27  CHAPTER THREE Methodology In this chapter, I will first address my methodological positioning. Then, I will give a general background o f the context and the sites involved in this program. Finally, I will present demographic information about the participants.  It is my hope that this background information  will assist the reader in following my footsteps.  3. 1 A Change in the Journey, from a Bureaucratic to a Democratic Path The original central purpose o f this study was to find out how effective a long term care aide/ESL ( L T C A / E S L ) program was in assisting the participants in finding employment and in improving their language skills. For this original question, I chose to use a questionnaire. This questionnaire obtained background information from the respondents, asked about their experiences in the program and about employment status. A t that time, my perspective was more positivist, seeking achievement only. The questionnaire seemed to allow me to collect descriptive data that would answer this question. However, after the inception o f my original question, my perspective changed, expanded and grew. This growth came about from courses I took in research design and as I read for the literature review. I came to understand my own epistemological position in the research process. The readings opened up the world o f qualitative research, specifically feminist research, spinning a web o f questions and self-reflection (Guba and Lincoln, 1989 ; Hitchcock and Hughes, 1995; Hueftle Stockdilletal.,1992; Madison, 1992; Mertens, et al., 1994; Peirce, 1996;Nunan, 1992; Lincoln, 1994; Lincoln & Guba, 1994; Patton, 1989; Reinharz, 1992). In the readings, I found a methodological position that seemed to echo my change in perspective. The evaluation process includes focusing upon a problem, collecting and analyzing relevant data, communicating findings and making recommendations. In this study, the focus is  28  on educational research and on finding the most appropriate form o f data collection. Evaluation in the way it is designed can be purely qualitative or it can be a mixture o f quantitative and qualitative approaches (Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995). The first part o f my research was the questionnaire. The questionnaire provided me with quantitative data that answered specific questions. However, in the process o f gathering and analyzing the data, I found myself wanting to create a forum to give voice to the women in my study.  I was not only interested in outcomes but in how these women made sense o f their own  experiences and talked about their situations. The following visual attempts to explain my growth as a researcher and clarifies my positions from a epistemology and methodology perspective.  Figure 2 -Visual description o f my position within the research paradigms.  29  Hopkins' framework to evaluation (as cited in Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995) offers an overview o f social and education research (see figure 1 in Chapter Two).  I chose to use this  framework to navigate the changes in perspective. I originally positioned myself, under the research design of Bureaucratic, having a clear definition o f my role, prepared to examine achievement and to report about my findings. Yet, as I found my own voice, the methodology moved to a Democratic design. It mirrored the participation o f the women, their willingness to verbally share their stories and the findings. To summarize once again, as outlined in Chapter One, the purpose and design o f my study was to seek an increased understanding o f the impact o f an L T C A / E S L program on a group o f immigrant women living and studying in Vancouver. It also addresses the gap in the literature regarding specific outcomes such as employment figures and students' perceptions o f a combinedskills program. In addition, this study attempts to articulate the voices o f some o f the women, illustrating their opinions and perceptions. Specifically, this research study was a two-part research evaluation o f a L T C A / E S L Program in Vancouver. The first part o f the study was quantitative in its approach; a questionnaire was used to find out i f former participants o f the program were subsequently employed as care aides. The questionnaire also asked for the women's perceptions of the program, its strengths and weaknesses. Part one, the quantitative portion, attempted to answer the following research questions: 1.  H o w effective was a B . C . and Federal government funded L T C A / E S L program in preparing a group o f immigrant women in Vancouver for the workplace? Specifically, how many o f the women found employment after taking the course?  30  2.  H o w effective was the program in preparing students for the workplace in terms of English language proficiency, basic job skills and specific vocational skills?  The second part had a qualitative perspective. I interviewed six women who had completed the questionnaires two months after I received them. The main purpose o f this qualitative section was to seek and hear the immigrant women's personal accounts, insights and voices about their experiences both during the program and after the program.  This portion o f  the study was an extension o f my shifting and growth as a researcher. Here, I attempted to explore the following questions: 1.  H o w did the women feel about the program in terms o f its strengths and weaknesses?  2.  H o w did they feel about the program after graduation?  3.  What insights would they offer an immigrant woman thinking about taking such a course?  3. 2 Context and Location The L T C A / E S L program at the immigrant services agency where I conducted my study was a provincially and federally government funded combined-skills vocational program. This particular immigrant services agency is a twenty year old non-profit organization whose mandate is to advocate for immigrants, assist them with settlement and employment issues. The society also offers literacy, E S L and combined ESL/job training classes. ESL/combined skills programs such as the L T C A / E S L program provide immigrant men and women with a training allowance, child care expenses, transportation expenses and uniform/material expenses. The L T C A / E S L program I taught ran for eight months. The objective o f the program was to train and/or retrain immigrant persons to work with elderly or dependent people in an institution. Each program had twenty immigrant students. I taught in two 31  o f the programs. The content/skills taught were based on the L T C A Provincial Curriculum designed by Faye Ferguson (1992). The curriculum proposed was a competency-based one. It describes specific skills which each student has to master prior to finishing the course. These skills were divided into concepts o f health and healing, therapeutic communication, psycho-motor nursing skills, responsibility and accountability, safety standards and problem solving approaches.  The  language part o f the program used activities based on the content curriculum as well as on competency-based approaches, grammar-based and participatory approaches such as whole language. A t the end o f the five in-class months, the students did a two week supervised clinical experience at a hospital. This hospital was in Vancouver and is a well known multicultural hospital.  The students and I were placed in the extended care unit within this hospital. The  extended care unit has dependent and frail elderly people who needed 24 hour nursing care.  I  supervised them every day during their full shift. It was in this context that one could say that the language learning became more "workplace" as I began to respond to their language needs which arose from situations with their clients, co-workers and peers. This approach could be called "learner-centered" within a workplace situation (McGroarty & Scott, 1993). After these two weeks, the students were placed for three weeks in different care facilities where they worked closely with the staff and had minimal supervision from me, the nursing instructor. The Bridging part o f the program was taught by guest lecturers and the program's manager. In this latter part o f the program, workshops were given on job search skills and on work placements issues.  3. 3 The Women that Participated in the Study Each program had twenty immigrant students. In the first program there were all female students and in the second program there were four men out o f twenty students. These students 32  had been selected from a pool o f about eighty to one hundred applicants each time. The selection process was based on financial needs and on an English language assessment test. A l l students had to have at least a low intermediate level o f English to be able to be considered for the program. Interviews were then conducted for suitability by the coordinator o f the program and myself, the health sciences instructor. The forms and interview guides were dictated by specific guidelines set up by the Federal Government. The women I sent the questionnaires to, had an intermediate to advance level o f English. I telephoned them prior to sending the questionnaire, to ask permission verbally, to check for understanding regarding the purpose o f the study and to connect with my former students again. I was able to locate 27 women out o f 36, all o f whom I sent questionnaires to. The rest o f the women, as I found out, either changed addresses, or did not want to participate and some moved back to their native country.  3. 3.1 Demographic Information The following data is a broad summary o f the general demographic patterns o f the group o f women. Eighteen women out o f 27 responded back to the questionnaire. The 18 women ranged in age from 32 years old to 48 years old. Country o f origin: Table 1 summarizes the surveyed women's countries o f origin.  33  Table 1 Summary of countries of origin Country of origin  Frequency  China  5  Chile  1  E l Salvador  2  Guatemala  2  Hong K o n g  1  India  1  Iran  2  Poland  3  Romania  1  Within this group, approximately 45% were from Asia, 25% were from Central and Latin America, 20 % were from Eastern Europe, 15% were from Iran. Also, the range o f time since the women immigrated to Canada was from three years to twelve years. Table 2 shows the breakdown o f the women's occupational background and the kind o f work they did upon arrival to Canada.  34  Table 2 List of the profession or occupation in the country of origin and the type of work the women did on arrival into Canada.  Profession/occupation in country of origin  Type of work on arrival  1 .Nurse and midwife  unknown  2. Supervisor o f a linen company  worker in a linen factory  3. Nurse  not working  4. Accountant  sewing machine operator  5. Nurse  salesclerk  6. Nursing aide  care aide  7. Computer operator  machine operator  8. Chinese medicine doctor  waitress  9. Kindergarten teacher  housekeeper  10. Nursing assistant  unknown  11. Elementary school teacher  housekeeper  12. Nurses' aide  housewife  13. Nurse  waitress  14. Leather technician  dietary aide  15. Housekeeper and nurses' aide  housekeeper  16. Nurse  packer in a fish factory  17. Nurse  not working  18. Accountant  unknown  35  Fifty-five percent of the respondents had been nurses or nurse's aides in their native country. One student had been an M D in her native country. The amount o f English language courses that these women took in Canada varied in range: zero/self taught (3); under one year (7); over one year but under three years (5); three years or more (2).  3. 4 Part One: The Questionnaire /The Bureaucratic Position 3. 4.1 Data Collection: The findings are presented in two parts: part one, the findings from the questionnaire and part two, the findings and insights from the interview with six women who had responded to the questionnaire. In part one, I used a questionnaire (Appendix 2) to obtain information from two groups o f women who had taken the L T C A / E S L combined program at immigrant services agency in the same year, 1994-95. A questionnaire was used to ask specific questions and for economical reasons (Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993). From an evaluation mode o f inquiry, the questionnaire provided me with quantitative data related to specific outcomes. M y role in this process could be described as that o f a consultant, trying to find out i f the goals o f the program, i.e., employment had been achieved. This role very much echoes the model presented by Hopkins (cited in Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995). The questionnaire was developed and adapted from an existing one given to the immigrant services agency L T C A / E S L students shortly after completing the program. The "End o f Program Questionnaire" had been administered to these former students prior to graduating.  This  questionnaire was designed by the coordinator o f this L T C A / E S L program to report outcomes to the government agencies sponsoring the students. A t the time when I developed the questionnaire for the study, I saw the previous one as a type o f pilot questionnaire. Additional  36  questions were designed to clarify and to expand on the questions o f the original questionnaire. Twenty-seven questionnaires were mailed out. Permission was obtained from the participants via an explanatory letter. I requested the participants to try to complete the questionnaire within a month. The questionnaires were mailed out with a letter o f explanation, a consent form for permission to contact them at a later time and a return self- addressed envelope with paid postage. The questionnaire contained three types o f questions, closed-ended questions, Likert-type scale questions and open-ended questions.  