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The investigation of generative themes in E.S.L. needs assessment Millard, Ellen Joanne 1986-07-17

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THE INVESTIGATION OF GENERATIVE THEMES IN E.S.L. NEEDS ' ASSESSMENT by ELLEN JOANNE MILLARD B.A., University Of Victoria, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department Of English Education We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1986 © Ellen Joanne Millard, 1986 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the 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 this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of English Education The University of British Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date: October 15 1986 i i Abstract This thesis investigates the "generative theme" as the basis for adult ESL needs analysis and curriculum development. Generative themes consist of the relationship between an objective situation and the perceptions held of that situation by the people involved in it. They form the basis for program content in the pedagogical scheme of Brazilian adult literacy educator Paulo Freire. North American ESL practitioners, notably Nina Wallerstein, Deborah Barndt, and the Toronto ESL Core Group, have developed guidelines for ESL teachers to identify students themes and structure the content of lessons around them. However according to Freire, a full-scale interdisciplinary ethnographic study of the students' community is necessary in order to understand their themes. The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine whether an individual ESL teacher could come up with a thematic analysis that would fulfill Freire's criteria, through a participant-observation case study of an adult ESL class. The second purpose was to identify the themes of these particular students in order to gain some insights as to the relevance of generative themes for learning ESL. The students were four Punjabi-speaking immigrant women enrolled in a homefront volunteer tutor ESL program offered by the Candian Farmworkers Union. I taught the twice-weekly classes for five months, taped them and recorded observations, and then conducted a content-analysis of transcriptions of the tapes in order to identify and rank the topic areas of most and least interest to the students according to time spent discussing them. I then analyzed these topic areas qualitatively, according to whether or not they met Freire's criteria for generative themes. From this analysis several possible themes emerged. Students see their position in Canada as one of "strangers in a strange land. The "strangers" area represents all those aspects of the students' traditional culture which, while sources of affirmation and strength to them, are out of place and irrelevant in Candian society. The "strange land" is Canda and the system - including the English language, the medical and legal system, life in a big city - which is foreign, difficult, alienating and hostile. Bridging the gulf between these two, their main source of contact and therefore of tensions . between them, are the family and the language learning process. Curricular recommendations are that ESL content be focussed on family-related learning needs, and that the curriculum take the approach of affirming the cultural themes that are sources of strength and pride while attempting to lessen the ignorance and alienation which characterizes students' perceptions of Canadian society. Several observations are made regarding the feasibility of investigating generative themes for ESL. Some of the problems are logistical and can be addressed by changing the situation: a strategy to combine Freire's four-stage team approach with the parameters of the classroom setting is proposed. Others, such as the difficulty of conducting 'dialogue' in one-word phrases, i v and the conflict of roles and agenda between the teaching and research aspects of the investigation, are inherent in the attempt to apply Freire's pedagogy to ESL. This attempt is worthwhile and important, however, because this approach is one of the few that takes into account learners' social context in the organization of curriculum, and that acknowledges the relationship between language learning and power in their lives. V Table of Contents Abstract ii List of Tables viList of Figures viiAcknowledgement x Chapter I INTRODUCTION 1 THE PEDAGOGY OF PAULO FREIRE 5 GENERATIVE THEMES 9 Chapter II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 12 FREIRE'S GENERATIVE THEME INVESTIGATION 13 CLASSROOM THEMATIC INVESTIGATIONS 16 PROGRAM CONTENT OF THE FARMWORKERS ESL CRUSADE 26 STUDIES OF THE PUNJABI COMMUNITY IN VANCOUVER 32 Chapter III CONTEXT OF THE INVESTIGATION 38 THE PUNJABI COMMUNITY IN VANCOUVER 3FARMWORK 42 THE ESL CRUSADE 6 STUDENT PROFILES 49 Chapter IV THE PROCEDURE OF THEMATIC INVESTIGATION 56 GENERATIVE THEME INVESTIGATION AND EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 57 CHRONOLOGY OF THE INVESTIGATION 59 CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES FOR REVEALING THEMES 65 OBSERVATION STRATEGIES 68 PROBLEMS AND ISSUES IN THEMATIC INVESTIGATION 72 vi Chapter V PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS 83 DATA ANALYSIS 8TOPIC AREA INTER-RELATIONSHIPS 93 FOOD 94 WORK 6 PHONE 8 DATA IN TERMS OF FREIRIAN CRITERIA FOR THEMES 99 SOURCES OF FEAR 100 SOURCES OF STRENGTH 6 THE TIE THAT BINDS 110 SOURCES OF TENSION 5 STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND 120 Chapter VI CONCLUSIONS 124 SUMMARY OF STUDY AND FINDINGS 125 THE INVESTIGATION 12A STRATEGY FOR INVESTIGATING GENERATIVE THEMES FOR ESL 1 27 THE THEMES 129 A THEMATIC ESL CURRICULUM 131 ISSUES IN FREIRIAN ESL TEACHING AND RESEARCH 132 DIALOGUE IN ONE-WORD PHRASES 13ROLE CONFLICTS IN THEMATIC INVESTIGATION 136 LANGUAGE LEARNING IN A SOCIAL CONTEXT 139 LANGUAGE LEARNING AND POWER 141 BIBLIOGRAPHY ^ 145 VI 1 List of Tables Ranking Results VI 1 1 List of Figures Strangers in a Strange Land ix Acknowledgement The primary credit for the work in this thesis belongs to the four students of my Farmworkers ESL Crusade class: to their honesty, energy, warmhearted generosity, and faith in me. The people on the staff and executive of the Canadian Farmworkers Union also contributed a great deal to my understanding of the Punjabi farmworker community in Vancouver. Thanks for help in the development of ideas to David Jackson and Sybil Faigin, and to them and all my friends and family for listening patiently to my complaints and frustrations. My particular thanks to Dr. Bernard Mohan, my advisor, for his help and moral support throughout. 1 I. INTRODUCTION This thesis investigates the "generative theme" as the basis for adult ESL program content. Generative themes are part of the pedagogical approach of Paulo Freire, the Brazilian literacy educator whose writings on liberatory education have had considerable impact both in the third world and among teachers of minority groups, immigrants and illiterate adults in richer nations. Freire describes the place of generative themes in needs analysis and curriculum development as follows: It is to the reality which mediates men, and to the perception of that reality held by educators and people, that we must go to find the program content of education. The investigation of what I have termed the people's 'thematic universe' - the complex of their 'generative themes' - inaugurates ... education as the practice of freedom. The object of the investigation is ... the thought-language with which men refer to reality, the levels at which they perceive that reality , and their view of the world, in which their generative themes are found. (1970:86) In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire outlines a procedure for the investigation of the generative themes of a community for which an educational program is being planned. A few North American ESL practitioners have adapted Freire's procedure for use by individual ESL teachers. There is a striking difference between the full-scale interdisciplinary ethnographic study described by Freire and the straightforward classroom and observational activities that constitute these adaptations. In some respects it seems doubtful if an individual ESL teacher 2 following these procedures could possibly arrive at an analysis of the depth and detail that Freire describes as necessary in order to build a curriculum on peoples' generative themes. It is possible that the limitations of these adaptations to the generative theme investigation are indicative of more general difficulties in applying Freire to the Canadian ESL situation. The focus of my research was to examine the feasibility of investigating generative themes in the ESL classroom. The context was a Freire-style ESL program for Punjabi-speaking farmworkers operated by the Canadian Farmworkers Union. I used a participant-observation case study methodology; the 'case' was my class of four women. In addition to compiling field notes on the process of the investigation, I taped our twice-weekly ESL classes over a period of five months, and carried out a content analysis on transcriptions of the tapes. I then analyzed the results of this analysis in terms of Freire's criteria for generative themes, and came up with a curriculum model based on them. Thus the investigation had a double thrust. The procedural thrust was to examine thematic investigation in the ESL classroom. The substantive objective was an analysis of the generative themes revealed by the investigation, and an identification of important issues affecting the practical adaptation of Freire's theory to the Canadian ESL context. ESL programs claiming to operate from a specifically Freirian standpoint are rare in Canada. The investigation of generative themes as a means of needs analysis, and the planning 3 of program content and curriculum according to them, are not common even in these programs. Empirical studies examining the practical issues of adapting Freire to the Canadian ESL context are virtually non-existent. This study is therefore very exploratory in nature. Comments are made on the feasibility of classroom thematic investigation and of structuring ESL curricula according to generative themes; I believe that these are relevant not only to Freirian programs but to the area of adult ESL needs analysis and curriculum development in general. I anticipate, however, that the primary usefulness of this study will be to raise questions, explore issues, and suggest directions for further research on the development of practical applications of Freirian pedagogy. The purpose of the study was not to present one case as a test of the relevance of Freire's model to ESL, but to investigate the issues surrounding the practical application of the needs assessment portion of it within a program where its relevance is assumed. The thesis begins with a brief description of the key ingredients of Freire's pedagogy, especially his definiton of and criteria for generative themes. Chapter II presents Freire's thematic investigation procedure and ESL classroom adaptations of it. Also in this chapter are described the original needs analysis and curriculum development of the Farmworkers ESL Crusade. Some of the key issues in applying Freire to ESL, as raised and addressed by Freire himself in a visit to the C.F.U. office, are presented. The chapter concludes with a brief review of anthropological studies of the 4 Punjabi community in Vancouver, the student group served by the Crusade. Chapter III presents the historical, cultural and political context in which the thematic investigation took place. It describes the oppressive conditions of farmwork in the Fraser Valley, gives a brief history of the Canadian Farmworkers Union, and outlines the operating structure of the ESL Crusade for the year in which my research took place. It concludes with brief profiles of the four farmworker women who comprised my class. Chapter IV describes and discusses the procedure of the investigation in terms of the teaching and observational activities that were most and least successful for revealing generative themes, and in terms of the logistical difficulties inherent in ESL classroom thematic investigation. This in turn raises issues pertaining to the comaptibility of Freire and ESL. In Chapter V, the substantive results are presented. Topic areas identified from a content analysis of the taped data are evaluated in terms of their relationship to Freire's criteria for generative themes. Several theme areas are identified, and a possible analysis of the students' "minimum thematic universe" as it relates to learning English is presented. In Chapter VI both procedural and substantive results are summarized. A proposal is presented for a generative theme investigation that would combine Freire's team approach with the demands of the ESL teaching situation. Suggestions for the development of a curriculum based on the thematic information revealed by the study are also presented. The chapter concludes 5 with a discussion of some teaching and research issues affecting ESL generative theme investigation, the development of thematic curricula, and the practical application of Freire's pedagogy in a Canadian ESL context. THE PEDAGOGY OF PAULO FREIRE A detailed critique of Freire's approach to education is outside the scope of this paper. I will, however, outline its key ingredients in order to provide a context for the discussion of generative themes which follows. Freire's philosophy is presented in his books Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970), Education for Critical Consciousness (1973), Pedagogy in Process (1978), and The Politics of Education (1985). His most complete statement of the importance and role of generative themes is contained in Chapter 3 of Pedagogy of the Oppressed; this will be my central point of reference. Freire's central tenet is that education is not politically neutral. It works to the advantage either of the oppressors or of the oppressed. If it is to serve the latter, it must do so by equipping them with the analytical, linguistic and practical tools to perceive, name and change the situations which limit their power over their lives. Social change (not excluding political revolution) is thus the ultimate goal of a Freirian educational program. This will be legitimate only if accomplished as a result of the "conscientization" of the oppressed. 6 Conscientization is the awakening of a critical awareness of society and one's situation in it, through analysis of specific problems. It is the process whereby oppressed people move from naieve or "magic" consciousness "characterized by fatalism, which leads men to fold their arms, resigned to the impossibility of resisting the power of facts," to critical consciousness, which is characterized by objective analysis of cause and effect, and awareness of one's power to intervene in history (Freire, 1973:44). Freire's teaching approach is determined by his epistemology. This is "dialogue," which he defines as "a horizontal relationship between persons ... who are engaged in a joint search" (Ibid.:45) Knowledge does not exist as a commodity which can be passsed down from teacher to students, but is created as the result of the mutual reflection and critical thought of teacher and students directed toward a third object. Authentic education is not carried on by 'A' for 'B' or by 'A' about 'B,' but rather by 'A' with 'B,' mediated by the world - a world which impresses and challenges both parties, giving rise to views or opinions about it. These views, impregnated with anxieties, doubt, hopes, or hopelessness, imply significant themes on the basis of which the program content of education can be built. (1970:82) Freire contrasts this dialogical model to "the banking concept of education, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor" (1970:58). Whereas dialogical education trains people to think for themselves, banking education is an effective means of social control: It follows logically from the banking notion 7 of consciousness that the educator's role is to regulate the way the world 'enters into' the students. His task is to ... 'fill' the students by making deposits of information which he considers to constitute true knowledge. And since men 'receive' the world as passive entitities, education should make them more passive still, and adapt them, to the world... Translated into practice, this concept is well suited to the purposes of the oppressors, whose tranquility rests on how well men fit the world the oppressors have created, and how little they question it. (1970:62-63) The methodology by which dialogical education challenges the banking model and effects the awakening of critical consciousness in the oppressed is "problem-posing." The starting point for organizing the program content of education or political action must be the present, existential, concrete situation, reflecting the aspirations of the people. Utilizing certain basic contradictions, we must pose this existential, concrete, present situation to the people as a problem which challenges them and requires a response -not just at the intellectual level, but at the level of action. (1970:85) Problems are presented to the people in the form of "codifications." These can be visual, oral or dramatic representations of contradictions and problems inherent in everyday situations. They must be easily recognizable, "neither overly explicit nor overly engimatic," and they should illustrate connections between the situation being examined and other situations in students' lives. The process by which they are analyzed is called "decoding." In the process of decoding, the participants ... begin to see how they themselves acted while actually experiencing the situation they are now analyzing, and thus reach a 'perception of their previous perception.' 