3. 4. 2 Data Analysis Data obtained from the questionnaires was used to depict a picture o f who these immigrant women were. It describes the various multicultural backgrounds, age, length o f time in Canada, their previous education, previous employment and present employment. Likert-type scale items were used to measure feelings o f students towards different aspects o f the E S L component and the long term care aide (basic nursing skills) component o f the program. These scales were chosen because they provided greater flexibility. The descriptors on the scales varied to fit the nature o f the question or statement (Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993). The questionnaire also contained open ended questions so as to allow the participants to write and express what they thought was relevant and important. A s this was a small group o f participants, I felt that the open ended questions would generate salient issues or themes. I found two specific approaches which guided me through the process o f analyzing the data. Kvale in his book "Interviews, A n Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing" (1996), summarizes the literature and provides an overview o f the five main approaches to the analysis o f meanings.  37  Five approaches to the analysis of meanings. Condensation:  an abridgment o f the meanings expressed by the respondents/interviewees. The statements are compressed into succinct, brief formulations.  Categorization:  the interview is coded into categories such as "+" or  indicating  occurrence and non-occurrence o f a phenomenon. It can reduce a large text into a few tables and figures.  Narrative:  focuses on the stories told during an interview and works out their structures and their plots.  Interpretation:  goes beyond a structuring o f the manifest meanings o f a text to deeper and more or less speculative interpretations o f the text.  A d Hoc:  A n ecletic approach. A variety o f commonsense approaches to the text interview as well as sophisticated textual or quantitative methods.  Figure 3-Interviews, A n introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing: From, Kvale (1996, pp. 191-204). In this study, I used Kvale's (1996) framework to analyze the data. There are two parts to the analysis o f the data. In part 1, I utilized the Condensation approach. Condensing the responses o f the Likert-type questions and the open-ended questions allowed me to succinctly  38  present the meaning expressed by the women. In part 2,1 chose to use the Interpretation approach. I interpreted the six women's responses and categorized them into themes. Then, I related the findings from the questionnaire to the comments in the interviews. The following quote illustrates Kvale's perspective (1996) and supports my choice o f methodology.: The researcher has a perspective on what is investigated and interprets the data from this perspective. The interpreter goes beyond what is directly said to work out structures and relations o f meaning not immediately apparent in a text (p. 201). In the model by Hopkins (Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995), the questionnaire could be placed under the Bureaucratic evaluative approach, reporting the women's employment status and their opinions about the quality o f the program. O n the other hand, the interviews can be positioned under Democratic evaluation research, the findings are seen as non-recommendatory and more illuminative. Indeed, the interviews blossomed into insightful voices, shedding more light onto this study; beyond goals o f employment and specific language issues. It is at this point o f the research process, that my journey began to include more o f my voice among the voices o f the women. The voices seemed to illuminate my path towards my garden.  3. 5 Part Two : The Interviews/ The Democratic Position Part two o f this chapter is very much the result o f a soul-searching journey to identify my own position within the research paradigms. M y original research question and questionnaire expanded, reflecting the process o f adapting a feminist research perspective and a more "democratic" evaluation process ( Hopkins, 1995; Reinharz, 1992). I chose to further expand the original question and I added a semi-structured interview. The key reason for this choice was that use o f semi-structured interviews has become the principal means by which feminists attempt to achieve the active involvement o f their respondents in the construction o f data about their lives (Graham, 1984; Reinharz, 1992)  39  3. 5.1 Data Collection The purpose o f the interviews was to increase my understanding about the data I had collected in the questionnaire, and to seek active involvement from the women, to bring their voices in the construction o f the data about their own situations. Hopkins' table o f evaluation research helped me with this change in methodological perspective (Hitchock & Hughes, 1995). In his model, the democratic design encompasses a more collaborative, open and qualitative approach. The interviews were more inclusive and brought the women's own stories into the study In Mary Belenky and her colleagues study o f women's ways o f knowing (1986), the interview/case study approach was used intensively and exclusively. Although they included certain questions , the rest o f the questions were open ended: Because we wanted to hear what the women had to say in their own terms rather than test our preconceived hypotheses ...we proceeded inductively, opening our ears to the voices and perspectives o f women so that we might begin to hear the unheard and unimagined (P. 11) Feminist researchers find interviewing appealing for the following reasons: it offers researchers access to people's thoughts, ideas, and memories in their o w n words rather than in the words o f the researcher (Belenky et al., 1986; Reinharz, 1992). This asset is particularly important for the study o f women because in this way learning from women is an antidote to centuries o f ignoring women's ideas altogether (Mertens, et al., 1994; Reinharz, 1992). Thus, in part two o f this study, I analyzed the interviews o f the six immigrant women and interpreted their responses. Understanding the background o f the women and having been their teacher two years earlier, I feel, helped me in gaining a perspective about this study and thus, in interpreting the interview responses (Kvale, 1996; Mertens, et al.,1994; Reinharz, 1992). Finally, I wanted to provide a framework within which the respondents could express  40  their own understandings, views and opinions in their own terms. I chose to interview six women. The women were from different countries: China ( 3 ) , H o n g K o n g ( 1 ) , India (1) and Iran (1). They ranged in age from 23 years o f age to 43 years. A t the time o f the interviews, these women had been in Canada from three years to six years. The women were selected for this part o f the study because they met the following requirements. First, they had successfully completed the L T C A / E S L program at immigrant services agency within the year o f my instruction there. Second, they had completed the questionnaire and they willingly volunteered consent to being interviewed. Third, these women had the time to meet with me while other women had agreed to being interviewed but due to scheduling difficulties, could not meet. Fourth, the women were in a variety o f situations in terms o f employment and education. Fifth, six women seemed a realistic number to interview with some depth, taking into account the purpose o f the interviews.  3. 5. 2 Data Analysis: In reviewing the literature about interviewing, I realized I needed to clarify how I positioned myself within the context o f analyzing and interpreting interview data. The following section is a discussion o f an specific approach to this. First, I will assume that the interviewer and interviewee actively construct some version o f the world appropriate to what we take to be self-evident about the person to whom we are speaking and the context of the question (Silverman, 1993) However, there are issues that arise about the status o f interview data: 1.  What is the relation between interviewee's accounts and the world they describe?  2.  H o w is the relation between interviewer and interviewee to be understood? Is it governed by standardized techniques or is it taken for granted knowledge o f interpersonal relations? (Silverman, 1993)  There are two positions which could answer these questions: The positivist version and interactionist version. According to the positivist version, the interview data give us access to 41  "facts" about the world, the primary issue is to generate data which are valid and reliable. The Interactionist version views interviewees as experiencing subjects who actively construct their social worlds; the primary issue is to generate data which give an authentic insight into people's experiences the main ways to achieve this are unstructured, open-ended interviews usually based upon prior, in-depth participant observation. Following is an explanation o f these two positions.  Two versions of interview data  Positivism  Interactionism  Status of data  Methodology  Facts about behavior  Random samples,  and attitudes  standards questions  Authentic experiences  Unstructured openended interviews  Figure 4 : Interpreting Qualitative Data. From Silverman (1993, p.91). For this study, I have chosen to view the data from an interactionist perspective. It follows my own naturalistic positioning. Also, feminist interviewing involves commitment on the part o f the researcher to form a relationship, and on the part o f the interviewees to participate with sincerity (Reinharz, 1992) In the actual interviews, I used an open ended, semi-structured interview style. I identified general areas I wanted to cover, but I let the interviewee's responses determine the order o f subjects, the time spent on each, and the introduction o f additional issues (Reinharz, 1992). The reason for conducting these interviews was to explore the lived world o f the women with respect to interpretations o f the meaning o f the data collected in the questionnaire (Kvale, 1996). I had a thematic context from which to begin the interviews. This context helped me connect to the findings from the questionnaire (Kvale, 1996). 42  I decided to use an interview guide to assist me with these interviews. F o r a semistructured interview, the guide usually contains an outline o f topic/questions to be covered. I wanted to have a "loose" interview, an interview with a focus but with room for exploration. (Kvale, 1996). I conducted semi-structured interviews based on some o f the following issues to explore and leading questions. Following are some o f the questions I asked: 1. H o w did you feel about the program while you were in it? H o w did you cope during the course? 2. H o w do you feel about the course now? What has changed i f anything? What has not changed? 3. I f you were speaking to a woman thinking about taking such a course, what would you tell her? 4. What would you wish and/or want in the future? 5. H o w do you feel about continuing your education? Tell me about it. The interviews took place at a convenient time for the respondents, in either their homes or at coffee shops. In two instances, the women's children were present. The interviews were audio taped and they were aware that they could request the taping be stopped at any time. Most o f the interviews lasted between one hour to one hour and forty-five minutes. The taped interviews were transcribed and analyzed to bring light and voice to some o f the themes that had emerged from the questionnaires. The women expressed their feelings about the program, their hardships about trying to find employment, their insights on immigrant issues and the realities o f their lives two years later. The voices were then connected to themes that seemed to be present in both the questionnaire and the interviews.  3. 6 The Trinity of Reliability, Validity and Generalizability Verification o f knowledge is commonly discussed in the social sciences in relation to the 43  concepts o f reliability, validity and generalizability. The main emphasis in the discussion below will be on the concept validity, as it relates to interview knowledge (Kvale, 1996; Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993) A t this point, I would like to briefly address the issues of validity and reliability within this small scale study. The literature on these issues is varied and can be viewed within a continuum of postmodern perspectives (Guba & Lincoln, 1989; Kvale, 1996; Lather, 1995; Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993; Silverman, 1993). However, for the purpose o f this paper, I shall discuss validity and reliability from a moderate point o f view (Kvale, 1996). They can be viewed within the context o f accepting the possibility o f specific local, personal, and community forms o f truth, with a focus on daily life and local narrative (Kvale, 1996).  3. 