8 By achieving this awareness, they come to perceive reality differently ... [thus] decoding stimulates the appearance of a new perception and the development of new knowledge. (1970:108) Freire does not specify any particular questioning strategy for the leader of a problem-posing discussion other than that "the co-ordinator must not only listen to the individuals but must challenge them, posing as problems both the codified existential situation and their own answers" (1970:110). However Nina Wallerstein, whose thematic investigation work is reviewed in the next chapter, has developed a five-step inductive problem-posing questioning procedure for use by ESL teachers. This begins with description of the content and feelings represented in the code. The next step is to define the central problem and related issues. The third step is for students to personalize the problem by comparing the code situation to their experience. The fourth step is analysis of why that problem exists, locating it within the larger historical-cultural perspective. The last step is to identify actions that, however small, can be steps towards addressing the problem (Wallerstein, 1983:20-21). The situations that are depicted in these codifications, the relationships between them, and how and in what order they are presented for decoding are determined according to the peoples' generative themes. In contrast with the antidialogical and non-communicative 'deposits' of the banking method of education, the program content of the problem-posing method - dialogical par excellence - is constituted and organized by the students' view of the world, where their 9 own generative themes are found. (1970:10.1) GENERATIVE THEMES Freire defines generative themes and defends their existence with reference to his analysis of peoples' interaction with the world, which is conditioned by either an 'oppressed' attitude of adaptation and fatalism or a 'liberated' attitude of critical, active engagement. The concept of the generative theme is neither an arbitrary invention nor a working hypothesis to be proved. ... Although an attitude of critical doubt is legitimate, it does appear possible to verify the reality of the generative theme ... through critical reflection on the men-world relationship and on the relationships between men. The generative theme cannot be found in men, divorced from reality, nor yet in reality, divorced from men; much less in 'no man's land.' It can only be apprehended in the men-world relationship. To investigate the generative theme is to investigate man's thinking about reality and man's action upon reality. (1970:86-87,97) Thus generative themes are essentially two-dimensional, consisting of an objective situation and the perception of that situation held by the people involved in it. There are four important criteria for generative themes. The first is that they "exist ... with reference to concrete facts" (1970:97). These facts of everyday life are usually expressed in "limit situations" which hinder oppressed people from perceiving or exercising their ability to act in order to change their conditions. Limit situations are specific to the problems and challenges of specific societies. Thus generative 10 themes are grounded in a particular historical and cultural context. The same situation, however, can be perceived quite differently by different people, or by the same people over a period of time. The second key characteristic of a generative theme, therefore, is the peoples' "awareness of that situation -the various levels of perception of themselves and of the world in which and with which they exist" (1970:84). Through the methodology of problem-posing, conscientization occurs as the people reflect critically on these situations and on their perceptions of them. Only as this situation ceases to present itself as a dense, enveloping reality or a tormenting blind alley, and men can come to perceive it as an objective-problematic situation - only then can ... [they] emerge from their submersion and acquire the ability to intervene in reality as it is unveiled. (1970:100) Conscientization leads to action; the third key component of a generative theme is that of an implicit, though perhaps unrecognized, task. The potential for social change is thus present in every theme as "an untested feasibility" (1970:92). The fourth essential characteristic of generative themes is that they generate others; that "however they are comprehended and whatever action they may evoke, ... they contain the possibility of unfolding into again as many themes, which in their turn call for new tasks to be fulfilled" (I970:92n). It is important that people come to recognize how the various elements of their lives interact. When men lack a critical understanding of 11 their reality, apprehending it in fragments which they do not perceive as interacting constituent elements of the whole, they cannot truly know that reality ... Equally appropriate for the methodology of thematic investigation and for problem-posing education is this effort to present significant dimensions of an individual's contextual reality, the analysis of which will make it possible for him to recognize the interaction of the various components. (1970:94-95). Generative themes thus consist of four key elements: 1) An objective historical reality as represented in limit-situations 2) The peoples' perception of these situations 3) The tasks implied by the limit-situations 4) A connection to other themes. The methodology by which a people's generative themes are investigated must be as dialogical as the teaching approach of the program of which they will constitute the content, for: "education and thematic investigation, in the problem-posing concept of education, are simply different moments of the same process." (1970:101) The next chapter describes Freire's recommended procedure for generative theme investigation, and the various adjustments that have been made to it in order to adapt it to an ESL context. 1 2 II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE While it may be assumed that many educators trying to adapt Freire's pedagogy to their practice have used some systematic means of identifying the generative themes of their students, few have documented their efforts. Thus, it is possible to review the scant literature on the topic fairly exhaustively. In this chapter, Freire's program for thematic investigation is described first. Accounts of teachers' adaptations of it follow, moving from a college upgrading class for women in the Bahamas, to a community ESL program in San Francisco, to workplace ESL classes for immigrant women in Toronto. Finally, although it was not actually a generative theme investigation, the needs assessment and curriculum development of the Canadian Farmworkers ESL Crusade are described. Part II of this chapter lists and briefly describes various studies on the Punjabi community in Vancouver. These are mostly the work of anthropologists interested in ethnicity and the adaptation strategies of immigrant groups. I consulted them only after I had conducted my own investigation, as an indicator of the reliability of my findings; they are discussed in further detail in Chapters III and V. The studies are concerned with two main issues: the relationship of the Punjabi community to Canadian society, and the effect of immigration on social 1 3 institutions, especially the family and religion.1 FREIRE'S GENERATIVE THEME INVESTIGATION In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire describes in some detail the process of a four stage generative theme investigation by an interdisciplinary team. By way of introduction, he states some important considerations and parameters for the research. First, it is essential that the people whose themes are under investigation be fully informed, actively involved participants, so that the needs analysis itself may be "a starting point for the educational process or for cultural action of a liberating character" (98). Freire warns repeatedly against the danger of "shifting the focus of the investigation from the meaningful themes to the people 1There is considerable variation in terminology referring to this community. In the 1970's, the common term was "East Indian." A feeling that this is incorrect and racist, and that it masks the differences between all the "East Indian" cultures, has led some to use the term "Sikh" when referring to the group that makes up the largest proportion of the "East Indian" community. Two recent terms are "Indo-Canadian" and "South Asian", which refer to all persons of origin in India but lack the pejorative connotations that "East Indian" has taken on in some circles. More radical elements in the community, including the CFU leadership, reject both these terms as euphemistic and bourgeois. They prefer the old term "East Indian," because they are not religious and do not wish to be identified as "Sikhs." Throughout this paper I shall use the term that my students use to refer to themselves and their people: "Punjabi." Even though strictly speaking this is a linguistic and not an "ethnic" marker, it is useful in the Vancouver context to refer to both religious and non-religious "Sikhs," and to distinguish them from Ismailis, Fijians, Hindus and other "East Indians." Because it is the most familiar term I will use "East Indian" to refer to all immigrants from India as a group. In reviewing the studies on the community, I have retained whatever term the authors used. 1 4 themselves, thereby treating the people as objects of the investigation" rather than co-investigators (99). He also cautions that following a pre-determined itinerary for the investigation will yield a result that reflects the investigator's, not the people's, view of reality. Finally, there is thedanger of missing the forest for the trees. This can be averted by building in to the investigation "a concern for the links between themes, a concern to pose these themes as problems, and a concern for their historical-cultural context" (98-99). In the first stage, investigators observe the community in a wide variety of everyday activities, make and compare notes, and observe again. They also use data provided by key informants, volunteers from within the community. Their, aim at this stage is to "regard the area as a totality, and visit upon visit ... to 'split' it by analyzing the partial dimensions with impress them ... [to] expand their understanding of how the various parts interact" (103). At the end of this stage the investigators will have a basic understanding of the complex of issues and situations important to the people. However, this "does not authorize them to begin to structure the program content ... This perception of reality is still their own, not that of the people" (106). The second stage attempts to get at the people's perception of their reality. The investigators' hunches about the peoples' themes are now developed into codifications. Each of these must present a familiar situation in such a manner that the 15 contradictions and problems implicit within it are neither too obvious nor too obscure, and that discussion, or "decoding" of it will lead into other related themes. In the third stage, these codes are re-presented to the people for their analysis and input. This is done in discussion groups which are taped, and observed by a psychologist and a sociologist. The important thing to note in this stage is what the people see in the codes, which may not necessarily be what the person who prepared them intended. Freire cites the example of a group of tenement residents identifying positively with an alchoholic, whom they perceived to be a decent worker with a lot of worries who drinks to escape his hard lot. For them he was a manifestation of virtue, not vice as the presenter had intended (111-112). Thus during this stage, the accuracy of the investigators' interpretation of the peoples' themes is determined. The fourth and final stage consists of an exhaustive interdisciplinary study of the complex of themes that have been identified. Investigators representing the various social sciences each take a theme and break it down, suggesting units and sequencing, and then all meet to compare and amend. At this stage other themes, if deemed necessary for continuity or to illustrate general relationships between themes, may be added by the investigators. Finally, all the themes are re-codified and the didactic material prepared. Unfortunately, Freire was not able to carry out this process. It was part of his plan for the post-literacy stage of 16 his National Literacy Program in Brazil, which was terminated by the 1964 coup that also forced him into exile. Nor do there exist specific accounts of subsequent attempts to implement it. An investigation on this scale is only possible with considerable resources of expertise and funding. By contrast, Freire-style programs in North America tend to be perpetually under-funded and under-staffed. Also, many Freire-style educators work within already-established programs and institutions with their own needs analyses and curricula. The problem then becomes how to structure a course or program content according to students' generative themes, when the only available investigator (aside from perhaps the students) is the classroom teacher. In the following attempts to adapt Freire's process sustantial changes in methodology have been made, but the basic approach of observation-discussion, testing of interpretations via codifications, and re-developing of materials have been maintained. These accounts are described in terms of their setting, operating definition of "generative themes," investigation procedure, and thematic curriculum. CLASSROOM THEMATIC INVESTIGATIONS Nan Elsasser and Kyle Fiore (1982) report on the implementation of a Freire style approach to college English upgrading in a class of women community college students in the Bahamas. After briefly reviewing Freire's definition of 1 7 generative themes and investigation procedure, Elsasser describes her own: A stranger, unaccompanied by a 'literacy team,' I can't follow Freire's advice, and in my ignorance I turn to my students for help. We discuss generative themes, and they each select three issues from their daily lives that they would like to talk, read and write about for the semester ... We debate them briefly and we vote, picking marriage for their generative theme. (p. 120) The main theme was divided into the subtopics of housework, divorce, sexuality and domestic violence. The procedure for further investigation was to have a group discussion resulting in a consensus on a thesis statement, and the collective development of an essay outline. In the end, the students co-authored an open letter to Bahamian men presenting their complaints. This was published in both Nassau daily papers. Elsasser's students were all native English speakers studying college-entry level composition. They shared the same cultural and socio-economic background. Thus a great deal of discussion was possible, and Elsasser could simply explain the approach and 'just ask' the students about their themes. This is often much more difficult in an ESL setting, which may involve students at different levels of English and from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, all of which may differ from that of the instructor. Thus, further adjustments to the generative theme investigation must be made. In North America, a great deal of work in this area has been done by Nina Wallerstein and Pia Moriarty (Moriarty & Wallerstein, 1979, 1980; Wallerstein, 1983, 1984). They have 18 elaborated a Freire-style approach to ESL which includes three phases: 1) "Listening", 2) "Dialogue", and 3) "Action" (Moriarty & Wallerstein, 1979: Wallerstein, 1983). Investigation of generative themes is part of the "listening" stage. Generative themes are referred to as: "the key concerns of students" (Wallerstein, 1983), "the social situations that students define as problems in their daily lives," and students' "own experience and the larger patterns it is part of" (Moriarty ScWallerstein, 1979). "Listening" for generative themes can occur both before and during the course of classes. It involves "employing observational skills with a systematic approach similar to anthropological fieldwork" to the classroom, the community, and the students' culture (Wallerstein, 1983). Specific suggestions for things to look for and class activities useful for getting at generative themes are provided in Language and Culture in  Conflict, (Wallerstein, 1983) and in "Student/Teacher/Learner: A Freire approach to ABE/ESL" (Moriarty & Wallerstein, 1979). These are discussed in more detail in Chapter IV. Development of codes based on these observations, and testing and revising them in discussion with students, are also part of the listening process. This work cannot be done alone, nor will it be completed all at once. The process develops by constant interaction with students, incorporating teacher observations into curriculum units which the students can learn from and correct for accuracy. In this way, students articulate their own experiences in English at the same time as teachers re-evaluate their own perceptions. (Moriarty & Wallerstein, 1979:198) 19 In 1973, Wallerstein participated in a thematic investigation in San Jose, California. A team of community educators and local residents spent two months observing an Hispanic community, interviewing officials, and talking extensively with key informants. An ESL class was one result of this; others were church, women's and community groups. The thematic teaching units that arose from the San Jose project and from other experience are presented in Language and Culture in  Conflict(1983). The themes are organized according to eight units, each divided into subtopics with codes, problem-posing questions, and language activities. The eight units are: Autobiography, Family, Culture and Conflict, Neighborhoods, Immigration, Health, Work and Money. They contain straightforward information such as how to phone a medical clinic or ask for directions, but also deal with how students feel about not understanding when their children speak English, leaving their relatives in the homeland, or stress at work. They are meant to be adapted by other ESL teachers to address similar issues that have come up in their classes. In the Canadian context, the units and lessons in Language  and Culture in Conflict are useful mainly as examples. A thematic curiculum must be rooted in a real historical context, and thus many specifics of the themes in Language and Culture in  Conf1ict are unique to the particular immigrant groups, social and legal system, and geography of the United States. However, a substantial amount of work on classroom investigation of generative themes has been done in Canada. The Participatory 20 Research Group, an international agency with its Canadian office in Toronto, has been instrumental in inspiring and publishing accounts of many of these projects. The Toronto ESL Core Group has also produced a thematic ESL curriculum. The term "participatory research" merits definition. It is a procedure similar to the first phase of Freire's generative theme investigation, though not necessarily connected to an educational program. Budd Hall (1984) describes the characteristics of participatory research which distinguish it from other kinds of anthropological methodology. Most importantly, participatory research is explicitly directed toward social change. Its focus is a problem identified by members of a community of oppressed, exploited or marginalized people. Research is a collective analysis of the identified problem and should lead to "a greater awareness in the people of their own resources and mobilize them for self-reliant development" (p.20). The 'outside' researcher acts as a facilitator of this process. He or she must be committed to the people and militant about the issues under investigation, rather than objective and detached. Hall also discusses some difficulties and contradictions that have been encountered by participatory researchers. Those most relevant to ESL include the role of the outside researcher as participant versus expert (this is especially complicated when participants expect the researcher to act as an expert); and the problem of how collective a research process can be when the participants have to engage in a substantial degree of new 21 learning. Some of these issues emerged in the experiences of Toronto ESL teachers attempting to engage in participatory research to . One focus of the Toronto partipatory research work in ESL has been collective materials development. Thus several 'thematic' curriculum products have emerged. Deborah Barndt has chronicled the process behind many of these products (Barndt 1982a, 1982b, 1983, marino and Barndt). Other accounts have been published by Kathleen Sullivan and Jean Unda (Sullivan & Unda 1982, Unda 1984). In none of these is the term "generative theme" used. Rather, the authors refer to "problems of vital importance to participants" (Barndt, 1978:4), students' "felt need" (Sullivan & Unda:46), and their "common home and work experiences" (Barndt, 1981:27). In Just Getting There (1982), Barndt describes three classroom thematic investigation activities. One is the collective writing of a song about the power structures in the garment industry, from the