6.1  Reliability Reliability pertains to the consistency o f the research findings. It is defined as "the extent  to which independent researchers could discover the same phenomena and to which there is agreement between the researcher and participants" (Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993). In quantitative research, reliability refers to the consistency o f the instrument and administration o f it in the study, and in qualitative research, it refers to the consistency o f the researcher's interactive style, data collection, analysis and interpretation o f meaning (Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993). In the quantitative part o f my study, I sent the participants a questionnaire that had been administered prior to the end o f the program by the manager of the program and myself. This questionnaire had also been given to other previous groups o f women who had taken the same program. The questionnaire I sent the women was modified to clarify certain questions and the format changed to follow a consistent style. In the qualitative part, I examined the reliability o f the findings in relation to interviewing, transcribing and analyzing. In terms o f interviewing, the leading questions in the interview guide were derived from the questionnaire's responses and the respondents' comments. For example,  44  one o f the questions, "If you had to give advice to other women thinking about this program, what would you tell them?" was developed as a lead question that would engage the women in telling me what they believed were the benefits o f the program. The decisive issue is then not whether the lead questions may make the interview process unreliable, but whether they will lead in important directions, producing new, trustworthy and interesting knowledge (Kvale, 1996). In terms o f the transcription, I transcribed the interviews verbatim from the tape. That is I did not change or correct the respondent's grammar or sentence structure. I also used Kvale's "Guidelines for Reporting Interview Quotes" for consistency (Kvale, 1996). In the analysis section, I analyzed the questionnaire by using Kvale's Meaning Condensation approaches and for the interviews I used the Meaning Interpretation and Categorization approach (Kvale, 1996). This was a small scale study, so control issues for the analysis were not as critical. However, when I categorized the interviews into "themes", I presented examples o f the interviews that had led me to identify those "themes". In this manner, I explained how I had arrived at that possible theme.  3. 6. 2 Internal validity Ascertaining validity involves issues o f truth and knowledge. Validity can also be divided into internal and external validity. Internal validity refers to the degree to which the explanations o f the phenomena match the realities o f the world (Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993). It involves strategies such as lengthy data collection time, use o f participant's language, participant interviews conducted in natural settings and self-monitoring (Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993). This study follows these strategies. M y journey o f self-awareness and o f finding my own voice speaks to the self-monitoring guideline in particular. From this perspective, I chose to position myself as an "Interactionist", viewing the participants' experiences as authentic (Silverman, 1993).  Also, I considered the analysis o f  45  the study.  In particular I examined whether the logic o f the themes seemed sound. I cross-  referenced the themes from the interviews with the open-ended questions in the questionnaire part o f the study and found that the "themes" were similar in content. Ultimately, I made no claims but categorized the women's voices into themes that surfaced in the study. The women told their perspectives in their own terms, constructing the data about their lives.  3. 6. 3 External Validity or Generalizability In qualitative research, external validity is not treated as a probability sample o f the large universe. Instead, the researcher aims at extending the understandings o f a situation. Detailed descriptions can help others understand similar situations and extend these understandings in subsequent research (Schumacher & M c M i l l a n , 1993).  The issue o f qualitative generalization has  been treated particularly in relation to case studies, and three forms o f generalizations from case studies have been outlined by Stake (1994). The three forms are naturalistic, statistical and analytic. Naturalistic generalization seems most appropriate for this study. It rests on personal experience. It develops for the person as a function o f experience (Stake, 1994). Naturalistic generalization derives from tacit knowledge o f how things are and may lead to expectations rather than formal prediction (Stake, 1994). In my study, the understandings discussed were derived both from personal experience as an E S L and nursing instructor and from the women's very words.  3. 7 Assumptions Finally, I would like to clarify the assumptions by which this study was conducted. a. That the participants o f the study understood the questions and answered them honestly, and b. That the participants in this study were able to accurately recapture and articulate their experiences in the vocational/ESL program and their search for employment. 46  CHAPTER FOUR Findings and Discussion M y journey towards my own garden o f knowledge was filled with gifts o f stories and insights that the women shared with me. I view the findings from the questionnaires and the interviews in this light. This chapter discusses the findings from both the questionnaires and the interviews. The data I collected provides insights to the women's perceptions about the L T C A / E S L program and presents some o f the women's stories about their lives after the program. There are two parts the chapter. In the first part, I will discuss the quantitative data obtained from the analysis of responses to the questionnaires. Here, I describe the sample and the participants' employment status. In this section, I present and discuss the women's opinions on the strengths and weaknesses o f the program, together with specific discussion o f the two components of the program, the L T C A and the E S L component. In the second part of the chapter, the qualitative data gathered from analyzing the interviews are discussed. Themes arising from the analysis are presented and illustrated by quotes from the interviews; illuminations will then be highlighted.  4.1 Part One: The Questionnaire In the quantitative part o f this study, I sent out a questionnaire. There were two types of questions in the questionnaire. There were questions that specifically asked for demographic information and employment status and questions that focused on the respondents' perceptions about the effectiveness of the program in preparing students for the workplace, in terms o f English language proficiency, basic job skills and specific vocational skills. Eighteen women out o f 27 responded. These 18 women were from nine different countries and had immigrated to Canada from 12 years to 3 years ago. The age range was also varied, from 31 years old to 48 years old. About half of the respondents had been working as professional care givers in their native country. The following is a summary o f the answers from 47  the questionnaires.  4.1.1  Employment Status The first part asked the respondents about their employment status, type o f position and  length of time in that position. The results were very positive. O f the 18 women, 17 were employed as long term care aides in facilities and in home care situations; one woman was not employed as a care aide. Out o f the 18 women, the length o f time to find employment as a care aide since graduation from the L T C A / E S L combined program, ranged from immediately after graduation to one year. Thus, 94% o f the women surveyed had jobs working as a long term care aides.  4. 1. 2 Perceived Strengths and Weaknesses of the Program The questionnaire had two different kinds o f question formats, Likert-style and open ended questions. These questions, which explored the women's perceptions o f the strengths and weaknesses o f the program, were divided into the E S L component and the L T C A component o f the program. I chose to use open-ended questions because I felt that open ended questions would allow the women to give more comprehensive feedback and to share their perceptions of the program. Lincoln (1994) points out that most people who evaluate programs that involve minority groups know very little about the minority program participant's world view, the appropriateness o f program interventions in meeting their needs, or the programs' personal consequences for these clients. In this section I report on the overall effectiveness o f the program for this specific group o f women and on their perceptions about the two distinct components o f the program; the E S L and the L T C A components. One key open ended question in the questionnaire asked the reasons that they had applied to the L T C A / E S L program. Many of the women responded by saying that they had done this kind o f work in their country o f origin and that they wanted to go back to their professions. Many wanted to work with people and some wanted the English support and training which would make them employable. Another important reason was to have jobs that were similar to 48  those in their native country. The data showed that 55% o f the women surveyed had been health care givers in their native country. Following, are some examples o f the women's explanations; which will be reproduced in italics throughout the remainder o f this chapter and are not edited for grammar or punctuation. I was auxiliary nurse midwife in India. So, I was use to working in the hospitals. I like work in the hospital. Because I worked as a nursing aide in my country and is natural every body like to work here the same work we did before. I was a RN in China. I like my job. I like to have the same or similar job in Canada. This data seems to corroborate my understanding about the women that applied to the program. The women who had been nurses, doctors or studying to be one in their native countries seemed to want to enter and work in the health care system in Canada at an entry level position. Their choice to become L T C A ' s did not seem to be greatly influenced by the fact that a L T C A has a lower status than most o f the women's previous employment. Nevertheless, another frequent response was that the women really liked working with the elderly. The following quote is typical: Because I really like the elderly people, I enjoy to talk to them and do something for them. The women perceived many strengths in the overall program. They believed that the program was an important step towards financial security. They also stated that it increased their self-confidence and helped them gain an overall feeling o f being a productive new Canadian. Furthermore, they felt that the program gave them the opportunity to use their education from their home country and their past work experiences to good use in Canada. Lastly, 87% o f the respondents pointed out that the E S L and L T C A classes were effective in preparing them to function as long term care aides. These statements seem to 49  sum up their perceptions about the program: Because we have a lot time (8 months) to practice, and assimilate,  understand  and to prove ourselves that we became conciencious of our role. I help myself a lot. From my experiences as a L T C A instructor in a combined-skills program, I feel that these responses truly represent the women's perceptions o f the overall program. The strength o f this type o f program is the training o f women (and men) in both E S L and a vocational skill in a relatively short period o f time. The students upon graduation can usually find employment in the vocation that they were trained in. I have watched many immigrant women blossom into selfsufficient and confident individuals after having taken this program.  4.1. 3 The ESL Component This section reports o f the women's responses to the part o f the questionnaire which specifically addressed the E S L component o f the course. The eighteen women provided feedback on the E S L classes. Both the Likert-style questions and open-ended questions asked how the women felt about their English language skills after the program. Their responses on how much their English had changed/improved since starting the program were mixed. Fifty-four percent o f the women commented that their English language skills had improved considerably through their involvement in the program. The following comments illustrate these perceptions: / learned many things that in regular English class I didn't know. My written and spoken English have improved more than I expected. Have courage to speak. I learned many words to use in the hospitals. The other 46% felt that the E S L component o f the program could have provided more conversation, more content-related role playing and more connection to the L T C A component  50  o f the program. The responses that follow reflect their opinions: My English improved but not as much as I expected because the lack of conversation. The English we should have be practicing and talk to people. Make you understand a person with her own needs. We need more practice in speaking,  the other was okay.  