point of view of a worker who loses pay on the piece-rate system every time her machine breaks down. This was a common occurrence for students in Barndt's workplace ESL class, and the song arose out of classroom discussions about the frustration of the experience. Similarly, out of classroom discussions of media images of women, the same class decided to produce a story showing what women's lives are really like. The teacher photographed one student cooking dinner for her family. The class arranged the photos in order, and furthered the story by adding an argument between husband, wife and children over 22 who was going to help with the dishes. The third activity originated outside the classroom, in response to a request for materials from the coordinators of a job preparation course for immigrant women. A working team was organized, consisting of a graduate of the Making Changes course, four women from an ESL class who had indicated an interest in making photostories and four community educators. .. The general theme was to be 'looking for work,' but at that point we didn't know the problems these women had faced. So we asked them to talk about looking for work, and we recorded what they said. As the stories unfolded, the women began to see common elements. The accounts of two women in particular stood out, in a way that all of us understood immediately. These two stories described the difficulties, both logistically and emotionally, of just getting to work or an interview. (Barndt, 1982:19) What resulted were two photostories re-enacting the problems of getting lost on the subway and generally of navigating the big city. Sullivan and Unda (1982) provide an account of some of the difficulties of in-class thematic investigation. The setting for their project was an ESL class for the unemployed, run by a Toronto community center. A grant had been received "to explore the usefulness of participatory research methods for helping the unemployed record and analyze their situation as a step toward taking action" (p. 46). A researcher participated in the class along with the teacher. Sullivan and Unda discuss the tensions that arose as the class worked on a photo-novel about a fictitious character's efforts to find a job in his field. The idea of creating a photo-novel was suggested by the teacher. It 23 was enthusiastically agreed to by the students, but they came to resent the amount of class time taken up by the project, and the teacher and researcher realized that they had been "using the group for the photo-novel rather than the photo-novel for the group" (p. 62). Sullivan and TJnda's experience reflects what happens when the teacher's or other outsider's agenda for theme investigation is imposed on a group, rather than arising from the issues which they identify on their own. Several suggestions for in-class thematic investigation activities that do not involve collective materials production are listed by Barndt in Themes and Tools for ESL: How to Choose  Them and How to Use Them (1978), a handbook for teachers. Barndt's suggestions are drawn from the experiences of a task force of ESL teachers analyzing the Latin American community in Toronto. Many are similar to Wallerstein's "listening" strategies; others are more integrated with language-teaching activities. The focus of all of them is to generate talk on possible themes by, for example, having students compare and contrast two columns of photos dealing with Canada and their homeland, draw a comic-strip account of a typical day, or draw a map of their neighborhood with symbols to show how they feel about encounters in places where they need to use English. (Other activities are listed in Chapter IV). Toronto has also produced a full-fledged curriculum organized by generative themes. Developed by the ESL Core Group and edited by Brenda Duncombe, Themes for Learning and Teaching (1979) is intended as a content-guide for ESL, literacy, 24 upgrading and citizenship classes. Its operating definiton of generative themes is: the "real interest and concerns ... the life situation of immigrant families ... as well as their culture and traditions" (I,III). No account is given of any specific investigation procedure other than that a consensus was reached on eight themes "after two or three years of study and reflection" by members of the working group (III). The eight themes are: Consumption, Education, Family Life, Health, Housing, Immigration, Transportation and Work. Each theme is divided into topics, and each topic has three levels of activity: descriptive, problematising, and alternatives. Each topic is also furnished with a "conscientization objective," for example: Theme: Education Topic: The school system in Ontario Conscientization Objective: "The regular school system can be a hindrance to education by keeping privileges for a closed society and perpetuating class differences." (p.35) Duncombe defends these conscientization objectives as explicit statements of the admittedly non-neutral system of values underlying the curriculum. She asserts that "if the teacher is personally convinced of the values which underly them, consciousness-raising among the students will follow" (VI). This is one of two statements of the Toronto investigators with which I wish to take issue. It is the experience of four years of tutors in the Farmworkers' ESL Crusade, and appears to have been the experience of Sullivan and Unda, that "consciousness raising among the students" in fact rarely 25 follows the teacher's notions of correct political thinking. Furthermore, although it is true that any teacher will bring a set of values, stated or not, to the generative theme investigation, Freire specifically warns against letting that view of reality influence the course of the investigation. Secondly, in Themes and Tools Barndt describes participatory research for generative theme investigation as: ... as simple a task as chatting with students during coffee break and finding out that they are concerned about the TTC fare hike. Thus, you have a theme that you know is of relevance to students, and it can be made into a lesson dealing with transit, inflation, taxes, etc (p.5). This seems a far cry from the lengthy, detailed professional assessment called for by Freire. In fact, most of the suggestions made by Wallerstein and Barndt seem simple and straightforward, if time-consuming. It is, of course, necessary to simplify and demystify the procedure to make it accessible to ESL teachers with few, if any, outside resources. However, it seems doubtful to me if the thematic analysis arrived at through these methods alone can approach the complexity required by Freire as the basis for authentic problem-posing content. In this thesis I will argue that finding out students' issues, concerns and experiences is not the same thing as investigating their generative themes. Rather, a deeper analysis of the issues and experiences and their inter-relationships and relationship to the historical-cultural context must be conducted before an analysis of generative themes can be proposed. 26 PROGRAM CONTENT OF THE FARMWORKERS ESL CRUSADE My investigation of generative themes took place in the context of the ESL Crusade of the Canadian Farmworkers Union. This is a Freire style program serving immigrant farmworkers in the Vancouver area. A detailed description of the program's structure, approach and personnel is provided in Chapter III; my purpose here is to outline the original needs analysis and development of curriculum materials. Shortly after the Canadian Farmworkers Union was formed in April 1980, the leaders recognized that members' lack of English skills would be a fundamental block to their efforts to gain their rights. One of the organizers returned from a trip to Nicaragua with some ideas on how a program similar to that country's National Literacy Crusade might provide farmworkers with English skills as well as raise their political and union consciousness. By the fall of 1981 a proposal had been drawn up for a volunteer tutor program (Cavanagh & Steeves, 1981). In cooperation with Frontier College and assisted by funding from the Department of Secretary of State, a needs assessment procedure began in April 1982. A questionnaire was developed which covered prospective students' English levels, schooling, work history, perceived need for English, use of English, class size and timetabling preferences. Sarwan Boal, a bilingual CFU organizer, interviewed farmworkers (both union members and non-members) in their homes. The final report on the needs assessment was written by the Frontier College representative, John Steeves. 27 In all 62 people were interviewed. Those most interested in an ESL program were women between the ages of 45 and 55, who had been in Canada and doing farmwork for up to three years. Half of these were illiterate in Punjabi, and only seven persons had higher than a grade eight education. All but three reported that they needed an interpreter for all transactions involving the use of English. Many reported a need for English skills to take the bus, go shopping, use the telephone, get a better job, phone in emergencies, and understand their children and neighbors. The report therefore recommended that the ESL curriculum focus on "survival English" (Steeves and Boal, 1982). A curriculum writer was hired to produce a guide that would address these specific needs, and be usable by volunteer tutors with no teaching experience. The curriculum that was produced was entitled A Time to Learn. It takes a situational approach to topic content, a functional approach to language, and presents a range of techniques that are teacher-directed and involve considerable repetition and manipulation of structures on the part of students. Its eighteen units cover topics such as basic numeracy for telephone use and shopping, telling time, taking the bus, writing cheques, shopping in a department store, phoning for a doctor's appointment. Only two units, on hazard symbols and unions, deal specifically with farmwork although suggestions are given for transferring the skills learned in other units to the work situation. There are no codes or problem-posing activities, in short, nothing that reflects a particulary Freirian or dialogical approach. 28 Over the four years since the program started however, the teaching approach and materials have become progressively more student-centered and consistent with Freire's model. Tutors in the first year of the program used the curriculum extensively, but found that it progressed too fast and was not basic enough for their students (Neesham, 1983). Since then, tutors have used the curriculum as a resource especially in the first few weeks of classes, but they have been trained to plan lessons and units according to the specific needs of their students. In the third year of the ESL Crusade, a set of ten codes was introduced to encourage more discussion about farmwork. Important issues such as overcrowded labour contractors' vans, unsafe cabins, and being cheated at the scales were identified by union leaders. The content of each code was developed by David Jackson, and they were drawn by Shirley McGrew. These codes are drawings depicting problematic situations, loosely sequenced as a day in the life of a farmworker. A Time to Grow (Jackson, 1984), a tutor's guide to using the codes, contains a description of each problem for the tutor's benefit, a set of questions for problem-posing, and some suggestions on how to use the codes with beginners. Over the two years since their introduction, use of and response to these drawings has varied. The main issue has been their visual style, which many tutors see as patronizing and bleak, and some farmworkers have found alienating. Overall, students are not as put off by the style as are tutors; most recognize and can identify with the problems depicted. Some 29 tutors have reported excellent discussions arising from them; for others they have fallen completely flat. Students' overall interest in talking about farmwork does not appear to have been a significant factor in their response to the drawings (Jackson,1984; Mi Hard,1985, 1986). One response to this mixed review has been to develop materials using a more positive media style. Virtually all farmworkers watch and enjoy Hindi movie videos, which are usually musical romance adventures. In the summer of 1984 the CFU produced Farmworkers Zindabad, a video in this genre dramatizing the true story of some women workers on a mushroom farm and their attempts to unionize. In 1985 a literacy curriculum in the format of a photo-story based on the video book was developed by Sybil Faigin, a former tutor. The. video (which is in Punjabi) and the literacy book are to be used together to combine problem-posing with basic literacy based on a language-experience approach. The video and book were introduced to the ESL Crusade in 1986. They were received enthusiastically by all tutors and students, and generated long and lively discussions (Millard 1986). Thus over the years the Farmworkers Union has developed a substantial amount of curriculum material in response to needs that have arisen out of the teaching experience of tutors and students. This development has been in the direction of increasing problematising of learning content on the topic of work, and of depicting situations in such a way as to interest and motivate students. However, there has been no systematic 30 attempt to investigate the overall complex of generative themes of the participants in the program; to understand how they perceive their survival needs, as opposed to how the union would like them to perceive them. The absence of such an analysis was identified as an issue of prime importance by Freire himself in a visit to the C.F.U. office in July of 1984, when he was in Vancouver teaching a summer session course at the University of British Columbia. The first question that Freire addressed to the assembled tutors, administrators and supporters of the ESL Crusade was on this matter: "If they have some kind of educational practice, they have to have some contents. What is the role of the farmworkers engaged in this practice in order to organize the contents for their education, for their training, or if they are not engaging in this, just the tutors give them or tell them what, they must know?" Following a discussion of the initial needs assessment and some of the problems tutors had encountered in trying to interest students in both survival ESL and union issues, Freire recommended an approach of continuous thematic investigation: "How to do that? It is also a question of doing. I don't believe that you can find a prescription for this. To the extent that they begin to speak English, or that you speak their language, you could get the problem and you could go with them, little by little, unveiling the problem. The question is not for you to make a speech about it; even if it was possible from the linguistic point of view it should be very bad from the point of view of the psycholanalysis you have to do. That is, it's not your task just to explain totally the effect to them, but to challenge them in 31 order for them to ... in the last analysis, they need to make ... the archeology of their suffering, and not you on the behalf of them, but you have to be with them in the process of making the archeology, and the archeology could not stop just at the level of psychology ... it should be very bad, because this kind of archeology is eminently, strongly, a political one." Freire also identified several problems inherent in the attempt to adapt his approach to the teaching of a foreign language. The difficulty of conducting 'dialogue' in one-word phrases struck him immediately. He found it very strange that we were trying to teach English through problem-posing, and to raise awareness through the teaching of English, although he agreed that it is necessary for both to be done. He also acknowledged what many tutors have discovered; that students are often ambivalent towards learning English because they are ambivalent toward being in Canada and having to cope with Canadian society in the first place. He then identified the very fears that characterize their attitude toward English-speaking society as the starting point for empowerment through language learning: "In arriving here I can realize the fears these people suffer; fear of everything, fear because they don't understand anything which has been told them and has been talked around them. One thing is for me to be surrounded by the songs of the birds, some sounds in the forest as I felt last year when I went to stay with the Indian in the forest in Brazil; but I knew that I could have some kind of control on that. But they don't have any kind of control on this world here. Secondly, through this language they are being discriminated ... then there is also the possibility for them to have difficulties psychologically speaking, emotionally speaking... The very level of 32 discrimination must be also responsible for the difficulty to read the language of the discriminator ... Possibly they feel blocked to speak English precisely because in the depth of themselves, they know that this language has to do with the oppressors. How to transform the blockage into opening - this is for me the fundamental -in some moment they need to recognize that speaking English on the one hand, diminishes their fears to the extent that they can cope, to the extent that they can understand, to the extent that they can diminish the possibilities to be cheated, and on the other hand, they need to perceive that by speaking English they can add something to their struggle. Thus Freire sees language learning as a problem which can be posed to students in order to help them address and overcome their fears. I encountered all of these issues - the difficulty of communicating when students and teachers do not share a language, the necessity and difficulty of combining second language teaching and problem-posing, the question of students' motivation to learn, and the relationship of language learning and empowerment - in the course of my investigation. STUDIES OF THE PUNJABI COMMUNITY IN VANCOUVER In the absence of an interdisciplinary team to study a community for the specific purpose of establishing an educational program, it makes sense for the ESL teacher-investigator to consult every available source of information about the students' culture and community. The Vancouver Punjabi community has been the subject of a number of anthropological studies dealing with issues of cultural conflict 33 and adaptation. I consulted these studies only after my fieldwork and analysis had been completed, as a measure of the reliability of my findings. The degree to which my observations concur with theirs is discussed in detail in Chapter V. Two important qualifications bear on their relevance, however. First, the fieldwork on which most of these studies are based was carried out in the 60's and mid-70's; there have been important changes in the community since 1980, but no studies. Also, most of the r informants in most of the studies were male heads of established households, of whom I had not one in my group, and almost none were illiterate women, who comprised 3 out of my 4 students. The studies reviewed here are of two major types: those focussing on the relations between East Indian immigrants and the Canadian "host" society, and those focussing on the impact that immigration has had on the internal relations and traditions of the community. The former will be reviewed first. Norman Buchignani (1979) gives a general review of the adaptive problems and strategies of "South Asian Canadians", concluding that many South Asians tend to see their position in Canadian society as more hopeless and limited than it actually is, because of a lack of knowledge about or interaction with members of the host society. Buchignani and Indra (1980) explore this issue further by comparing Sikhs' and Fijians' perceptions of conflict with Canadian society and how this relates to their intra-group solidarity and pre-emigration socio-cultural contexts. From interviews of 100 working-class 34 males from each group, they found that Sikhs tend to regard themselves as more negatively perceived by Canadians than do Fijians. Mohinder Singh (1981) conducted a questionnaire-interview survey of Punjabi-speaking household heads. He presents statistics relating to immigration trends, background, occupation, education, economic status, leisure activities, family structure, and contact with Canadian society. Ratna Ghosh (1979) conducted a questionnaire-interview study on how South Asians in Montreal perceive the social and economic integration of their women into Canadian society. Thirty couples were interviewed, almost all Hindu or Moslem, mostly in their 30's, mostly middle-class by education or occupation. Overall, Ghosh found that women avoided integration where possible. Annama Joy (1983) did a comparative study of the social adaptation and integration of Sikhs and Portuguese in the Okanagan Valley. In a year and a half of fieldwork (1976-77) she interviewed all members of forty Sikh families living in the Vernon/Kelowna area. (The Portuguese interviewed lived in the Oliver/Osoyoos area and were mainly fruit orchard owners). Joy argues that the Sikhs have adapted less successfully (i.e. happily) to the Candian way of life than the Portuguese because of race, less cultural emphasis on individual achievement, and inability to separate the spheres of public and private life and restrict religious and ethnic expression to the latter. Other studies have focussed on the impact that the experience of moving to a new setting has had on cultural and 35 social institutions within the Punjabi community. In 1967 Michael Ames and Joy Inglis interviewed 40 Sikhs (24 men and 16 women) from "the broad 'middle' spectrum of age, occupation, and style of life" (Ames & Inglis, I973:16n). They provide an analysis of the effect of immigration on the family in terms of three contrasting ideal family patterns: the traditional Punjabi pattern (of India), the immediate Punjabi pattern (of Vancouver) and the contemporary Canadian pattern. Their analysis is particulary interesting in relation to generative themes because its "critical factor ... is how the Sikhs themselves interpret their situation" (p.27). Ram Srivastava (1974) also presents an analysis of family organization and change, based on fieldwork done in 1960-61 and 1967-69. He discusses mainly the generation and cultural gap between immigrants and their Canada-born children, and the nature of the extended kinship system in Canada. Marguerite Cassin's M.A. thesis (U.B.C. 1977) emphasizes the relationship of class and ethnicity, emphasizing that working-class East Indians, especially women, have their lives organized for them by societal forces controlled by the middle classes of both Canadian and their own society. Her work is particularly pertinent to mine because it focusses on working class women, and examines in depth social relations in the family and at work. James Chadney's PhD dissertation (U.B.C. 1976) also provides a detailed analysis of family and work arenas and, especially valuable, an analysis of the importance of the Sikh religion. Chadney's focus is on the role of economic competition as a determining factor in change or 36 maintenance of traditional ways in the various arenas. A further article (1977) discusses the demographic concentration of the community in South Vancouver as a function not only of proximity to the sawmills where most men work, but of a conscious effort on the part of religious leaders to increase the community's social solidarity. Dusenbery (1981) examines the impact of the Canadian ideology of separation of religion and ethnicity on the proliferation of agencies and organizations within the Sikh community. The purpose of this review of the literature was to provide the background for some of the theoretical and practical issues affecting the procedure of generative theme investigation in an ESL context. The review moved from the distant and theoretical to the immediate and concrete. First was described Freire's procedure - recommended, but never implemented - for investigating the generative themes of a community in Brazil. The discussion of accounts of teachers' attempts to adapt Freire's process and to investigate the themes of their students moved from the Bahamas to California to Toronto to Vancouver. The original needs assessment procedure of the Farmworkers ESL Crusade, and the subsequent development of curricular materials, were discussed in terms of how closely they have approximated in practice the Freirian theory on which the program is based. These difficulties, plus Freire's comments and recommendations on combining his pedagogical approach with the teaching of ESL in our specific context,are indicative of some of the problems that can be expected to come up in an ESL 37 generative theme investigation. They include the logistical difficulty of communication and of combining second language teaching with problem-posing, but focus most importantly on the reality of students' fear and reluctance to learn, which rresults from their position as unwilling and unwanted immigrants in a society in which their values and experiences seem irrelevant. The specific socio-cultural reality of the people involved must be the starting point of any generative theme investigation. This chapter provided a brief introduction to studies on the ethnic community to which my investigation pertained: the Punjabi community in Vancouver. The following chapter provides historical background and describes the cultural, economic, political situation of the community in more detail. It also outlines the conditions of farmwork, the history of the Farmworkers Union, and the operating structure of the ESL Crusade. Its purpose is to provide the context of the procedure described, in Chapter IV and the thematic analysis presented in Chapter V. 38 III. CONTEXT OF THE INVESTIGATION This chapter will provide a background sketch of the context of the investigation, as well as a description of the specific situation and participants. This will put into focus the constraints both on the investigation and on the generalizability of the results, as the themes identified are rooted in a very specific historical and cultural situation. First, a brief overview is given of the general background, immigration history, demographics and lifestyle of the Punjabi community in Vancouver, the population to which the investigation applies. The conditions of farmwork that gave rise to the formation of a union, and the objectives and activities of the union are described next. The operating structure of the 1984-85 Farmworkers ESL Crusade is then described, ending with profiles of the four students who comprised my ESL class, the participants in the investigation. THE PUNJABI COMMUNITY IN VANCOUVER The history of Punjabi immigration to B.C. is similar in many respects to that of other unwanted Asian groups whose labour was initially valued but who were barred or hindered from settling permanently in Canada. The first Sikhs to arrive in the Vancouver area were men who came in 1904 seeking work in the lumber industry. By 1908 over 5,000 had arrived, most planning to make their fortunes in Canada and then return to India. They 39 were emphatically not encouraged to stay. In fact, in 1908 the Dominion government proposed to remove the entire community (who were at the time mostly living in bunkhouses near the lumber mills on the Fraser River) to British Honduras, an issue around which the community organized in successful protest. Further immigration was effectively barred by an order-in-council of 1910 which stipulated that any immigrant had to procure direct passage from the country of origin to Canada. Since no steamship lines ran directly from India to Canada, this had the effect of halting the arrival of further Punjabi workers. In 1914, some Vancouver Sikhs provided funds to charter a Japanese steamship to bring over 376 passengers. The result was the infamous Komagata Maru incident; the ship was forced to remain at anchor in Burrard Inlet for two months, its passengers forbidden to land, and was then escorted by navy and police gunboats out of Vancouver harbour and sent back to Calcutta. Although immigration restrictions were relaxed after 1919, few of the Sikhs that remained in Vancouver took advantage of the opportunity to bring their families over. It is estimated that no more than 15 Punjabi families were living in Vancouver by the early 1940's. After India's independence in 1947 and the implementation of the quota system immigration increased gradually, but the real boom was in the late 1960's, when the point system was introduced. Nearly 7,000 immigrants from India arrived in Canada between 1969 and 1971 (Chadney, 1977:193). Although those who came at this time tended to be better educated and more highly skilled than previous immigrants, the 40 majority still found work mainly in sawmills. Since the mid-1970' s most Punjabi immigrants have been sponsored relatives of this group; they in turn have sponsored others. Family-class sponsorship remains the most commons means of immigration from Punjab to Vancouver to date. (Ames & Inglis, 1973; Srivastava, 1974; Chadney, 1977; Buchignani, 1979; Craig, 1979.) The lumber industry has always been the largest employer of Punjabi immigrants. The consequent concentration of the population near the Fraser River mills has led to the development of a Punjabi ethnic community in the South Vancouver area. The Sikh Temple was relocated from West 2nd Avenue to its current site on S.E. Marine Drive at Ross St. in 1969. In the 1970's OASIS (Orientation Adjustment Services for Immigrants Society), an immigrant services agency catering specifically to the "South Asian" community, opened an office near Marine Drive on Main Street. Through the efforts of wealthy merchants a uniquely Indian shopping area, dubbed the "Punjabi Market," had grown up around Main Street and 49th Avenue by the early 1980's. Thus both economic forces and conscious planning on the part of community leaders have established a concentrated and closely-knit Punjabi community in Vancouver. (Chadney, 1977; Khalsa Diwan Society, 1983.) There are several factors which contribute to both the closeness and the closed-ness of this community. The principal of these is that of a conscious collective will, fostered by the religious leadership, to keep untainted by Canadian society as much of the Sikh cultural, religious and ethnic heritage as 41 possible. (Sikhs have a long history of maintaining a separate identity as a minority population in India.) Thus marriage outside the community is virtually unknown, and in most cases it is considered preferable for young people to marry someone from India. In this way traditional cultural values are constantly re-inforced and the community retains strong ties to the homeland. Arranged marriages are the norm. It is quite common to return to India for a visit and wedding, then return to Canada and sponsor the spouse to follow, sometimes up to as much as two years later. Almost all Punjabi families own homes or rent from other members of the community. Recently sponsored immigrants and newly-married couples frequently live with the groom's (or sometimes the bride's) parents or elder brothers until they are ready to establish their own separate dwelling. Whether they live in the same house or not, most Punjabi immigrants have an extensive kinship network in Vancouver. Finding of jobs, housing and spouses, as well as most socializing, is primarily organized along kinship lines or among people from the same village. In fact, outside of factory work and professions, most people work for other Punjabis. (Ames & Inglis, 1973; Srivastava, 1974; Chadney, 1976, 1977; Cassin, 1977; Dusenbery, 1979) There are Punjabi doctors, dentists, lawyers, travel agents and social workers who serve the community, but they are a very small proportion of it (Singh, 1981). The aim of many Punjabi immigrants is to set up their own small business, typically in 42 real estate, trucking, retail sales, labour contracting, or farming. The majority, however, still work in lumber mills, where they are usually restricted to heavy-labor jobs such as the green chain. Other men find jobs as taxi drivers, longshoremen, construction workers, gas station and parking lot attendants, and janitors. Common jobs for women are working in canneries and garment factories, janitorial work, dishwashing and house cleaning. Old people, newcomers, and those with the lowest educational and skill levels get part-time work delivering flyers and knitting Cowichan sweaters in winter, and picking berries and other crops in the summer. (Chadney, 1976,1977; Cassin, 1977; Singh, 1981; Steeves & Boal, 1982.) FARMWORK The most recent demographic study of farmworkers in B.C. (Hawthorne, 1986) reflects the conditions of farmwork as they were in the 1954 picking season (from June to October). As of this time 73% of Fraser Valley seasonal farmworkers were women, about half were over 50 years of age, and all spoke Punjabi as their first language. Their average length of residence in Canada was between five and eight years, and 85% had been doing farmwork for three years or more. Almost half had never been to school and were illiterate in Punjabi, and another 45% had completed less than secondary schooling. 54% spoke no English at all. The average personal income from all sources (mainly farmwork and unemployment insurance) for the 43 year was less than $5,000. Most farmworkers worked the berry crops - strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries - from June through August; an average of 15 weeks, ten hours a day. About half continued to work in the fall on vegetable crops: peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. To the open-ended question "What could be done to make your work safer and healthier?", most farmworkers responded with complaints about the long hours of work and travel, and the low pay. All of these are symptoms of the labour contracting system under which most farmworkers are employed. Unemployment Insurance eligibility regulations stipulate that farmworkers (only) must work a minimum of seven days for the same employer in order for any of those days to be insurable. As many growers are unable to guarantee seven days of work, workers' unemployment insurance eligibility can be jeopardized if they work directly for a grower. Consequently, most work for a labour contractor, who can provide steady work throughout the season by taking out contracts at several farms. The contractor receives payment from the grower for the fruit picked, and is responsible for paying the pickers' wages out of this. The contractor also transports the workers from South Vancouver to the fields in the Fraser Valley and back every day. For this service he deducts a percentage off their wages, sometimes up to 40% (C.F.U., 1984). All contractors who hire Punjabi workers are themselves Punjabi, and thus fulfill a translating function between growers and pickers. Thus for steady work, unemployment insurance eligibility, transportation and translation, most 44 farmworkers are dependent on contractors. This situation allows for considerable abuse and exploitation, depending on the personal morals of the contractor. The most common problems include overcrowded, unsafe vans, irregular payment of wages, witholding of back-wages for an entire season, and non-payment of unemployment insurance contributions to the government, which can result in farmworkers having to repay several months worth of benefits. It is common practice to pay workers at the end of each season (though they may be given advances), even though contractors are legally required to pay on a weekly basis. (Vancouver Sun; British Columbia, 1983.) Some contractors use this opportunity to transfer their assets to a relative and then declare bankruptcy, not paying workers at all. The abuses inherent in the labour contracting system are partly a problem of Punjabis exploiting other Punjabis; however, the system is not only made possible but entrenched and protected by the federal unemployment insurance regulations and B.C. provincial legislation. Under the Employment Standards Act, "persons who have been historically employed on a piecework basis to hand-harvest fruit, vegetable or berry crops" are specifically excluded from provisions governing minimum wage, holiday and overtime pay, and restrictions on hours of work (British Columbia, 1981). There are minimum piece-rates for all crops, but these do not always work out to the minimum wage when calculated in hourly terms, especially at the beginning and end of the season when the crop is thinner. Before 1983, farmwork injuries were not covered by Workers' Compensation. The 45 agricultural sector is still exempt from the regulations that enforce safe working conditions in other industries; instead, the B.C. Farmers Association has its own self-regulating Farm Health and Safety Agency, which is primarily concerned with education. (Hawthorne, 1986). These are the issues and conditions which led to the formation of the Farm Workers Organizing Committee in 1978. The FWOC achieved its first victory in 1979 when a strike and rally by berry pickers at a Clearbrook farm forced the prompt payment of $80,000 in back wages (Vancouver Sun, July 18 1979). In April 1980 the FWOC became the Canadian Farmworkers Union. The two main goals of the union have been to effect changes in discriminatory legislation, and to eliminate the labour contracting system by organizing workers into certified bargaining units and acquiring contracts on farms. Initial success in both areas was good: within four years the union had achieved reduction of the unemployment insurance eligibility rule from 25 days to 7, Workers Compensation coverage for farmworkers, improved Employment Standards regulations governing regular payment of workers and licensing of contractors, and inclusion of the cabins provided for migrant farmworkers under the standards of the Industrial Camp Act (C.F.U., 1984). In 1984 the union had certifications at five farms and contracts at three of these, but 1983 changes to the Labour Code, which strengthened the position of employers and weakened that of union, had led to the decertification of all but one unit by the end of 1985. The economic recession that hit the province in 46 the early 1980's increased the number of unemployed people willing to work under any conditions, and decreased willingness on the part of union sympathizers to risk any protest that might jeopardize their jobs. Despite these difficulties, in 1985 the union continued to deliver services such as free legal aid for members with unfair labour practices complaints, unpaid back wages, and unemployment insurance problems. The other service that continued to be delivered, and through which the union sustained its organizing efforts, was the Farmworkers ESL Crusade. THE ESL CRUSADE The origins and beginning of the Farmworkers ESL Crusade have been discussed in the previous chapter. This section will describe the operating structure, personnel, and teaching approach of the Crusade's third year, 1985, the year in which my investigation took place. This was my second year of involvement in the Crusade as a volunteer tutor. The following year, I took over as coordinator of the Crusade, and kept teaching the same group of students. While the teaching approach and materials have been modified over the four years of the Crusade's operation, the basic coordinator/volunteer tutor/family group classes structure has remained unaltered. The 1985 ESL Crusade began with tutor orientations in November 1984, and ended with a big party for all tutors and students at a South Vancouver community center in May, 1985. 