These results appear to reflect the pedagogical methods o f the E S L instructor teaching in the program at that time, and their comments need to be understood within this context. However, the women remind E S L and content teachers o f the importance o f practicing speaking and listening skills which relate to the workplace. Finally, the participants gave feedback on how the program could be improved. The women wanted to see more time spent in the content area and more practical experience with the elderly. Also, they wanted more job finding skills and support. From a language perspective, the women expressed the need for more oral practice, role playing and communication techniques related specifically to working with an older person. These latter comments were also made in their opinion o f the E S L part o f the program. The comments that follow illustrate their suggestions: I would like to have more practice and intructions in job search. I think how to understand the elderly people, including heir believing,  activity,  spirits' need. Fifty-five percent o f the women seemed to feel that the E S L class provided enough vocabulary and content specific language activities to be able to function in a long term care facility or home support agency. These quotes support this summary: Yes. I can use a lot of terminologies to describe the condition of a patient accurately. Yes, definitely in some very stressful or emergencee situations.  51  Everybody can undertand me immediately. The rest o f the women felt that the E S L class could have been more content specific. These comments echo their perceptions: My english improved when we had nursing, not when we had english time. Because never is the same the practice as the work place. It was not useful in many situations because we didn't learn different situation in our  classroom.  The women's perceptions o f how the E S L and content classes were connected were quite positive. Sixty percent o f the respondents perceived that the L T C A classes were well coordinated. However, the other 40% felt that the E S L teacher needed to have background knowledge or an understanding o f the nursing content in the L T C A class. The comments below exemplify their varied perceptions: The english teacher taught the words and special medication words in the class. We had our class in the morning and in the afternoon, we reviewed the vocabulary and did a little games practising our new words. I had vocabulalry and grammar practice that connected with LTCA  class.  English instructor didn't had that much experience with nursing, that's why she did same content. I think were the lack of combination between ESL teacher and LTCA  instructor.  This last comment, though valuable, may have been influenced by my o w n background, as I have both nursing and E S L training and thus, I was very attuned to the language needs o f these former students in the L T C A classes. However, it may be an unrealistic expectation for future students in a L T C A / E S L or similar programs to have an E S L instructor that has both content and E S L training. Instead, there needs to be coordination time for the E S L and L T C A classes and on-going conversations between the E S L and the L T C A instructor to share expertise, concerns and suggestions.  52  These women also felt that there needed to be more subject-related English. The following quote is an example o f this perception: The english course, no enough subject relate the nursing. Recently, LTCA is difficult to findjob. I think learn more skills may be help to findjob. The skills like housekeeper, food preparation,  those are works related  to facility. The women's perceptions o f the content classes were very encouraging. Ninety-four percent o f the respondents felt that they clearly understood the language and content in the L T C A class. One respondent clearly illustrates this: / had no difficulties to understand what I was taught in the lessons. My instructor help me with my pronunciation  and encourage me to talk with  others. She was able to explain anything on our english level. Some o f the women felt very strongly about the need to know about different approaches to speaking with elderly residents. The quotes that follow reflect their opinions: More conversation practice.  Every day conversation.  The same language that residents use every day. Furthermore, the respondents gave feedback on how the E S L class could be improved. In particular, the women wanted a self-esteem workshop and more communication and study skills. Here are two of their specific recommendations: We need more group discussion and charting to improve our spoken english. Have a special workshop to share the experiences of each other and discuss how to study English as an immigrant. These results speak o f the specific language needs that future L T C aides need to provide safe and compassionate care. A s a nurse and L T C A instructor, I am well aware o f the specific language skills that caregivers need to provide gentle and efficient care. Their comments illustrate the reality o f the workplace and the challenges of working with elderly people who have 53  difficulties listening, speaking, understanding and following directions.  4. 1. 4 The Long Term Care Aide Component This section reports on the women's responses regarding the L T C A component o f the program. In general, the women felt that the content class had provided the basic skills to be an effective L T C A . They also felt that the instructor was very professional and organized the classes well. These women mentioned the importance o f having a L T C A instructor who provides clear explanations for E S L students. The responses below are examples of their feedback: The class is goodfor take care of  us, because we learned a lots of knowledges about how to  elderly.  The teacher we had explained very good. It was easy to understand her. LTCA class was very strong, good planned, easy and enjoyable class. However, the women also felt that the L T C A class needed to be longer and cover information in more depth. They felt that there could be more coordination between the L T C A and the E S L class. This response mirrors the responses in the questionnaire about the E S L component. A s I mentioned before, my expertise in teaching E S L greatly influenced my choice o f teaching methods in this program. Yet, L T C A instructors who have minimal exposure to E S L pedagogy can gain expertise in this area by closely collaborating with the E S L class instructor. The women surveyed recommended several topics that ought to be covered in the content classes. These were: "Workshop about handicapped peoples; Canadian Daily Living Style and Ask some LTC Aides which have rich experiences how to deal with clients". These recommendations are most helpful for curriculum developers and combined-skills instructors. Their feedback suggested ways o f orienting prospective L T C aides to the culture o f health care and to specialized care approaches for a particular population. One o f the last questions that I posed in the questionnaire asked the women who were not employed, how the program could have helped them further in their job search. The one woman who was not 54  employed stated: The LTCA need to be upgrading or at least continue to practice, what she have learned otherwise nothing happened even though a course were taken mean nothing or find a place to keep practicing. This response presented the issue o f shelf life in regards to the L T C A program. Indeed, maintenance o f current caregiving skills and recent practicum or work experience are important in searching for a L T C A position. If a student has not worked for over a year, many agencies and facilities are reluctant to hire them because o f the time gap between training and practice. Based on my experience as a nursing and L T C A instructor, former students who are not able to find employment within a year, can try to maintain their skills by volunteering at an extended care unit.  4.2 Part Two: The Interviews Part two of the study, the qualitative portion, was designed to seek and hear the immigrant women's personal accounts, insights and voices about their experiences while taking the program and after the program. In this part, I would like to compare and discuss the findings from the questionnaire and the interviews and consider the responses in relation to the relevant literature discussed in Chapter Three. The data from both approaches yielded important insights. These insights are presented in the hope that they will be useful to both E S L and content teachers involved in combined-skills program, who wish to improve their reflective practice. Furthermore, implications for future research arise from the data collected and the themes that emerged. Implications for both teaching and research will be discussed in Chapter Five. The interviews provided a framework within which the respondents could express their own understandings, views and opinions in their own terms. The reason for conducting these interviews was to explore the lived world o f the women with respect to interpretations o f the meaning of the data collected in the questionnaire (Kvale, 1996). 55  The research literature supports this type o f data validation. Lincoln (1994) addressed the questions o f legitimization and representation in research evaluation. She discussed the issue o f how evaluators know i f the "text" is faithful to the context and the individuals it is supposed to represent. She stated that evaluators need to seek out all possible stakeholders, in an effort to persuade them to speak, to grant us their narratives, to talk about the benefits and detriments o f programs, and to invite them to have their perspectives represented in the studies (Lincoln, 1994). I interviewed six women. The women were from different countries: China (3), H o n g K o n g (1), India (1) and Iran (1).  They ranged in age from 23 years o f age to 43 years. A t  the time o f the interviews, these women had been in Canada from three years to six years. I analyzed and interpreted the data using Kvale's Interpretations approach (1996). This interpretation and categorization led me to identify five general themes. Before presenting the themes, I want to explain my position in respect to the interview process. I viewed the interview responses from an Interactionist perspective, assuming that the interviews mirrored the women's authentic experiences. The interviews were semi-structured in f format (Silverman, 1993); they last anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour and 30 minutes. The interviews were conducted in the women's home or in a comfortable place o f their choosing.  4. 2.1 The Themes The themes I identified were closely related to the responses and perceptions given by the other women in the questionnaire. I connected the common threads from their interviews and interpreted them into themes.  4. 2. 2 Theme 1 The Pain of Renewal In all six interviews, the women discussed the context o f their experiences, specifically their experiences shortly after immigrating to Canada. F o r all, immigrating to a new country and trying to find employment was very difficult. Financial difficulties, loss o f social status and lack o f language skills made beginning again very challenging.  In the following passages M and H 56  discussed these challenges. H is a woman from Mainland China who immigrated seven years ago. She had been a cardiac registered nurse in China. A t the time o f the interview, H was living with her husband and baby girl. H.  Well, I got discouraged when I worked in a factory, you know. ..when we chatting, they asked me ... like what were you doing back home? I say, I was doing as a registered nurse and., they said, well, you'll never get your job back here, and I said, why?., she said. Oh do you know? ..The people from Hong Kong, they are educated in English, even it's hardfor them to get their job back here, how about you come from China, you educated in Mandarin,  M  so..I think it's even hardfor  you...  is a woman from Iran who had been studying to become an M D at the time o f the  political coup in Iran. She was put in jail as a political prisoner for six months. A t the time o f the interview, M was living with her husband and her two elementary school aged daughters. M.  Yes, I had some choices... When you are a single person you don't have any responsibility.  You can do whatever you like to do. You can go and  study something for a long time...for 10 years. You have time. But when you come as a Mom as immigrant...you don't have that much time and you have responsibility...having  kids is very big responsibility, is very  big responsibility. It's so hard to leave them...because I don't want them to suffer... because I came to this country or I want to go to study for something it takes 10 years !, what about them? That's why I chose to go for something that is short time and I like to do it. and when Ifound the nursing aide course, it was something that really I needed at the time... Because I was so depressed I did not know what to do. I didn't what to be  57  on Welfare, because even in my country I was always working, I had good job... and I didn't like to stay at home and get some money and the money that they are giving, you know, is very, very basic. These passages illustrate the impact that immigration has on the women's overall life. It struck me that their self-esteem and self-confidence would be most affected. These findings are well documented in the literature. The barriers o f English language, literacy and education lead to the inability to be economically empowered (Boyd, 1992 Cumming, 1992; Cumming & Gill, 1992; Doherty, 1992; Harper, Peirce & Burnaby, 1996; Peirce, 1994 ; Rockhill, 1982; Wismer, 1986). Furthermore, the literature refers to the loss or gain o f status and power o f immigrant women within the family as a result o f immigration (Buijs, 1993). H's and M ' s responses are similar to the responses given by women in a study done by Bhagavatula (1989) in Vancouver. The study identified common difficulties experienced by immigrant women when they arrive in Canada and found that many still experience them several years later. The top five persistent difficulties were described as. jobs, language, money, culture and making friends (Bhagavatula, 1989). In the questionnaire that I administered, the women felt that being able to get a job was one o f the most important reasons for taking the L T C A / E S L program. The other important reason was to work in a similar environment to the one they had worked in their native country. This reason can be related back to the high percentage (55%) o f women who had previously been health care givers. These responses are in keeping with the interviewed women's stated concerns and their desire to gain employment in the profession they once had.  4.2.3  Theme 2  The Costs and The Benefits The Costs The respondents talked about the challenges o f finding enough work to provide a stable income. They all said that being "on call" (waiting for an available shift on the day o f the shift) 58  was difficult. This theme was strongly and passionately presented by the women I interviewed. The uncertainty o f not knowing when they would work made the women feel insecure about their income. Thus, all the respondents had at least two jobs, both jobs "on call" and some women had three jobs. One woman, J, talked about the hard choices she had to make in order to be available "on call" and care for her infant son. These findings were minimally reflected in the questionnaire, where the women gave feedback on how the program could be improved. One o f the suggestions they made was that they would have liked more job-finding skills and support in gaining employment. In the literature, strategies to overcome these difficulties include learning the language in order to obtain a job, or to help with social integration; looking for a job; job training and support from friends and community (Aguilar & Williams, 1993; Bhagavatula 1989; Cumming, 1992). However, despite the findings from the questionnaires and my readings o f the literature, I had not anticipated the women's difficulties with maintaining a stable income amidst the uncertainty o f the "on-call" shifts and the impact o f such uncertainty o f some on the women's families. A l l six women that were interviewed talked about the experience o f working on call, the number o f jobs they had to maintain to make a reasonable income and the stress o f juggling work and family responsibilities. In the following quotes, Y and H talked about this situation. Y is originally from H o n g K o n g where she had been a nurse. A t the time o f the interview, she lived in Vancouver with her daughter who attended high school. Her husband remained in Hong K o n g . Y.  Two places or three places... keep working... one place calls you once a week, another place calls you once a week and another place... so, it's ok... only place is not enough... I like to do job like similar, not in the restaurant, right? Even I thought, okay... I like to get a job in Agency or hospital, not another work because I had my course with nursing, right?  59  H , as described earlier, had been a cardiac nurse in China. H.  / had hired in June 5th. ..we graduated May 26th? I guess?. ..I got hired June 5 th... that summer was okay...I got average was three or four days a week., and then, slow down at October and November.  At Christmas,  was busy for about two weeks...and then, January, February,  March,  April was so slow... At that time, I still keep my housekeeping job at LB. Home... The housekeeping job, usually more hours available during the weekend, which is okay. I still keep my name on a list!...like I was thinking it's too much for me now...because I work at two place...plus that one, three place... and then, I think it's too many for me.... J is originally from China. A t the time o f the interview, she lived with her husband and infant son. J discussed the hardship o f trying to maintain her availability to work on call and care for her baby son. J.  At the beginning he was here but it's too tough to keep him at home so... later, I decide I better send him back, (to China). Yeah, that was very difficult...but I think, now, he is still young, he don't need education, he just someone to feed him up...right?... until he grow up we have enough like, offinancial everybody?  will be., like, easier for  I can bring him back and everybody was happy., right?  I can give him enough education?.  I was missing him very much...  But I had to do that, I have to save some money...save some time for myself. Right now, he can go to day care, I can go out to work immediately. So, I think at that time, the choices very hard.. J's story o f sending her child back to China shows the tremendous difficulties that some immigrant women face while trying to get employment. Torjman (1988), in her background paper on the gap between women's needs and available programs and services, discusses the 60  difficulties that immigrant women employed in the manufacturing and service sectors face in trying to meet their child-care needs. She states that "these women have no choice but to resort to the informal child-care market" (Torjman, 1988, p.35). The women identified the difficulties and factors influencing their ability to maintain socioeconomic stability and their family life.  The literature mentions that immigrant women face a  range o f social, cultural and economic pressures when they immigrate to Canada. Some o f the factors identified are gender roles, the extent o f their socioeconomic stability, personal strength, family support, and role models (Aguilar & Williams, 1993; Bhagavatula, 1989; Cummings, 1992). Yet, I wish to speculate about J's story, the story of her choice to send her baby boy to China so she could work. Such practice certainly was not discussed in any o f the literature I read. Torjman states that immigrant women may resort to informal child-care. Sending one's child back to his/her native country appears to go beyond informal child-care. This action with all the heartaches that it entails has given me cause for much thought. I wonder how many other immigrant women in Canada have sent their children back to their native country when there is no support at home. This surely is worthy o f more attention in future studies. I suspect that there may be many undocumented stories like J's.  The Benefits In the questionnaire, seventeen out o f eighteen women had jobs as long term care aides. The length o f time to find employment as a care aide since graduation from the L T C A / E S L combined program, ranged from immediately after graduation to one year.  The women  interviewed also found employment as care aides within a relatively short period o f time. In addition, the women responded that they felt that the program had prepared them well enough to function as care aides in a long term care facility. Ninety percent o f responses seem to point out that overall, the E S L and L T C A classes were successful in preparing the women to function as a L T C A .  The high rate o f employment could be attributed to their own and to the 61  employer's positive evaluation o f the course. In the interviews, the women talked about the excitement o f being employed and doing something which they considered "worth doing". Three out the six women I interviewed found the job satisfying. Perhaps job satisfaction could also be related to their perception in the questionnaire o f being well equipped to handle the tasks o f the job. The quotes below are examples o f their voices on this theme. S is a woman from India. She had been an auxiliary nurse-midwife at a large hospital in Northern India. A t the time o f the interview, she was living with her brother and his family, her mother-in-law, her husband and infant son. S.  Like Ifinish my course then I got a job with "Caring Agency " very quickly! Even I went there one time, she knows I have a certificate, she looked my certificate and she took my interview right away. Then she asked me many question about because I have experience to work in India similar with Nursing? And she was very happy then I got job there.  The following is a passage from the interview with M . It illustrates how, overall the women felt about their jobs as care aides. M.  I like doing it, because...you know for doing this job you must care for people. ..I am not thinking as a job.  When I go, when I go there, I like to  see their residents and I am friend with them.... most of them whenever I am finishing shift, they ask me if I go back tomorrow...and I am like friend with them...we talk, we laugh... and Ifeel good...because  whenever  they see me, they are happy. They knew that they're gonna have a good day! and I am happy that I can make some changes in their life to make their life better...because it's not like only a job.. I enjoy doing that, I... whenever I am off two days I miss it! (Laughter) and I like to go back. J shared her thoughts about how the program helped her integrate into her new adopted country.  62  J.  At that time I think, I need to get to training and go back to the society to get a job...and connect with people and that will be a good why to start it.  These findings are also in the literature on immigrant women and job training. Language training, educational upgrading, and improved job-related skills are potential mechanisms for improving the socio-economic position o f immigrant women who are not able to communicate in one o f Canada's official languages (Boyd, 1992).  4. 2. 4 Theme 3 The Need to Learn the Language of Care This theme was clearly present in both the questionnaire and the interviews. In the questionnaire almost 80% o f the women seemed to feel that the E S L class provided them with enough vocabulary and content-specific language activities to be able to function in a long term care facility or home support agency. However, in the open-ended questions section o f the questionnaire and in the interviews, their opinions were at best mixed. M o r e than 60% o f the women felt that they wanted more conversation and content-related role playing. In the interviews, the participants had similar views on the E S L component o f the program. In general, the women felt that they had not learned enough English to speak with their residents and they wanted to feel more comfortable with speaking with their residents about their "everyday" type o f experiences. Also, they wanted English which was closely related to the act o f caring. The following quote briefly illustrates the women's perceptions o f the E S L part o f the program. In particular, H talked about the need for more role playing conversations in the classroom. H.  What I am thinking for the care aide in extended care unit, actually  is not  a lot of terminology, like usually we use very often, like bowel care...an transfer, like bruise, scratch, redness, or something like that or about the resident...like she or he is in a good mood, or is aggressive. much in terminology...like  is daily conversation, not  Is not ver  terminology. 63  The literature speaks at length on the need for a strong link between a content area and the E S L component o f a course, whether it is an academic or a workplace course (Snow & Brinton, 1989; Crandall, 1986; Goldstein, 1994; Isserlis, 1991; Roseblum; 1996; Svensen & Krebs, 1984; Vivian, 1984; Widdowson, 1983). The origins o f V E S L / W o r k p l a c e are connected to English for Special Purposes ( E S P ) literature. Widdowson (1983) explains that In E S P we are dealing with students for whom the learning o f English is auxiliary to some other professional or academic purpose. E S P is or ought logically to be integrally linked with areas o f activity (academic, vocational, professional) which have already been defined and which represent the learners' aspirations, (pp. 108-109) The students' comments on the need for a better connection and coordination between the E S L and the long term care aide class are supported by the above literature. M o r e E S L teachers need to coordinate their lessons with a vocational instructor to determine what jobrelated language needed to be taught (McCarthy, 1986). The following excerpt illustrates this theme also. S discussed the need for wanting to have more practice with the "care" aspect o f the language. S.  Like she can ask like students what is their interest, what kind of study they want it... if they like nursing, she should do like . To teach some nursing words? and she have to like do demonstration about nursing... how to talk to the residents in the hospitals, how to...like motivate them when we are feeding and taking for walk? Like that stuff...  