47 There were twelve classes, each of which met twice a week for two hours from early December to the end of April (in my case until the end of May). The classes met in students' homes, mostly in South Vancouver, although there were two in East Vancouver, one in Richmond, one in Delta, and one in New Westminster (Millard, 1985). Mine met in South Vancouver. The coordinator of the 1984 and 1985 Crusades was David Jackson. His responsibilities included training, supervising and supporting the tutors, administration, and materials development. David also completed the production of the Crusade's first set of 'codes' for problem-posing about farmwork; they and a guide for their use were distributed to tutors about halfway through the program. Twelve of the fifteen tutors in the 1985 ESL Crusade were women; of these two were Punjabi-speaking, and the rest were anglophone. Most of the tutors were between the ages of twenty and forty. They included several university students, a retired teacher, a house pa-inter, an office worker, and two who were unemployed. As a group, they were typical of other years of the Crusade; there are always more women than men, more people under 40 than over, more students than any other occupation, and more anglophones than Punjabis. Most tutors have little or no experience in teaching ESL, but most are familiar with and supportive of the work of the union. (Neesham, 1983; Jackson, 1984; Millard, 1985, 1986) Thus as a female anglophone student under 40, with no full-time ESL experience, I was a fairly typical tutor, except for my (mostly theoretical, at that time) 48 knowledge about Freire. The students in the 1985 Crusade were also typical of students in other years, with a slightly higher percentage of young people than ususal. The prevailing ratio over the four years of the Crusade has been that of 2/3 women to 1/3 men, and 2/3 old people to 1/3 young people ("old" means over 50; "young" means between 20 and 30; there are very few students in the middle range.) In 1985, out of 50 students there were 20 old women, 13 young women, 10 old men, and 7 young men. The distribution of ages and sexes within classes varied, with one class composed primarily of young people, three evenly distributed, and the rest primarily older people (mine was of the latter type). Most classes were composed of members of the same family; the three (including mine) that were composed of friends and neighbours were all-women classes. Every class was mixed according to English levels, with old people tending to be illiterate or semi-literate beginners, and young people mostly at the intermediate level in both speaking and writing skills. (Jackson, 1984; Millard, 1985, 1986). The Crusade's philosophical viewpoint on teaching ESL incorporates several techniques consistent with a Freirian approach. Those presented to tutors in the orientations for the 1985 Crusade included Stephen Krashen's "Natural Approach," James Asher's "Total Physical Response," Nina Wallerstein's problem-posing steps, the Language Experience approach to literacy, and the use of photo-stories (Millard, 1985). Tutors were encouraged to teach to students' specific needs using the 49 curriculum as a resource only, to encourage informal talking, to stay away from drills and worksheets, and to use colorful visual aids and motivating materials such as games as often as possible. Thus the teaching climate of the 1985 ESL Crusade was condusive to the innovation necessary for the investigation of students' generative themes. Also, with the introduction of the "code" drawings the Crusade's pedagogical practice was beginning to more closely approximate its Freirian theory, and further movement in this direction was desired and encouraged. The following section describes the students of my class in detail, demonstrating that they are typical of Crusade students and of farmworkers, and situating them within the Vancouver Punjabi community in general. To protect their privacy, the students' names and those of their families have been changed. STUDENT PROFILES  Baldev Baldev is in her late forties. She has been in Canada since the late 1960's, when she immigrated with her husband and baby son. This son is now 19; he lives at home and works for a towing company owned by the son of a friend of the family. Baldev has two daughters, who are in grades 8 and 10, and another son in grade 6. Her husband, Lai, was a truck driver in India, and has worked on the green-chain at a nearby lumber mill 50 since he came to Canada. Due to the dust from this job he now has asthma and is in the process of obtaining a disability pension. The family lives in a two-bedroom house in South Vancouver. They live on the top floor and rent out the basement. Most of the family's relatives on both sides now live in Canada. Lai's brother owns a farm in the Abbotsford area, and the family picks berries there every summer, driving out in their own car when Lai is not working at the mill. Baldev has made an effort to keep as traditional a home as possible. She is a vegetarian and cooks only Punjabi food, although her children and husband frequently eat Canadian fast food and meat. Both she and her husband are actively involved in their temple, which is in Richmond. She does not permit her daughters to cut their hair, and she likes them to wear Punjabi suits at home and to attend the temple. She wants all her children to marry someone from India, although nothing has yet been arranged for any of them. Neither Baldev nor her husband speak above a beginner level of English, despite the length of their residence in Canada. Baldev is also illiterate in Punjabi and English, although she can read numbers and print her name. She relies heavily on her daughters for translation in all English-speaking encounters. She does not drive, but can get around her neighborhood, to the hospital, and downtown on the bus. Ama r j i t 51 Amarjit is 21, and in 1985 had been in Canada for two years. She came over to get married, leaving behind all her family in India. In 1985 Amarjit lived with her husband, Gurnam, and her father-in-law in the basement suite of Baldev's house (they have since bought their own house, four doors down the street). Her mother-in-law had died of leukhemia the previous summer. Gurnam's sister and her husband and children live in Haney; they are the family's only relatives in Canada. Gurnam, who speaks English at near-native fluency, has a part-time job at a downtown hotel. Both Amarjit and her father-in-law (who speaks no English-at all) pick berries during the summer. Amarjit's husband's family is from the same village in India as Baldev's husband, and they have the same last name. They also attend the same temple, in Richmond. Amarjit had gone up to grade 11 in school in India; her father was the village teacher. She lived on the family farm, which was run by her four uncles. The experience of immigration and marriage were very traumatic for her; she was ill for two months after she arrived and is still very homesick. Despite the family's apparent poverty, they regularly send money back to Amarjit's family in India. Except to visit her sister-in-law, go to the temple, or go to doctor's appointments, Amarjit never leaves the house. She does all the cooking and cleaning, including hand washing all the family's laundry in the sink. She cooks mainly Punjabi food, but likes to experiment with some Canadian recipes in 52 order to cater to the tastes of her husband and Canadian-born nieeices. Amarjit was pregnant during the first part of the thematic investigation, and had a baby boy in March, after which she no longer attended classes although I visited her often. Amarjit attended some evening ESL classes at a local school when she first arived, but ceased going because it was too far to walk. Her spoken English is at the intermediate level; her written English is somewhat better. Ranjeet Ranjeet, 55, and her husband came to Canada in 1980 to join their youngest daughter, Parmjeet, her husband and their two young children. They live four houses down the street from Baldev. Parmjeet's husband was born in Canada. He works in a sawmill in the Fraser Valley. Parmjeet works on call in a food packing plant, and also sews Punjabi suits for ladies in the community. The grandchildren are in grade 2 and kindergarten. Ranjeet and her husband both pick berries in the summer. They also babysit the grandchildren. Ranjeet helps with the cooking and some of the housework. Ranjeet and her husband, who was a driver for the circuit-court judge, left three other daughters and a son and their families in India. All of their children occupy clerical or teaching positions. Their eldest son died several years ago at the age of 30, leaving a widow and two children. They speak of him often with both sorrow and pride; he worked for the government of the state of Jammu/Kashmir. 53 Parmjeet and her husband's lifestyle is conspicuously middle-class Canadian. Their house is not large but is well furnished and equipped with a micro-wave oven and a sophisticated stereo system. The decorations are primarily Canadian, and there are no pictures of Sikh gurus as in the households of the other students. Parmjeet speaks English with her children, although they still understand Punjabi and speak it with their grandparents. The family attends the same temple in Richmond as Amarjit and Baldev. Ranjeet's husband, with the men of the other families, has been active in supplying volunteer labour for the building of this temple. Ranjeet has had some elementary school education and is literate in Punjabi. Her spoken English is beginner-level, and she is quickly becoming literate in English. Her husband speaks no English at all. Gurminder Gurminder is in her early 60's. She came to Canda in 1981 to live with her son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. They live in the house next door to Baldev. Gurminder's son, Mohinder, has been in Canada for fifteen years. He is a machine-operator for the City of Vancouver, but he was on lay off for most of 1985. His English is near native fluency. His wife works on call in a nearby old-age hospital; she also speaks quite good English. Gurminder's eldest granddaughter is in grade two, her grandson in kindergarten, and her youngest 54 granddaughter not yet in school. Gurminder left her husband in India, for reasons which were never entirely clear to me. She has a daughter in Vancouver, who has been disowned by the family (to Gurminder's great distress) because of her marriage to a Hindu. Her other daughter and son-in-law live in Qatar, on the Persian Gulf. Gurminder's family attends the Ross Street Temple, which has some doctrinal differences from the one in Richmond attended by the other students. Their lifestyle is a blend of traditional Punjabi and modern Canadian: on the mantelpiece Mountie statuettes flank a framed picture of the Golden Temple. They eat Punjabi food and the children wear Punjabi suits at home, but the children have Canadian toys and Canadian friends. Gurminder has picked berries every summer since she arrived, and has sometimes stayed on to pick vegetable in the fall. In the winter she babysits the children. Gurminder did not attend school in India, but learned basic Punjabi literacy at the local temple. She is literate in Punjabi and enthusiastic about becoming literate in English. She intends to apply for Canadian citizenship so that she can collect a pension after she turns 65. Her English is beginner-level, but she has made the most progress of any member of the group, as she actively seeks out opportunities to practice, reading street signs on long walks, and encouraging her grandchildren to ask her for things in English. These four women are typical not only of ESL CRusade students, but of older and more traditional women in the Punjabi 55 community in general. They were brought over to Canada to be with families; they are not expected and do not plan to integrate into Canadian society, but merely wish to be able to cope to the extent necessary to fulfill their family responsibilities. They and their families were middle-class landowners in India and are working-class labourers here. Their level of education is not high, and (except for Amarjit, whose sojourn was brief) they would never attend a formal learning institution. Through personal contacts in the union they heard about the Farmworkers ESL Crusade, and joined because the lessons would be free, convenient, and relevant. This is the setting for the generative theme investigation procedure described in the next chapter. 56 IV. THE PROCEDURE OF THEMATIC INVESTIGATION This chapter presents both the methodology which I used and my observations on the effectiveness of and problems inherent in the procedure of classroom thematic investigation. First, the investigation of generative themes is discussed in relation to qualitative techniques in educational research. This is followed by an overall outline of the design of my investigation and the chronology of classes and events in which I carried it out. Characteristics of classroom activities and observational strategies that were successful in generating potential themes are discussed. Finally, the problems and issues of thematic investigation as they affect the teacher, the class, and the results are examined. Some of these problems are common to all fieldwork research, and some originated from my particular situation, but many, I believe, are inherent to the process of classroom thematic investigation, and raise questions about the applicability of Freirian pedagogy to Canadian ESL. Neither Deborah Barndt nor Nina Wallerstein have critically examined their thematic investigation procedures; I contend that such an examination is necessary in order to determine if what is revealed are really generative themes. The purpose of this chapter is therefore not only to describe the methodology but to comment on its limitations. 57 GENERATIVE THEME INVESTIGATION AND EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH  METHODOLOGY The investigation of generative themes elaborated by Paulo Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed could be described as a participant-observation study with the specific focus of educational needs analysis for curriculum design. Zimmerman and Wieder define the aim of ethnographic research as: "to understand how people go about the task of seeing, describing and explaining order in the world in which they live." (cited in Bogdan and Taylor, 1975:17). Preissle-Goetz and LeCompte define the purpose of qualitative research in education as: to elicit people's "definition of reality and the organizing constructs of their world" (1984:?). Thus these fields of inquiry aim to identify exactly what Freire defines as the key elements of people's generative themes: "the various levels of perception of themselves and of the world" (1970:84). In fact, the procedures recommended by Freire, Wallerstein and Barndt overlap in all but terminology with those employed in ethnography and qualitative educational research. The specific techniques recommended by Freire, Wallerstein and Barndt include elements of participant observation, the use of key informants, interviews, artifact analysis, and analysis of taped discussions. For all, the key element in the investigation is participant observation, and the role of participant observer must be assumed not only by the investigator but by the people whose community and themes are under investigation. 58 Participant-observation was therefore my primary method of data collection. I taped almost all of the lessons for future content analysis. I did not conduct formal interviews, but I spent much time talking informally with key informants, members of students' families. Since I taught in students' homes I was surrounded by the objects, sound, smells and tastes of their culture. I kept field notes and all lesson plans and materials, but the principal means of data collection were the audio tape-recordings of classroom discussions. I transcribed these and later subjected the transcriptions to a content analysis, in order to complement my observations with a quantitative measure of topic areas of greatest interest to students. The procedure of content analysis and the topic areas identified, as well as their relationship to generative themes, are discussed in Chapter V. Another important descriptor of my methodology is that it was a case study. In educational research a case study is often the setting for participant observation research, as it makes possible the collection of concentrated, detailed qualitative data that can inform theory testable on wider populations (Borg and Gall, 1983:489) For generative theme investigation, a case study is the only appropriate context. This is because the objective is to design an educational program specifically and only for the community under investigation. My "case" was the ESL class composed of the four women described in the previous chapter. Strictly speaking, my observations on the effectiveness of the in-class generative theme investigation and 59 the topic areas and themes identified pertain to this situation only. I have shown, however, that my students are typical of other ESL Crusade students and of farmworkers in general, and Chapter V shows that the themes that emerged as relevant to them are substantiated by other anthropological studies involving the entire Punjabi community. The themes may or may not apply to Punjabi men and young people, or to women in other immigrant groups. This is an area for further investigation. In regard to the generalizability of my comments on the investigative process, my teaching situation was not very representative of the situations of most Canadian ESL teachers. Homefront programs are rare, as are explicitly 'Freirian' programs, as are union-sponsored programs. However, I believe that the problems I encountered are relevant to ESL teaching situations that involve an informal classroom, no required curriculum or tests, a community base, independence and flexibilty on the part of teachers, and that attempt to teach illiterates and lower-language-level learners. CHRONOLOGY OF THE INVESTIGATION The investigation took place over a total of thirty-nine lessons held between late November 1984 and the end of May, 1985. The class met at Baldev's house in South Vancouver on two weekday afternoons, for two hours at a time. Five classes were cancelled, during this period, six were missed due to Christmas and other holidays, and some were pre-empted for collective 60 cooking and shopping. Taping began at Lesson 10, in mid-January; twenty-seven of the thirty-nine lessons were taped. Events in both world affairs and students' lives affected the course of lessons and thus of the investigation. The previous June, the Indian army had stormed the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the Sikhs' holiest shrine. This had the effect of multiplying support in Vancouver for the Sikh fundamentalist political movement in favour of a separate state of