The literature also suggests that there needs to be a range o f approaches and techniques in ESL-vocational programs, such as competency-based and grammar-based approaches to the more participatory approaches such as whole language, language experience and problemposing (Roseblum, 1996). Also, curricula for English in the workplace programs need to grow out o f the learner's language needs in an employment situation. T o determine the language and communication needs o f a workplace, the E S L instructor needs to come to know and feel the 64  unique aspects o f the workplace (Belfiore & Burnaby, 1984). In this case, the respondents identified that they wanted language which would allow them to communicate with the client beyond the basic conversation skills and beyond the technical words. They wanted the language o f "caring" such as the oral practice o f approaching a resident and using therapeutic communication skills. These are skills commonly taught to health care providers. These skills encompass active listening, clarifying, using empathetic approaches, touch and interviewing skills.  4.2.5 Theme 4 Advice to Other Immigrant Women This theme came about from a semi-structured interview question I posed to the women. The theme was also present in the questionnaire, in the open-ended questions section. I asked the respondents to share any additional thoughts and comments that they might have about the program. They wrote about their hope that the program would continue so other women could benefit. These comments led me to pose a related question in the interviews. The respondents were eager to share their opinions and advice with prospective students. A l l o f the women recommended the program or a similar program. They felt it was a chance to gain a skill in a short time and be employable. S gave advice to other immigrant women about taking an L T C A / E S L program. She recommended that women who have health sciences background ought to take this kind o f program and that having past experience helps with finding a job. S.  / always have some friends, then always telling them...should do that, should take a course...because...we...like  me, I know how to take care as  nurse, right? It's similar work. I know, like for example, it's pain, how much he is feeling pain now... what we can say to them. It's good help, and even here, that they looked at background  too...employer?  65  H gave advice about taking this program even i f the woman has had the training in her country o f origin. H.  Actually, depends...if the woman, she shows she likes works in the health care, I would suggest to take the course, because I think it is helpful. It doesn't matter how long you have been work in the nursing field, still find something different here.  J gave advice about working "on call" shifts. She recommended that women working "on call" need the patience to wait for the facility's call. J.  / think if I worked, I probably had more patience, I can get that job! but they need a long time, two years, three years... 'cause I didn't have enough patience to wait at home...I couldn't do anything at home, just waiting, so very nervous to me!.  Y and G stated that prospective students need to really understand what the job is about. They felt that the work can be "below" their cultural standards and that this reality needed to addressed. This response was not anticipated yet it did not surprise me. They talked about how doing this "kind o f work", providing personal care to elderly clients, was a type o f job that they would never do in their native country. They both recommended that the reality o f giving personal care be discussed with prospective students. The following quotes present some o f these sentiments. G is from China. A t the time o f the interview, she was living with her husband and her teenage daughter, who attended high school. G and Y are very good friends and they came to the interview together. G.  We tell to them.. .you should toilet them... that' the big thing. You should take of resident...for our culture...we think to do that job...is  Y.  ha...  Is a lower level..lower, lower, level...No people want to this job..  66  G. G.  If I go back to my country, I never tell the people I do that job. Because that job, in my country, it's a farmer, the girl, do that...they are not educated., sometimes like the...the nanny, like that...always hire from the farm, they are not educated... Y./G.  M  It's a hardjob.,  (in unison).  talked about how her sister reacted when she heard that M was taking this L T C A  program. M.  Yeah, below me. That's why she didn't like it. She said no, this is not you. You had goodjob  in your country and you going to study to be a doctor  you have to try to do that here too! But... because she doesn't understand...She  is  single. She doesn't know how it feels to have a children, you to have to support them. And I explained it to her that I am not ashamed. That I doing this job now...actually I like it. I think that in this situation I like to do this job. I don't like to say okay., this is be lows.  4. 2. 6 Theme 5 Hopes and Dreams This theme appeared throughout the conversations that I had with the six women. They hoped to gain the ability to take care o f their families and they hoped for financial stability. Some o f the women shared with me their dreams o f getting further training and becoming registered nurses (RN*s). The questionnaire produced similar responses when asked why they had taken the course. The following examples illustrate the dreams and hopes that many o f the women talked about. M  shared with me her aspirations for improving her English language abilities and seeking  more training in the health care field. M.  / am planning to go for something more. .Jam not planning to stay... I need a change too! Like you!! Yeah... of full time study... and after I am 67  planning to work few years in LPN and see, maybe I go for RN.. I don't know yet....am planning to go for something more...I am not planning  to  stay...I need a change too! Like you ...so this course was very important... because it help us to fly, you know...and we took our first step and after is our choice and most of them...because these people... they had education... and they had good life in their country, they had good job and off course they gonna improve themselves and gonna take more step and when I see them you know... Ifeel very good, when I see somebody take something higher, go to RN...I know that in future, I gonna able to do that also. H spoke to me about her plans for the future. She hoped to enter a nurse refresher/ESL program. H.  / was an RN back home and that was my only job back home, so my final goal if I can get my RNjob in Canada...it would be fine!  S told me about her hopes for a better job. She hoped for steady work in one facility instead o f many. S.  I am looking for work in facility, because this work is not bad but sometimes...like daytime work in three places, so it's hard...right?  So in  the hospital it's like if it's four hours work, so we can work straight, right like eight to twelve...it's better...I hope I can try andfind another job!  4. 3 Summary 4. 3.1  The LTCA/ESL Program Relevant studies speak for the need to "find out" what happens to women and men after  they take an E S L / J o b training program (Bhagavatula, 1989; Boyd, 1992; Doherty, 1992). This study attempted to describe what happened to a group o f immigrant women after they took a government sponsored L T C A / E S L program.  68  Seventeen o f the eighteen women were employed as L T C A ' s at the time this study was conducted. These women's perceptions o f the L T C A / E S L components were overall positive. They felt that the E S L component o f the program had provided enough English to secure and maintain their jobs as L T C aides. However, the women felt that the E S L component needed more conversation, role playing and specific caregiving language and skill training in a short period o f time. The women felt that the L T C A component had prepared them well for caring for frail or dependent persons and many o f them found this type of work rewarding. Also, this program's short duration was an attractive feature to many women who could not afford to spend a longer period o f time participating in other types o f programs. Yet, the women stated that they needed more training in specialized areas o f caregiving and more job searching skills.  4.3.2  Themes The themes that evolved from the interviews presented some of the women's voices.  Three of the themes, "The Pain o f Renewal", "The Need to Learn the Language o f Care" and "Hopes and Dreams" connected to the questionnaire's findings. The other two themes revealed unexpected insights that did not appear in the questionnaire's responses. These were "The Cost and Benefits" and "Advice to Other Women" themes. In "The Cost and Benefits" theme, stories o f the hardships o f shift work, multiple work sites and child care were illustrations o f the difficulties and barriers that these women face. In the "Advice to Other Women" theme, some women expressed their true feelings about being a L T C A and the work involved. Their feelings o f embarrassment and o f doing work that was beneath them were eloquently described by these women. Programs such as the L T C A / E S L program do allow women to "Fly Again" as one the participants concluded. It provides in a short period o f time, a marketable vocational skill, further E S L training and job search skills. Nevertheless, the challenges o f being a caregiver need to be discussed with potential participants who may not be familiar with this type of vocation. 69  CHAPTER FIVE Implications, Illuminations and Epilogue This chapter looks back on my journey and retraces my steps. In it, I will also reflect on the implications o f this study and speculate on its findings without making any strong claims.  5.1 Implications for Teaching I will begin with implications o f the study related to teaching. The discussions will merge the findings from the questionnaire and the interviews. However, they have been organized around the themes. Theme 1, "The Pain o f Renewal", speaks o f the barriers that immigrant women must overcome in order to succeed in a program or in employment situations. The implication here is that curriculum designers, program administrators and ESL/content teachers need to be aware o f the challenges immigrant women face when they attempt to begin a new life in Canada. Clearly, the women face challenges and barriers in accessing ESL/workplace programs and barriers in trying to stay and succeed in combined-skills programs. Those responsible for their education need to integrate into their programs and courses concrete supports and strategies to help the women face these challenges. Also, understanding an immigrant woman's life history and own personal situation allows for a more student-focused program.. Teachers and program administrators need to learn early on as much as they can about their students and their lives (Bell & Goldstein, 1994; Das Gupta, 1996; Doherty, 1993; Harper, Peirce & Burnaby, 1996). Some respondents felt that they did not have enough job searching skills to successfully secure a job.  The "Bridging" part o f the L T C A / E S L included life skills and job  search skills. However, it may not have been long or thorough enough to provide full support for these women (Joint Working Group o f Status o f Women and Labour Market Officials on Education and Training ,1994). Immigrant women specifically may require more support during the job finding period. Yet, in most L T C A programs, the support systems stop once the student has graduated. A s teachers and administrators, we may need to examine how a program is designed and how to 70  help with follow-up. Schedules and workshops related to job search and counseling could be strategically placed throughout the program so as to be most effective and in ideal circumstances continue for some time after. Theme 2 relates to the costs and benefits o f taking a course like the L T C A / E S L program. The women I interviewed discussed their experiences trying to fit and cope in the working side o f the health care system. Several o f the women stated that they experienced difficulties with the lack o f stability, with shift work and the lack o f affordable child care. E S L and content instructors involved in teaching long term care aides need to understand the realities o f this occupation. Clear discussions o f the women's expectations versus the reality of the job market need to take place. Also, problem solving approaches to the nature of the "OnCall" experience must be presented to the students. Helping students use a "problem-solving" approach would assist immigrant women in making more informed decisions and in having more control over their lives (Belfiore & Burnaby, 1984; Sanguinetti, 1993; Wallerstein, 1985). Working as a health care worker is a physically, emotionally and mentally demanding job. There is a culture of work, scheduling and language that are unique to the health care field. The content instructor needs to discuss this culture with the E S L instructor for language socialization implications and with the students early on in the program so that they can make informed choices. Theme 3 presents the women's perceptions about their language needs. They felt that they needed in-depth instruction on the language o f caring. The E S L instructor and content instructor both need to continually identify the needs o f the students and the workplace. Also, teachers need to be aware o f the "working language" used in a health care facility and the language used when working with elderly residents. In particular, the language needs appropriate when working with residents who have Dementia. The English language needs in this program go beyond basic health care terminology and conversation. The respondents identified this issue very clearly. In the health care field, there is a 71  great emphasis on "Therapeutic Communication", that is techniques and approaches used with a person who is experiencing a particular illness. The content teacher may need to clearly identify this area in the curriculum and coordinate its teaching with the E S L instructor. Also, administrators may need to allow for more time in the programs so that the area o f therapeutic communication can be properly addressed. Theme 4 ," Advice to Other Women", speaks o f the need to discuss the nature o f the job prior to a student enrolling in this type o f program. The women I interviewed revealed how they felt about the tasks involved in this work. Some o f them shared their feelings o f shame and embarrassment related to some o f the tasks they had to do. The skills and tasks that a care aide is expected to perform focus on the personal needs o f a client. They usually provide assistance with personal hygiene, such as baths or bedbaths, clean clients who are incontinent, assist clients to eat, transfer, walk, comfort and support a client. Some o f the women perceived that some o f these tasks were beneath them and they felt reluctant to disclose their occupations to their relatives or acquaintances. Both E S L and content teachers need to address issues o f discomfort about performing particular health care tasks with their students. It may be done initially by an open discussion about the actual work where the students have a chance to understand the nature o f the job. Another strategy might be to have a one day orientation to the course and a one day orientation to a long term facility or have the students follow a care aide for a morning. Bringing a care aide as a guest speaker could also prove beneficial. The students would be able to hear the realities o f the job from an aide's perspective. In this manner, prospective students would have the opportunity to learn and understand the nature o f the job. Theme 5, "Hopes and Dreams", is about the women's future aspirations. In the interview, the conversations were dotted with stories o f their future plans. F o r some women, this program had given them the confidence to continue their education. M speaks most eloquently to both teachers, administrators, and government officials. She stated 72  So this course was very important... because it help us to fly, you know...and we took our first step and after is our choice and most of them. E S L and content teachers need to encourage and assist students in planning for further education. A s a teacher, I felt that some o f the key supports that would help women succeed in this program were government funded assistance for tuition, program materials and child-care expenses, an understanding of what the L T C A program offers, and my belief that the women could succeed.  5. 2 Implications for Research The literature speaks briefly about the challenges faced by women such as these. Evaluation researchers interested in working with minority groups need to conduct small and large scale studies that examine the impact o f a L T C A / E S L program on an immigrant woman's life, both from a socio-cultural and socio-economic perspective. The implications for research in relation to barriers that immigrant face when they immigrate to Canada point towards more studies in this area. Future research should examine the impact o f ESL/content programs on the lives o f immigrant women. The methodological approaches need to reflect a variety o f perspectives, from a large scale longitudinal study to single case studies. In particular, there need to be more research studies on immigrant women taking health care courses, from the entry level to the professional level, i.e.: to become care aides, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, baccalaureate trained nurses, graduate degree holders in nursing. A s an experienced E S L and health sciences instructor, I have seen a tremendous growth in the vocational E S L and health fields. The demand by immigrant women, in particular, to access a L T C A program is great. Research would provide more documentation and awareness about these programs, as well as a better understanding o f the problematics o f their design and implementation, together with the impact on the many aspects o f the lives o f the women and their families. I also invite researchers to explore the issue o f specialized communication techniques within the context of E S L training in health care, in particular, communication techniques used 73  with residents or clients that have Dementia. The findings in both the questionnaire and the interviews indicate that there needs to be more time spent teaching specialized communication techniques. Researchers could examine how E S L speakers cope with these kind o f language skills. They could also help provide a clearer account o f the nature o f such language and how an individual may become socialized into its use. The findings also present the women's perceptions on the actual work involved in caregiving. If this is the case, researchers may want to pose the following questions: how does the L T C A student or worker cope with the change o f status, the shame or embarrassment and how does work o f this nature affect either positively or negatively a person's cultural identity? It seems that initially, when an immigrant woman is looking for a short term training program that leads to a reasonable hourly wage, questions about the actual job and tasks involved do not seem o f immediate concern. However, later on, the kind o f job that immigrants do may affect their self-esteem, and affect their status with family, friends and in societal situations (Buijs, 1993). This is a research topic which vitally needs to be addressed.  5. 3 Connections M y connections to the women I interviewed go back almost three years. I have been, and still am, connected to the women I surveyed and interviewed. They have called me to say hello and to get job references, for help on resumes and advice on work issues. F o r one student, my phone number turned out to be her only hope for help. This woman was in a violent situation at home. She called me one evening crying and asking for help. She later told me that she had kept my phone number from the questionnaire form letter and in her hour o f need, thought that I could help her. I did help her and advocated for her on several occasions. It seems that even through a mailed questionnaire, connections to respondents can become more than just a return address and a phone number. I feel indebted to the women in my study for their generosity o f time, words and kindness. Assisting them with job searches or at times advocating for them is one way by which I can 74  exchange and share resources with them.  5. 4 Summary and Illuminations Feminists state that the connection between the research project and the researcher's self frequently takes the form o f "starting with one's own experience" (Reinharz, 1992). Indeed, this research study began with my own experiences. In Chapter One, I described how this thesis grew out o f my own experiences. In Chapter Three, I discuss changes that I made as a result o f conducting the literature review and my self-reflection. Here, I would like to share with the reader what I have learned about myself through this study. I believe I wanted to write this thesis because o f my own experiences as an immigrant woman, a nurse, an E S L teacher and a nursing instructor in a long term care aide/ESL government sponsored program. I wanted to find out how the women felt about their immigrant experiences and their struggles for a better life. But my own "insiderness" did not prepare me for the issues that surfaced. In the interview process, the women seemed very accommodating and willing to be interviewed by their former "teacher". In some cases, I went to their homes. I felt that this environment would make them feel more comfortable. However, later on I realized that the women would go through a great deal o f trouble to make me feel comfortable. Some women cleaned their homes, got themselves dressed in their best outfits and had prepared sumptuous meals for me. In one particular case, my student had gathered her entire family to meet me. I was overwhelmed and deeply humbled. With some women, they preferred to meet at public spaces such a coffee shop, because they felt that their homes were "no good", as one respondent said. A problem with this was the noise level while trying to tape the interview. However, I was able to purchase a sensitive tape recorder that would filter noise. Finally, there was the issue o f child care. Three o f the women I interviewed had their small children with them while I interviewed them. A t times, all o f us were playing, then doing the 75  interview and then playing again. These issues appeared not to be mentioned in any great length in the literature, including feminist literature. I believe that it is important for any researcher to examine the possible power dynamics between themselves and the respondents (Reinharz, 1992). In the case o f working with immigrant women, the researcher needs to make sure that the actual process o f research is equitable and sensitive to the women's needs.  In the future, we may need to think o f an  equitable space for interviewing that is neutral and comfortable for the respondents. It may be their homes for some, but not for others. Also, in larger scale studies, child care may need to be provided. The women that took part in the interviews were willing to explain their realities and trusted that I would present them fairly. The presentation o f their lives in their own voices was the key implication o f this study. M y journey was about trying to understand and learn how I could best present the women's voices. I realized that in order to present their voices, I had to understand and present my own voice as a researcher. I have had to learn where to place myself and how much o f myself I am confident and comfortable enough to give. I believe that letting one's voice emerge is an on-going process and thus, my journey has just begun. This study is a perspective on the experiences o f immigrant women who have taken an E S L / L T C A course. The questionnaire could have asked more specific questions about their employment and language use. F o r example, it may have asked them for their experiences working with clients that speak the same language. The interview sample was a limited one and the findings reflect only the experiences o f the six women I interviewed. Issues related to barriers and personal concerns such as child care may be different with other women. The themes need to be considered within this context. Lastly, I would like to go back to the question o f finding voice. I have found in the process o f writing this paper, that finding one's own voice within a study is a challenging task. Part o f my journey, has been to try to set my voice free. But, I continue to struggle to express it 76  clearly in this paper. Theme 4 in the findings was "Advice to Other Immigrant Women". I would like to use this theme and give advice to other novice researchers.  I would like to say that the researcher  needs to learn from, not about, the women she or he is studying. The researcher needs to look within herself/himself before researching "the other". However, looking within and finding one's voice may prove to be more difficult than it seems.  5. 5 Epilogue Alice Walker (1983) tells o f her own experiences while searching for her garden o f knowledge. She says: In my development as a human being and as a writer I have been, it seems to me, extremely blessed, even while complaining. Wherever I have knocked, a door has opened. Wherever I have wandered, a path has appeared. I have been helped, supported, encouraged, and nurtured by people o f all races, creeds, colors and dream; and I have, to the best o f my ability, returned help, support, encouragement and nurture (p. 18). I feel very fortunate that I was able to share with the reader these women's words. The women I interviewed, in particular, helped me search for my own garden o f understanding. From this journey, I have learned and grown. Wherever I knocked, my former students and my professors responded. Wherever I wandered, a path appeared. I was helped, supported and encouraged and nurtured by women o f all races, creeds, colors and dreams. These women helped me find my own voice and for that, I am very grateful. I hope that this growing, learning, receiving and passing on will continue on in my life (Walker, 1983).  77  REFERENCES Aguilar, M . , & Williams, L . (1993). Factors contributing to the success and achievement o f minority women. A F F H . I A . 8 . 