Khalistan. Shortly before our classes started, Indira Ghandi was assassinated and her death was followed by violent anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and Punjab. Thus the students were concerned with the state of affairs in Punjab, and especially with the safety of family and friends. There was also considerable agitation within the Vancouver Punjabi community, and the leadership of most temples was strongly nationalistic and reactionary. Two personal events also significantly affected the course of the investigation. First, Baldev decided in late December to go to India to see her sister-in-law's mother, who was very ill. She was therefore absent for the month of March. The departure was preceded by weeks of visa problems (because of the trouble in Punjab) and shopping for presents to take back. It was arranged that the class would meet downstairs in Amarjit's suite while Baldev was away, however, six days after Baldev left Amarjit had her baby, and ceased attending classes. For the rest of March the remaining two students and I met at Gurminder's house; however, two of these lessons were cancelled 61 because Gurminder was.very involved in the preparations for her nephew's wedding, and three of those that were held were not taped for various reasons. By early April, however, Baldev was back and classes were meeting at her house again; there was good attendance and no further cancellations until classes ended in May. Although these interruptions impeded the course of classes and consequently of in-class investigation activities, they nevertheless reflected important events in students' lives and provided more scope for participant observation: I saw Baldev off at the airport, visited Amarjit during the public health nurse's visit, and attended Gurminder's nephew's wedding. There were three main stages to the data-collection process that took place during this time. The first was to generate a list of possible classroom techniques and observation strategies that might elicit theme-related discussion. This included the specific suggestions of Wallerstein, Moriarty and Barndt as well as some more general strategies of participant-observation. This list served partly as a checklist of those techniques which in others' experience had proven successful for elicting students' themes, and which I wished to test in a different situation. It was not organized or adhered to chronologically, nor did I make a point of trying to implement everything on it. On reviewing it after completing the fieldwork, however, I realized that I had at least attempted almost every activity. The list was as follows (* indicates I did not try this activity): 62 A. Classroom Activities 1. Mapping of neighborhood, places English is spoken, feelings associated, places they go and why * 2. Drawing of a student's typical day, discussion of activities, priorities 3. Photo-stories of class activities, eg. field trips, using a language-experience approach to create a written product 4. Brainstorming on specific topics, eg. housework, for words known, feelings, priorities * 5. Ranking: discussing and listing preferability of chores, foods, English needs 6. Field trips of places of interest to students, followed up by discussion in class 7. Discussion of visuals: a) pictures comparing similar aspects of life in Canada and in the homeland * b) magazine ads: stereotypes and images * c) photo card sorting/ranking on various topics, eg. occupations, feelings d) pictures representing difficult or problematic situations e) films and videos 8. Guests in class, to ask and answer questions of students 9. Discussion of personal common experiences, eg. immigration: each student's plane trip to Vancouver. B. Observational Activities 1. In-class a) note body language, non-verbal communication b) note actions such as absence, lateness; reasons c) note students' verbal and non-verbal reactions to pictures and drawings d) note topics of students' informal conversations 2. Out of class a) attend cultural festivals with students b) observe times of cultural i. transmission: social rites, eg. weddings, child raising practices ii. preservation: aspects of native cultures most important to preserve in Canada, eg. dress, food, language iii. disruption: immigration, travel, moving c) visit and photograph neighborhood places d) become familiar with local service agencies and whether students use them e) check out local libraries for cultural material 3. Artifact analysis a) read ethnic press, magazines students or their families read b) note items of importance in homes. 63 (Barndt 1979, 1981: Moriarty & Wallerstein, 1979; Preissle-Goetz & Lecompte, 1984; Priestly et. al., 1978; Wallerstein, 1983.) The second stage was to implement the suggestions on this list in lessons and other contacts. My usual approach was to plan a lesson or set of lessons with a particular theme idea in mind, but to be prepared not to go through with it if the students seemed more interested in talking about something else (as they very often did). Typically we focussed on one topic area for four or five lessons at a time, during which other topics often came up naturally. If none did, I generally tried a new 'theme-eliciting' activity from the list when interest in the current topic seemed to be waning. The third stage was to record observations on the various lessons or events. I recorded these in two ways. The first was to transcribe each tape within a week of the lesson, adding observational notes and contextual details. It was impossible to transcribe the tapes word-for-word as there were generally two or more people talking at the same time, usually in different languages. Instead, I made notes of the speaker and topic of each conversation and noted the tape counter number whenever each changed (this later aided in timing calculations for content analysis). The actions that accompanied conversations were also noted. The following is a sample transcription representing 20 minutes: Tues. Jan. 15 0 -Ranjeet with paper with procedure for reporting Police, Ambulance, Fire; dialogue with 5 steps in case of medical emergency, plus form with medical info to fill out -transliterated into Punjabi; she brought a file with all previous handouts including this one; went over it with her, she 64 reading, as others arrived 70 - Baldev: Workers Compensation had phoned that morning; reporting conversation; problems in communication; Punjabi word for 'breathing,' 'asthma' - doesn't know these in English; husband can only do easy work, not hard work; thought she told them to phone back later, but she was saying 'letter'; for them to send a letter; phone report repeated twice. - at same time, Gurminder and Ranjeet going over medical sheet, talking Punjabi - Baldev understood a "little" English on the phone 135 - Gurminder writing CANADA on bottom of Ranjeet's sheet, then writing grandson's name (also Ranjeet's son-in-law's name); Baldev listing names of her children 154 - Amarjit arrived; beautiful shawl, from India 165 - all in Punjabi 170 - Ranjeet and sheet, reading steps for medical emergency; others in Punjabi; me showing my medical card 220 - Amarjit showing housekey; had been stuck in lock; took a long time to get it out 227 - I suggested shelving medical sheet, they asked me to write it on board 240 - me asking Amarjit how she is feeling; next doctor's appointment is next week, Saturday; nurse comes in on Wednesday and Saturday 250 - them getting me to write medical sheet on board 253 - Amarjit asked if my skirt is new; said no, last year it was too small, this year I'm smaller; she translated; discussion of my skirt; chain of coins on front; Gurminder: big, medium, small; 'old,' confusion with 'gold' In addition to transcribing tapes I kept field notes in which I recorded my impressions of how the investigation was going, which techniques for eliciting themes seemed most relevant and how the students were reacting to the investigation. These notes also included accounts of classes that for various reasons were not taped, visits to students' homes outside of class time, and field trips and cultural events. The transcriptions of the tapes were the data for the content analysis which forms the basis of my description of students' themes in Chapter V. The following analysis of the investigative procedure itself is based primarily on the field 65 notes, supported by evidence from the tapes. First is a discussion of the characteristics of successful in-class theme-eliciting activities and the most useful observational strategies. This is followed by an analysis of the key problems and issues attending classroom investigation of generative themes. CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES FOR REVEALING THEMES The activities that I deemed to be "successful" were those for which the outcome, in terms of thematic information, was more or less what I had hoped for when planning the activity. They were those which held the interest of the entire group for a sustained period of time (usually between ten minutes and half an hour), and led to talk which revealed new information about potential themes. Successful activities (which outnumbered "unsuccessful" activities by three to one) shared several characteristics. Most importantly, they were those that were directly inspired by student input or interest. One such activity was a taped dialogue with accompanying drawing of a woman phoning the police to report a prowler in her back yard. The students' interest in this topic was evident and pressing; they had spontaneously begun asking about emergency numbers during an exercise on making a dentist appointment, and brought it up again in the middle of composing a photo-story on making samosas. My inquiry as to instances when one might need to 66 phone the police generated many suggestions from their experiences and fears: break-ins, prowlers, drunks on the street. By contrast, every unsuccessful activity was one that stemmed from my agenda or interests. I attempted an exercise involving mapping their neighborhood more out of a desire to try the technique, than from any expressed interest on their part in the physical lay-out of their neighborhood. My questions about the locations of houses, shops and banks were rhetorical; the students knew perfectly well that I already knew the answers to them. They showed much greater interest in local schools, parks and shops when I brought in photos of them for literacy practice, and much greater interest in maps of the Fraser Valley and the Punjab, and revealed by their yawns of boredom and lack of concentration that they considered it pointless to draw a map of a neighborhood everybody already knew their way around. Successful thematic activities also contained an element of challenge or controversy. An example of this was a photo comparison of Sikh temples in Canada and in India, which opened up into a spirited discussion of the damage done to Golden Temple by the Indian army, of ancient persecution of Sikhs by Moghuls, and of students' distress at the necessity for Sikh men to cut their hair when moving to Canada. Successful thematic investigation activities also answered either a learning or a sharing need on the part of the students. The 'religion' discussion gave the students an opportunity to tell three interested and sympathetic anglophones (myself and 67 two visitors) about a variety of things that were very important to them. They assumed almost complete ignorance on our parts and used the photos as aids to explain temple procedure and Sikh doctrine, history and current affairs. The 'police' lesson, on the other hand, answered a keenly-felt learning need; the tape was played and replayed many times, copies requested, and the written form of the dialogue carefully studied. The educational purpose of successful activities was also clear. One activity that backfired in this respect was a language-experience photo-story recipe. I photographed the students making samosas, and in subsequent classes we ordered the photos, attached captions, to them, and placed them in an album. This activity dragged out over four lessons and was only completed by virtue of my insisting upon it. The students were enthusiastic about teaching me how to make samosas and liked having their pictures taken, but once reprints of the photos had been ordered they saw no further point in discussing them. I came to realize the-futility of teaching literacy based on English words for spices they grow in their gardens, of teaching about cups and tablespoons when they never measure ingredients, and of trying to get illiterates who have never used recipes excited about producing a written product in English for an undetermined audience. They could not see the point of making a book about cooking samosas when it would be no problem to just show anyone who was interested how to make them. In fact, they offered to show me again,as my belabouring of the subject indicated that maybe I hadn't quite understood the first time. 68 By far the most successful in-class method of investigating students' themes was not connected to any planned activity; it was, nevertheless, a conscious strategy: that of encouraging students to "just talk." This was never a problem with my students; in fact, it was often more difficult to get them to be quiet. Frequently, one student would bring up a topic or ask a question, and if the others seemed to be interested in it I would ask further questions and encourage the conversation to go on as long as possible. These conversations reflected what was on students' minds day to day, such as family work schedules and doctors' appointments, as well as what interested them in their everyday environment, such as comings and goings of neighbors, or the crochet project of one of the group. They also revealed underlying concerns such as homesickness for India, family tensions, and ambivalence about their abilities as learners. They occurred in just about every lesson, and sometimes pre empted the lesson plan entirely. OBSERVATION STRATEGIES Although in-class activities and discussions were the primary means of collecting informative data about students' themes, additional information and insights were provided by my notes from observation. This focussed on classroom interaction, on field trips and events, and on items in students' homes and their family relations. Nina Wallerstein recommends several foci for in-class 69 observation. One of these is to note the reasons for students' absence and lateness. For my students, this mostly gave clues about family responsibilities: to cook meals or prepare tea for male family members or visitors students would not infrequently get up and leave in the middle of class, and then come back. Babysitting was a related obligation that interfered with class attendance, and prevented it altogether for Amarjit after she became a mother. Doctor's appointments or illness affected the attendance of the older women. Once, a student came late because she had mistaken a visiting tutor for an unemployment insurance investigator and was waiting for her to go away. One student was frequently late returning from shopping trips, especially on $1.49 day. I also spent several hours visiting students' families in their homes, outside of class time. It was during these visits that some of the most important personal issues, such as the early death of a son, the pressure of learning to care for a baby, resentment over a husband's drinking, or strained relations with a daughter-in-law emerged as items of concern. Through these visits I also observed family roles and interaction: teenagers speaking English to hide things from their parents, young children acting as interpreters for grandparents, husbands watching hockey games while wives sewed Punjabi suits. Through these visits I experienced the generous hospitality provided to visitors, consuming countless obligatory cups of tea and sampling the savory snacks accompanying it. The articles in students' homes also reveal cultural 70 priorities. Every family has a colour television with pay channels and video machine for watching Punjabi movies, but two do not have washing machines (the women do the laundry by hand). Every family has a large vegetable garden, in which are grown mainly fresh spices, indicating the importance of good ingredients for traditional cooking. Every family owns a large, fairly new car, a status symbol capable of carrying the entire family to various functions. Every woman has a sewing machine for making traditional Punjabi suits. Every household displays family photos prominently, and three of the four have pictures of gurus or temples in their living rooms. For every couch there is a coffee table for offering food and tea to every guest. Most bedrooms contain more than one large bed; these are sometimes arranged so that all the men and all the women sleep together, or that grandparents sleep with grandchildren. Participation in religious and cultural events also allowed me to expand my understanding of certain themes. I visited the two temples attended by my students, once each for a regular service and again for a wedding and a baby dedication. These visits provided information about the connections between family and public religious life. I attended the parade celebrating Baisakhi, the holiday celebrating the birth of the Khalsa (Sikh brotherhood), and afterwards spent several hours listening to gruesome stories of the treatment of Sikh women by Punjabi Hindus, as justification for separatist terrorist action in India. This helped me to understand how the students' views on the issue were being shaped by the temple leadership. I 71 photographed all of these events and went over the photos with students in class, in order to get further information and to guage which were the most important aspects of each celebration to them. Over the course of classes I was given copious amounts of food as well as several gifts. These included two Punjabi suits, one of which was a corporate class gift and one of which Baldev brought back from India. Deciding on the style, taking measurements, shopping for fabric and being fitted for the first suit took up a great deal of time and energy, and was a process in which all the students participated with great interest. I was taught how to cook Punjabi sweets, samosas, and saffron rice, and endeavoured to teach the making of cashew-shortbread cookies. All of these activities provided me with an experiential frame of reference for the issues relating to home and family that emerged in classroom activities and discussions. In some respects these observations confirmed ideas about students' themes that had emerged in class, and in some respects I used in-class activities to verify observations. The primary usefulness of the 'observation' part of the investigation was to discover how all the different concerns and issues expressed by students in class were interrelated in their culture and everyday experience. 