410-424. Alfred, D . , & Wakefield, J. (1991). Labour market paper: Visible minorities. Employment and Immigration Canada. Economic Services Branch: B . C / Y u k o n Territory Region. Applebaum, S.D. (1984). English in the workplace: a dual process. T E S L T A L K , 3-7. Battrum, D . (1988). Combining vocational and English as a second language training: A report on a unique project for adult learners. C . V . A / A . C . F . P . Journal, 24, 7-8. Belfiore, M . E . , & Burnaby, B . (1984). Teaching English in the workplace. Agincourt, O N : OISE. 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(1993). The E S L community and the changing world o f work. T E S L T a l k 21, 57-64 Guba, E . G . , & Lincoln, Y . S . (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. N e w Y o r k : Sage. Harper, H . , Peirce, B . , & Burnaby, B . ( 1996). English-in-the workplace for garment workers: a feminist project?. Gender and Education, 8, 5-19.  79  House, E . (1994). The future perfect o f evaluation. Evaluation Practice, 15, 239-247. Hitchcock, G . , & Hughes, D . (1995). Research and the teacher: A qualitative introduction to school-based research. (2nd ed.). N e w Y o r k : Routledge. Hueftle , S., Duhon-Sells, R . M . , Olson, R . A . , & Patton, M . Q . (1992) Voices in the design and evaluation o f a multicultural education program: A developmental approach. In A . Madison (Ed.) , N e w directions for program evaluation (pp. 17-33). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Isserlis, J. (1991). Workplace literacy programs for normative English speakers. Washington, D C : National Clearinghouse for E S L Literacy Education ( E D 334874). Kvale, S. (1996). Interviews: A n introduction to qualitative research interviewing. N e w Y o r k : Sage. Madison, A . (1992). Primary inclusion o f culturally diverse minority program participants in the evaluation process. In A . Madison (Ed.) , N e w directions for program evaluation (pp.3543). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Mertens, D . , Farley, J., Madison, A . , & Singleton, P. (1994). Diverse voices in evaluation practice: feminists, minorities and persons with disabilities. Evaluation Practice, 15, 123-129. McGroarty, M . (1992). Second language instruction in the workplace. Annual Review o f Applied Linguistics, 13, 86-108. McGroarty, M . , & Scott, S (1993). Workplace E S L instruction: varieties and constraints. Washington, D C : National Clearinghouse for E S L Literacy Education. ( E D R S N o . E D 367 190) Nelson, P. (1992). Lower Mainland multicultural education project. Social Planning and Research Council o f B . C . Nunan, D . (1992). Research methods in language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lather, P.(1991). Getting smart: Feminist research and pedagogy with/in the postmodern. N e w Y o r k : Routledge. Lincoln, Y . (1994). Tracks toward a postmodern politics o f evaluation. Evaluation Practice, 15, 299-309. Lincoln, S., & Guba, E . (1994). R S V P : we are pleased to accept your invitation. Evaluation Practice, 15 179-92 :  80  Lynch, B . K . (1990). A context-adaptive model for program evaluation. T E S O L Quarterly, 2 4 23-41 Lynch, B . K . (1992). Evaluating a program inside and out. In J.C. Alderson & A . Beretta ( E d s ) , Evaluating second language education (pp.61-92). N e w Y o r k : Cambridge University Press. Patton, Q. (1989). H o w to use qualitative methods in evaluation. Beverly Hills, C A : Sage. Patton, Q. (1994). Developmental evaluation. Evaluation Practice, 15, 311-319. Pharness, G . (1991). A learner-centered worker education program. Washington, D C : National Clearinghouse for E S L Literacy Education ( E D 334872). Peirce, B . N . (1994). Language learning, social identity, and immigrant women. Paper presented at the 28th Annual Meeting o f the Teachers o f English to Speakers o f Other Languages, Baltimore, M D . ( E D 373 582) Reinharz, S. (1992). Feminist methods in social research. N e w Y o r k : Oxford University Press Rethinking training: meeting women's needs. (1994, May). The F/P/T joint working group o f status o f women and labour market official on education and training. British Columbia. Rockhill, K (1992). Literacy as threat/desire: Longing to be somebody. In B . Burnaby & A . Cumming (Eds.), Socio-political aspects o f E S L (pp.333-349). Toronto: O I S E . Rosenblum, S. (1996). Union-sponsored workplace E S L instruction. Washington, D C : National Clearinghouse for E S L Literacy Education (EDO-LE-96-03). Sanguinetti, J. (1993). Women, "empowerment and E S L : A n d exploration o f critical and feminist pedagogies. Prospect, 8, 9-37. Schumacher, S., & M c M i l l a n , J . H . (1993). Research in education: A conceptual introduction (3rd ed.). N e w Y o r k : Harper Collins.  Silverman, D . (1993). Interpreting qualitative data: Methods for analyzing talk, text and interaction. Thousand Oaks, C A : Sage.  81  Snow, M . A . , & Brinton, D . M . (1988). Content-based language instruction: Investigating the effectiveness o f the adjunct model. T E S O L Quarterly. 22 (4), 553-574. Stake, R E . (1994). Case studies. I n K . D e n z i n & Y . S . Lincoln ( E d s . ) , Handbook o f qualitative research (pp.236-247). Thousand Oaks, C A : Sage. Stufflembeam, D . (1994). Empowerment evaluation, objectivist evaluation, and evaluation o f standards: where the future o f evaluation should not go and where it needs to go. Evaluation Practice, 15 321-338. r  Svendsen, C , & Krebs, K . (1984). Identifying English for the job: examples from health care occupations. The E S P Journal^, 153-164. Talmage, H . (1982). Evaluation o f programs. In H . E . Mitzel (Ed.), Encyclopedia o f educational research (5th ed.) (pp. 595-610). N e w Y o r k : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Torjman, S. (1988). The reality gap: Closing the gap between women's needs and available programs and services. A background paper prepared for the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status o f Women. Vivian, S. (1984). E S P for nursing assistants and home health workers. E S P Journal, 3, 165-70 Walker, A . (1983). In search for our mothers' gardens. N e w Y o r k : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Wallerstein, N . (1983). Language and culture in conflict: Problem-posing in the E S L classroom. Menlo Park, C A : Addison-Wesley. West, L . (1984). Needs assessment in occupation-specific V E S L or how to decide what to teach. The E S P Journal.3. 143-152. Widdowson, H . (1983). Learning purpose and language use. N e w Y o r k : Oxford University. Wismer, S. (1988). Women's education and training in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Congress on Learning Opportunities for Women.  82  APPENDIX I Letter of information  APPENDIX II Questionnaire  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax:(604) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2  ISS ESL Long Term Care Aide program graduate questionnaire: Demographic information: a.  Country of origin:  b.  Age of arrival in Canada  c.  Length of time in Canada_  d.  Education from country of origin  e.  Profession or occupation in country of origin  f.  Type of work on arrival  g.  How long did you take English language courses before entering the Long Term Care Aide/ESL program?  Questionnaire 1.  What were your reasons for applying to the Long Term Care Aide/ESL program (LTCA/ESL program)?  2.  What do you feel were the strengths of the LTCA/ESL program?  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: (604) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2  What do you feel were the weaknesses of the LTCA/ESL program?  What topics or areas would you have liked to have more practice and instruction in?  What do you feel were the strengths of the ESL class?  What do you feel were the weaknesses of the ESL class?  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: (604) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2  How much do you feel, your English has improved since you started the program? Circle one.  A lot  Very much  A little (Explain)  Stayed the same (Explain)  Do you think that your English improved as much as you would have liked? Circle one. Yes, it improved (Explain)  It improved enough (Explain)  more than I expected (Explain)  Do you feel that the English you were taught has been useful in your work at a long-term care facility? Circle one.  yes, a great deal  Some (Explain)  Not very much (Explain)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: (604) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2  Do you feel that the English you learnt has been useful in many different work situations? Circle one. Yes, definitely  Some (Explain)  Not very much (Explain)  What other topics, areas of training, workshops, etc. should be added to the English Language class?  Was there a balance between content specific English and English Grammar? Circle one.  Yes, definitely  Some (Explain)  No, not very much (Explain)  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: (604) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2  Did the English Language instructor connect the English Language class with the content taught in the Long Term Care Aide training class? Circle one.  Yes,definitely (Explain)  Some (Explain)  No, not very well (Explain)  What other comments would you like to share about the English Language Class?  What do you feel were the strengths of the Long Term Care Aide training class?  What do you feel were the weaknesses of the Long Term Care Aide training class?  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: (604) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2  What other topics, areas of training, health workshops, etc. should be added to the Long Term Care Aide component?  Did the Long Term Care Aide instructor help you understand the language and grammar involved in the lessons? Circle one Yes,definitely (Explain)  Some (Explain)  No, not very well (Explain)  What other comments would you like to share about the Long Term Care Aide training class?  At the present time, are you employed? Circle one. Yes/No  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: (604) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V.6T 1Z2  If the answer is yes, please continue with question #22. If the answer is no, please continue with question #29. 21.  At the present time, are you employed as a Long Term Care Aide? Circle one. Yes / No  If the answer is yes, please answer the following questions. If the answer is no, please go to question #25 22.  How long did it take you to find employment as a Long Term Care Aide?  23.  Do you feel that the Long Care Aide skills training class adequately prepared you for this job? Circle one.  Yes, definitely  Some (Explain)  No,not very much  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax:(604) 822-3154  Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road U B C , Vancouver, B . C . Canada V6T 1Z2  24.  Do you feel that the English language class adequately prepared you for this job? Circle one.  Yes, definitely  Some (Explain)  No,not very much (Explain)  25.  At the present time, are you employed in another area related to health? Circle one. Yes / No  26.  If yes , would you like to share which area/department you are employed in?  27.  If no, are you currently employed in another area not related to health? Circle one. Yes / No  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 212S Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: (604) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2 If yes, would you like to share what type of job you are employed in?  If you are not currently employed, could you offer your comments about how the LTCA/ESL program could have assisted you further with job hunting?  Do you have any other comments regarding the program or employment that you would like to share?  APPENDIX III Letter of consent for interviews  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B . C . Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: (604) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lr. Mall Road U B C , Vancouver, B . C . Canada V6T 1Z2  Participant letter of consent ( Interviewee) I have received your letter in which you explain the research study you are undertaking and have completed and mailed back to you the questionnaire. I completely understand what your research is about and I agree to provide information regarding my experiences as a student of and as graduatefromthe ISS Long Term Care Aide/ ESL program. I am aware that I can refuse to participate and that I can withdraw at any time, including any information that I may have shared. I am also aware that I will be able to view the videotapes and read a draft of the completed report to ensure that any information that I have shared has been accurately interpreted and recorded. I understand that my identity and any information shared will be kept completely confidential and that all videotapes and notes of the interview will be collected and safeguarded by the investigator of the study, Silvia Wilson. I will be able to view the videotape and read a transcription of the interview and will be able to make any changes and corrections or to withdraw the information all together at that time. Finally, I acknowledge that I have seen a copy of this consent form and that I have kept your letter for future reference. I  agree to being interviewed.  I  agree, to being videotaped.  Signature of the Participant (Interviewee) Name Date  97  

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