242 72 PROBLEMS AND ISSUES IN THEMATIC INVESTIGATION The activities and observations described above revealed considerable information about students' generative themes. They also revealed, however, some important problems in the process of teacher-conducted thematic investigation. These are discussed below. The most obvious barrier to a thorough investigation of generative themes in an ESL context is that of language. A thematic analysis according to my observations and taped data would be much more reliable if a more fluent level of communication had been possible between myself and the students. I was continually confronted with the problem of wondering whether I had correctly understood even the basic content of many communications, much less the meaning and emotions attached to them by the speaker. Nevertheless, this difficulty is a real-life parameter. Both Nina Wallerstein and Deborah Barndt speak Spanish, the language of many of their students; however, my students had specifically asked for a non-Punjabi tutor in order to force them to speak English. In my situation, there were other people, such as the bilingual union staff, who could potentially have communicated more effectively; however, these people were not willing, not trained, or not interested. Most ESL teachers working out of institutions or community programs do not have even this potential pool of translators to draw on, especially if their students come from a variety of linguistic backgrounds. Communication would also have been easier if the students' level of English had been intermediate or higher; 73 Amarjit could tell me things that I could only guess or infer about the others. Nevertheless, beginners have generative themes too, and in the absence of bilingual teachers or reliable translators the language barrier has to be overcome as much as possible through gesture, observation and intuition. It must be accepted, however, that the results will possibly be less accurate or less exact than in a monolingual context. Another limitation on the effectiveness of classroom thematic investigation is the amount of time and energy that the teacher is able to devote to it. I was able to concentrate full time on the investigation, and even so I found that innovative lesson planning, after-class visiting, transcribing tapes, creating materials, attending events, and countless trips to and from the photo shop to get film, reprints and enlargements left, me with no time to reflect on thematic connections and create codes to test them. This was partly because of the requirements that both Freire and Wallerstein stipulate must be part of a good code: it must depict an easily recognizable everyday experience in which contradictions are present, but neither too obvious nor too obscure; it must pose problems, and reveal connections to other themes (Freire, 1970:106-110, Wallerstein, 1983:20). By the time I felt that I had enough information on a given topic to create such a code, the students were usually tired of it and ready to move on to something else. In addition, in order to depict the relation of one theme to the whole complex of themes, a view of the overall picture is required which cannot be achieved until the end of the 74 investigation, when all the data can be examined together. Thus I did not have enough information, overall perspective, or production time to produce codes while the investigation was in process. One solution to this problem might be to experiment with less-than-ideal codes that could be quickly produced; a better one would be to have other teachers with similar students test the codes. In either case, the thematic information revealed could only be seen as preliminary until the entire complex of themes had been identified. A related problem is the type of observational data available to teacher-investigators. I had the advantage of teaching in a home-front setting, through which I had access to a range of information about students that is not normally available to a classroom ESL teacher. Nina Wallerstein recommends that teachers overcome this by frequently and systematically visiting students' neighborhoods, talking to peole on the street, and attending community and cultural events. This places an additional burden of time and energy on the teacher, especially if the students are from different neighborhoods and cultural groups. The logistical stresses of conducting a thematic investigation are compounded by the stress resulting from the conflicting roles that the teacher investigator must play. The "insider/outsider experience" (Spradley:56) or "dynamic tension between the subjective role of participant and the role of observer" (Wilson:250) is an accepted part of participant-75 observation research. In the context of a classroom investigation a third role, that of 'teacher,' is added. This role defines the researcher's activity as 'participant,' and partially aids but partially conflicts with the role of 'observer.' A related tension is that between the roles of teacher and friend, and researcher and friend. I had already taught the students for one year. They valued me as a teacher, but even more as a friend; this is a common experience among tutors and classes in the ESL Crusde. The conflict between these two roles emerged in classes, when because of the informality of our relations I was often reluctant or unable to assume control, tell them to be quiet, or get them to follow instructions. The conflict between the roles of researcher and friend came out in the students' concerns about the use of the tapes, and was accentuated by my own feelings of discomfort at taking notes on everything they did and said. In the ESL Crusade, a further complication is the teacher's role as union representative. Tutors usually feel some responsibility to at least bring up the issue of farmwork, whether or not their students appear to be interested. The union's goal of persuading people to follow a very specific course of action (becoming members) also seems inconsistent with an approach of open dialogue, in which the people identify their own solutions to problems they have identified. I addressed this conflict by largely ignoring my role as union representative until the start of the picking season was 76 approaching and the students' minds were more on farmwork. By this time they were more willing to discuss the issues, and to state plainly whether or not they agreed with the union viewpoint. The conflicting demands of these roles: researcher, teacher, friend, and union representative, affected the course of the investigation in affecting my ability to plan and lead lessons, to observe and keep complete notes, and to 'problem-pose' according to the union's objectives. Role conflicts are inherent to the participant observer research setting in general, and are compounded, rather than ameliorated, by the demands of the classroom and the supposedly participatory nature of a thematic investigation. Researchers may be able to use this "tension between particpant data and observer analysis to constantly refine their theory," (Wilson:250) but for an ESL teacher the conflicting responsibilities of different roles combined with the time-consuming tasks associated with both observation and teaching can result in a level of stress that has a detrimental effect on the class and thus on the students' learning experience. It was only after I had reorganized by roles into the following priorities: 1) teacher, 2) friend, 3) researcher, 4) union representative, that the stress was relaxed and a level of order and concentration acceptable to both myself and the students returned to the classes. In short, the demands on the teacher-investigator - in order for the investigation to be thorough - are such as to make it a daunting task under the best of circumstances for one 77 individual. Ideally, the effort, materials and observations should be shared among a number of like-minded teachers with similar students. Even if these logistical difficulties could be overcome, however, there remain some serious inherent contradictions in the procedure of classroom investigation of generative themes. The primary contradiction, related to the primary role conflict, is that between the requirements of good theme investigation and good ESL teaching. In my investigation, this problem became evident in the direction that the lessons began to take after the first two months. For December, January and February my focus was on eliciting themes, and teaching to whatever linguistic needs came up as a part of this process. Despite the energy and interest of these activities, over the weeks attendance became erratic, interruptions were more frequent, and it became harder and harder to carry a planned activity through to completion. My own feelings about the disintegration of the classes were borne out by student behavior in March, when Amarjit had her baby, Baldev went to India, and Gurminder and Ranjeet cancelled many classes. I experienced both a philosophical and personal crisis of confidence which resulted in a decision to just try more traditional teaching for a while in order to satisfy students' expectations for "English class," to re-establish some direction, and to relieve some of the pressure on myself. Over the following two months attendance was good and no classes were cancelled. Lessons focussed on more traditional 78 ESL topics, such as medical vocabulary, taking phone messages, and discussing work schedules, rather than on Punjabi cooking, the plots of Punjabi movies, or Sikh temple routine. Of course, these lessons were based on students' expressed needs and what I had perceived as ESL-related themes in the first few months, and they were taught in as "dialogical" a manner as possible. At this time I introduced more literacy instruction, as well as the materials created by the Farmworkers Union. For me, this portion of the investigation was less interesting, but the students were far more satisfied with their learning and were more cooperative in following lesson plans. I believe that the reason for this conflict between eliciting themes and teaching English is inherent in the ESL Crusade's Freirian approach. Freire's pedagogy assumes an approach of 'dialogue,' or an equal relationship of trust between students and teacher wherein knowledge is mutually discovered, versus a 'banking' model where the teacher 'deposits' knowledge into the students until they are 'filled up.' The problem with trying to apply this to ESL is that a certain amount of 'banking' is necessary in order to teach a foreign language. The teacher is responsible for conveying information to the students that they do not have and cannot get unless somebody tells them. The ESL Crusade faces the additonal problem that Punjabi students are accustomed to venerating teachers, and are accustomed, through family contact if not personally, to a very formal system of education. They expect the teacher to know what they need to know and to teach it. In 79 some respects the latter stage of the investigation was the more dialogical, in that I finally allowed the students' desire for more formal teaching to prevail. However, the knowledge and understanding I had acquired in the earlier stage made the delivery of relevant lessons in the latter stage possible. One solution to this contradiction would be to balance 'investigating' and 'banking' throughout, rather than letting them fall into distinct chronological stages. This brings up again, however, the issue of whether it is possible to understand and teach according to students' themes 'in progress,' without the benefit of the overall picture. A related issue is that of the different agendas of teachers and students. Freire, Wallerstein and Barndt all insist that the people whose themes are under investigation must participate as co-investigators. My research was not participatory in this sense. The "problem" of identifying generative themes was defined by myself, not by them. The ESL Crusade's approach of "dialogue" and objective of "conscientization" are those of the union, not the students. The product of the investigation, a basis for the development of relevant curricular materials, was one that the students did not care about. For them, the "problem" was: "Because we don't know English, our life is bad" (as Amarjit once translated for Gurnimder). They had taken action to address this problem: attending English classes. They joined the ESL Crusade because it was free, convenient, and made especially for them, not 80 because they wanted to analyze their lives. I attempted several times, with and without translation, to interest them in the nature and purpose of thematic investigation. I came to realize that the gulf of culture and education was a greater impediment to their understanding and being interested than that of language. I ended up explaining the investigation as a procedure whereby we would record our classes to keep track of what we talked about; this would help teachers next year to give better English classes because they would know what their students find most interesting. To this, students evinced greater concern at the implication that I might not be returning the following year, than in an improved ESL curriculum. I also told them that I would like to use the results in order to write a book for my teachers at the university, who are also interested in what ESL students like to talk about. They found this rather odd but agreed to the taping of the classes, as a favour to me, after I assured them that no newspaper, union, or government people would hear the tapes. (Gurminder's son had instilled in her the unallayable fear that her unemployment insurance benefits would be cut off if she were 'caught' attending English classes.) Aside from these 'legal' concerns about the tapes, the students showed no further interest in the procedure or the results of the investigation. I attempted to share these with them on the last class, by which time I had completed a preliminary analysis of the data, but they were more interested in finding a matching blue yarn for the sample of knitting that I used to illustrate one of the points than in the 81 ranking of results. Freire writes that "the more active an attitude men take in regard to the exploration of their thematics, the more they deepen their critical awareness of reality and, in spelling out those thematics, take possession of that reality" (1970:97). However, he gives no advice on explaining the idea of "generative thematics" to illiterate people, or interesting them in the unpleasant task of concentrating on all the problems in their lives. He warns investigators against imposing their view of reality on the investigation, but in some respects the investigation itself, and indeed the whole concept of 'dialogical' education, is such an imposition. From my experience, students will readily agree that an ESL curriculum must be based on and respond to their needs. However, they consider it part of the job of a trained teacher to know what these needs are and how they can be met. They are not interested in a process of "communication and of the common experience of a reality perceived in the complexity of its constant 'becoming'" (Freire, 1970:99). They just want to learn English. The lack of students' participatory involvement in the research process does not invalidate the informative data provided by the tapes and the observations. It does, however, render them more tentative and speculative; this is my analysis of the students' reality, not their own. I do not believe that this a unique problem, however, but a contradiction that must attend the efforts of any Freirian educators working with people 82 whose political consciousness and expectations of life differ significantly from the educator's own.1 Despite the difficulties and the inherent contradictions discussed above, the process of participant-observation and in-class thematic investigation activities described in the first part of this chapter did yield considerable informative data about students' interests, priorities, and culture, and everyday lives. This information, captured on tape, in photos and in notes, consitutes the data upon which the following analysis of students' generative themes is based. 1This issue is examined in greater depth by Blanca Facundo in Issues for an Evaluation of Freire-inspired Programs in the U.S.  and Puerto Rico (1984), and by David Jackson (M.A. Thesis, U.B.C, 1987). 83 V. PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS This chapter deals with the substantive results of the investigation: the topics and themes that were identified, how they relate to one another, and their relevance to ESL learning. The implication of these findings for ESL curriculum development are discussed in Chapter VI. Part I of this chapter describes the procedure by which transcriptions of the class tapes were analyzed for topic content. Part II presents and discusses the descriptive results: the topic areas ranked according to priority. In Part III, three topic areas and their interrelationships are examined in depth. Part IV discusses the data in terms of Freire's criteria for generative themes, and groups the topics into three integrally related theme areas. DATA ANALYSIS The topics and themes discussed below were identified through a content analysis of the taped data. Content analysis is a methodology of combining qualitative and quantitative modes of analyzing text. In educational research, it is frequently used in conjunction with observational studies, as a systematic means of analyzing the raw data generated by the observations (Lewin:252; Borg and Gall:512). It is particularly relevant to the identification of generative themes, for it examines both "the manifest content of communications" (Borg and Gall:511) and 84 "the psychological state ... [and] cultural patterns of groups, institutions, or societies" (Weber:9). Thus it provides information about the two essential aspects of generative themes: "the reality which mediates men, and ... the perception of that reality held by educators and people" (Freire, 1970:86). In fact, Freire specifically recommends analysis of the taped contents of the "decoding dialogues" of the "thematic investigation circles" in the third stage of the generative theme investigation. It is as a result of this process that "the investigators [can] begin to list the themes explicit or implicit in the affirmations made during the sessions" (Freire, 1970:112-113). In order to conduct a content analysis, a coding scheme must be devised which defines the units to be coded and the coding categories. Robert Weber lists the "six common options" for classification units as: word, word sense (idioms, etc), sentence, theme (within sentences), paragraph, and whole text (Weber:22-23). None of these units were really appropriate for my data, which was linguistically unsystematic, and included actions and physical context as well as words. I therefore defined my coding units as "conversations." A conversation was defined as a verbal interaction on one topic involving one or more speakers, and associated actions. When I transcribed each tape I made a note of the tape counter number whenever the speaker, topic, and/or action changed (depending on whether everyone was speaking all at once, and if so, whether it was all on the same topic and in the same language). From these notes 85 the time in minutes for each conversation was later calculated. Conversations were coded according to "topic areas." This allowed for the coding of data dealing with talk about the mechanics of running the class, phonics lessons, repetitions of phrases, and other conversations with no apparent 'thematic' relevance. Most of the topic areas were dictated by the characteristics and nature of the data. I incorporated descriptive information from the observations, photos and lesson materials into the definitions. I revised and re-defined the topic areas in the process of transcribing, after a preliminary coding of the whole body of data, and while preparing a revision of the coding scheme for use by another coder. Because everyday situations in peoples' lives frequently involve aspects of several different topic areas, it was necessary to make some arbitrary distinctions in the definitions. Some segments of data were very difficult to code, as they involved several levels of meaning. For example, one exercise that went over several lessons involved a tape and picture story about a nurse's daily work routine. This activity involved explicit language teaching content: time reporting, third person plural verb forms, sentence structure. It also involved a topic: work as a part of daily activity. The intent, or the need from which the activity arose, was to practise reporting on the work schedules of family members, in order to take telephone messages for them. Conversations in activities such as this were coded according to topic rather than language content or intent, so as to remove the need for intuition or 86 familiarity with the situation or pedagogical intent of the activity when coding. I coded the data myself, after the reliability of the coding scheme had been tested on a sample of data covering transcripts of six hours of tapes from three lessons from the beginning, middle and end of the investigation. Inter-coder agreement was 80%, the level established by Krippendorf as an indicator of acceptable reliability. The following is a list of the coding categories and their final definitions: ADMINISTRATIVE: references to all things having to do with the mechanics of running the class and making other arrangements. Includes: teaching instructions, props and teaching aids, arrivals, partings, and excuses for lateness or absence, invitations, plans and arrangements for class or outside-of-class activities, tapes, picture reprints, and miscellaneous personal comments. CLOTHING: references to clothing and the making of clothes. Includes contrast between Indian and Canadian clothes, making of Punjabi suits, fabrics, jewellery, embroidery, colors. FAMILY: references to family members, relationships, household routines, duties and roles, physical aspects of home. Includes housework, non-work activities of family members, family issues (eg. divorce), house maintenance FOOD: all references to food. Includes Indian vs. Canadian food, recipes, ingredients,cooking vocabulary, procedures, meals, preferences. HOMELAND: all references to India, life in India, attitudes toward India. Includes geography, travel to India, phoning India, homesickness, former activities in India, secular politics. LANGUAGE LEARNING: direct references to the form of language and the process of learning a language. Includes: whether to speak Punjabi in class, my teaching, their confidence, progress, and willingness to do homework, the ease/difficulty of learning languages at different ages, attempts to decode (sound out) words regardless of their meaning, phonics, letters, syllabication, grammar: verb forms, persons, pronouns, plurals, tenses, word order. LEISURE: references to anything they do for enjoyment in their 87 spare time. Includes: Punjabi movies, P.N.E., trips to the park, other peoples' leisure, holidays. MEDICAL: references to personal and family members' health, the health care system and means of accessing it. Includes: anatomy, illnesses and symptoms, medications and treatments, dieting, sanitation, phoning for doctors' appointments, getting prescriptions, medical insurance. NEIGHBORHOOD: references to their physical environment in Canada: neighborhood, city, country, transportation and general orientation; also to community activities and services, local news, and shopping. Examples: reading street signs, bus transportation, immigrant services, local banks and stores. PHONE: direct references to the mechanics of using the phone, phrases to use for taking personal messages. (Otherwise code for topic of phone conversation.) Includes: recitation of phone numbers, practising of phone greeting and message phrases. RELIGION: references to religious beliefs, activities, persons, celebrations, temples, politics. Includes: physical description of temples, temple services and customs, local temple politics and special events, Baisakhi parade, baby dedications, funerals, weddings, engagements, the Punjabi school, personal devotions, stories of the gurus, religious fighting in Canada and India, the Golden Temple, and references to Christian and other religions. SYSTEM: references to the legal system and government bureaucracy. Includes phoning for police, fire and ambulance, police duties, traffic fines, prisons and courts, immigration rules, getting visas, pensions, citizenship, all levels of government. TIME: direct references to telling time, reading clocks, remembering time and calendar vocabulary, ways of reporting the time. Includes: digital vs. clock face time, names of weekdays and months, correct phraseology for telling time. WORK: references to all jobs (personal, family, general), work routines, all unions, employment issues. Includes: needing, seeking, and finding jobs, unemployment, lay-off and firing, occupations and work routines of family members, wages and benefits, farmwork, in-home paid work (eg. knitting sweaters), C.F.U., other unions. Once the conversations in the data had been coded according to these categories, the total time of conversations for each topic area was calculated, and the topic areas ranked according to amount of time spent on them. This was to give an indication 88 of the relative interest of the various topic areas to the students. Because of the arbitrary definitions necessitated by the coding procedure, however, a simple ranking of the topic areas presents an oversimplified picture of the nature of their importance in the students' lives. Therefore, I subjected this ranking to a more detailed qualitative analysis taking into account the overlaps and sub-categories of the topic areas and the specific contexts in which they came up. The following table presents the results of the content analysis in terms of topic area, rank, total hours and approximate percentage of time spent on each. A discussion of the significance of these results follows. Table I - Ranking Results TOPIC AREA HOURS PERCENTAGE 1) Food 5. 2 1 2 2) Administrative 5. 1 1 2 3) Neighborhood 4. 2 10 4) Language 3. 9 9 5) Family 3. 4 8 6) Religion 3. 23 7.5 7) Work 3. 19 7.4 8) Medical 3. 06 7 9) Homeland 2. 9 6 10) System 2. 2 5 1 1 ) Clothing 2 4.6 89 12) Time 1 .75 4 13) Phone 1 .68 4 14) Leisure 1 .6 4 There are some surprises among the individual topic areas. Most of the fourteen topics are at least touched on in some way in the thematic curricula developed by Nina Wallerstein and the ESL Core Group, with three exceptions: 'administrative,' 'language,' and 'religion.' It is not surprising that 'administrative' took second ranking in terms of time. This can be explained partly by its function as a "catch-all" category, and partly by the fact that conversations on such topics as picture reprints and arrangements for out-of-class activities not uncommonly took up to half an hour once several versions of the message had been conveyed, questioned and confirmed in both Punjabi and English to everyone's satisfaction. Arrivals, departures and excuses for lateness or absence also took up great blocks of time as students frequently arrived late or left early and the class would come a temporary halt every time this occurred. Also, many of the activities involved an assortment of teaching aids and the logistics of explaining them and setting them up in Baldev's living room took up considerable time. Thus the high ranking of the 'administrative' category reflects the students' low level of English and the logistical demands of the teaching situation more than a passion on their part for administrative details. The other two 'surprise' topic areas are a more interesting 90 indicator of students' priorities. The topic of 'language' first emerged as important during March, when only Gurminder and Ranjeet were attending classes; they wanted to concentrate on learning to read while Baldev, who is illiterate in Punjabi, was away in India. This subsequently became the prime motivating drive behind all their language learning efforts. The importance of literacy to these students is somewhat obscured in the analysis of the data by the restriction of the 'language' coding to direct specific references to language learning, when in fact it was an integral part of activities that were coded for their substantive topic. Examples include reading the banners in pictures of the Baisakhi parade (coded: religion), reading place names on a map of India (coded: homeland), and reading simple sentences about daily routine (coded: work). Literacy-related conversations coded directly for language generally involved such meaningless content that the focus had to be the nature of the linguistic task. These included trying to read my student card, the logo on my notepaper, and a page and a half of a children's story in which Woody Woodpecker decides to quit his job making holes in doughnuts and lifesavers and go on a long sea voyage. Overall the students showed far greater interest in decoding than in meaning. They also showed high interest, for sustained periods of time, in Punjabi/English vowel contrasts, personal pronouns, usage of certain prepositions, silent consonants, and 's' as a plural marker. They frequently asked for metalinguistic definitions like the difference between 91 "talk" and "speak," and between "letters" and "spelling." They had definite views on the subject of language learning, which they expresssed frequently. They observed the apparent ease with which their grandchildren picked up the language, and bemoaned their old age and lack of intelligence. There were frequent heated arguments about whether the speaking of Punjabi should be allowed in class (these were usually in Punjabi). They also talked about their motivation to learn; the most explicit statement of interest on any one topic was on this one: "Joanne, reading practice you [I] care" (from Gurminder). These students' interest in the form of language and the process of learning came as a surprise to me, a believer in meaning-based approaches without explicit reference to form, especially for low-level adults with pressing 'survival' needs. Possibly because these women have a certain amount of leisure and have their survival needs taken care of by family members, however, they can afford to regard language learning as a challenging intellectual exercise with its own intrinsic rewards. (This was not the case for Baldev, whose literacy did not progress because she could or would not concentrate on it for more than a few minutes at a time). Perhaps it is a weakness of meaning-based approaches that they tend not to give low-level, uneducated students credit for an intellectual curiosity like, albeit less sophisticated than, that which motivates linguists and ESL teachers. The other surprise category was that of religion. Neither Wallerstein's nor the ESL Core Group's curriculum even touches 92 on this. For my students, however, it was very important, as attested to by the intensity as well as the length of discussions on it. This may be partly attributable to the students' particular culture and religion; many of the studies I consulted stress the inseparability to Sikhs of their religious and cultural identity (Chadney, 1976; Joy, 1982; Buchignani, 1979; Dusenbery, 1981). This is reflected in the importance of Sikh temples as educational, financial, political, cultural and social centers for their communities. Local temple activities formed the largest part of our discussions on religion; they far outweighed discussions of relgious politics or issues, despite the strife in Punjab, and despite the fundamentalist upheaval in Vancouver (although admittedly when this topic did come up, discussions soon tended to Punjabi). Chadney explains this in terms of religious activity as a mechanism of anxiety reduction: In the case of many of the Vancouver Sikhs, the entire process of assimilation was, and is, very stressful. And, even though non-religious institutional adaptational processes- may have been reasonably efficacious in meeting the demands of assimilation, close identification with temple activities appears to have been a major individual response to the felt stress. (1976:196-197) My students' faith, however, is personal as well as cultural. In their spare time, when the housework is done, they pray, using a string of prayer beads that are usually hung over the corner of a portrait of one of the gurus. Their favourite Punjabi videos are lives of the gurus. They also devoted great time and energy to explaining to me various doctrinal aspects of Sikhism, once they got over their initial surprise that I was 93 interested in hearing about it. Sikhs are not the only immigrant group to whom personal piety and communal religious activity is an important fact of everyday life. It may be that the absence of 'religion' in other thematic curricula reflects a real lack of concern for it on the part of other ESL student groups, or that they regard religion as a private matter not related to language learning. It may also, however, be an indicator of secular bias on the part of curriculum writers.1 Students may have very little actual need for English in relation to their religious activities. The importance of the topic to them, however, reveals something about their cultural priorities that has a bearing on their overall attitude toward life in Canada, and thus on their motivation to learn English. TOPIC AREA INTER-RELATIONSHIPS As was mentioned earlier, the types of definitions necessary for coding tend to conceal the actual inter connectedness of all the topic areas in students' lives. In fact, most of these overlap virtually inseparably with two or three others in real situations. Freire stresses the importance of identifying the nature of these interactions so that "significant dimensions of an individual's contextual reality" can "be perceived as dimensions of total reality" in such way as 1An exception to this is Our Lives, a small booklet of language-experience stories and activities compiled by Jean Unda, in which Portuguese women discuss the importance of their religious tradit ions. 94 to "begin to introduce men to a critical form of thinking about their world" (1970:95). The nature of connections between topic areas in my data can be illustrated by an in-depth analysis of three different types of topic areas. In this section the topic areas of "food," representing 'cultural' topic areas (clothing, leisure, family, religion, and homeland); "work," representing the 'survival' topic areas (neighborhood, system, and medical); and "phone," representing 'mechanical' types of topic areas (administrative, time, and language) are analyzed in terms of their major subtopics, and of their primary areas of overlap with other topic areas FOOD The topic area of 'food' ranked first in terms of time spent discussing it. This was also the most clear cut, easily codable category definition. Almost all of the "food" conversations took place during the early part of the investigation. They were initiated both by planned activities and in spontaneous discussion. Food is not mentioned as an important factor in Punjabi cultural adjustment by the anthropological studies, and is touched on only briefly in the other thematic curricula as part of a "family" or "health" unit. However, to my students food is a symbol of many important cultural conflicts. Conversations on the topic of food were of four main types. 95 The largest of these, in terms of time, involved the sharing of recipes (including the ingredients, procedures and implements used) for a variety of both Indian and Canadian food. Related to these 'recipe' conversations, and often arising from them, was a second area of more general conversations about Canadian versus Indian food, as expressed in the personal preferences of members of the students' families. These conversations revealed the concern with which the students saw their children and grandchildren abandon traditional for Canadian food; food is one battleground for the conflict between the maintenance of Punjabi culture and the incipience of Canadian culture in the home. A third subcategory of food conversations were more direct descriptive comparisons of food preparation and consumption in India and Canada; the relative advantages of cooking over a fire on the floor or a gas stove, or of buying or growing ingredients. A fourth category were very short, spontaneous discussions relating to whatever was being served up with tea that day. The tone of conversations on these snacks, as on the sharing of recipes for larger dishes, was positive and energetic, in contrast to the wistful tone of conversations relating to the cultural conflicts. Thus conversations in the topic area of 'food' reveal its importance as a tie to the 'homeland,' and as an arena of cultural conflict within the 'family.' 'Food' is also related to 'religion,' as my students are vegetarians for religious reasons; they refused to eat Canadian snacks because of the possibility of their containing eggs. Most importantly, the 96 area of food preparation is one in which students excel, and in which their traditional roles and abilities are still appreciated and valued. The thematic significance of this is discussed later in this chapter. WORK It is with the topic area of 'work' that the ESL Crusade is specifically concerned. The goal of the Crusade to is develop in students a sense of identity as farmworkers and a corresponding consciousness of the degree and causes of their exploitation, resulting in united action from the grassroots level (i.e. joining the union). However, contrary to the union's expectations and despite the Crusade's relative abundance of farmwork-related teaching materials, many tutors over the years have found that farmwork is a relatively minor concern for their students (Jackson, 1984; Millard, 1985, 1986). My data reflects this as well. The 'work' topic area, which ranks seventh out of fourteen, includes much more than farmwork; moreover, most of the conversations on work took place in the latter part of the investigation, as a result of activities initiated by me. Like 'food,' the topic area of 'work' can be broken down into four subtopics. The first of these is farmwork. Most of our conversations on farmwork were in the context of lessons based on the "Farmworkers, Zindabad" video and literacy book or the farmwork 'code' drawings (these have been described in 97 Chapter II). Both the drawings and the video prompted students to tell anecdotes about their own experiences; these invariably focussed on the long hours and hard physical work. A second 'work' subcategory was general work issues and unions. This included descriptions of picket lines they had seen on T.V., the difference between "day off," "lay off," and "holiday," and the lessons on a picture story about a nurse's work day. 'Family' is the third 'work' subtopic. Students frequently initiated conversations in this area; most of these involved schedules or problems. From experience, the students were already familiar with the terms 'lay-off,' 'graveyard shift,' 'on-call,' and 'part-time.' Most of their family members were under- or unemployed; this contributed to their interest in the fourth type of 'work' conversation, those related to the official bureaucracy. Many of these concerned Baldev's husband's disability insurance claim, students' own unemployment Insurance claims, and, in the context of the video, the difference between compensation and welfare. The primary area of overlap for the 'work' topic area is with 'family'; this is connected to its overlap with 'phone' and 'time,' for taking messages. 'Work' also overlaps with 'system,' due to the current nature of work (or lack thereof) and the types of jobs available to students' families. This in turn overlaps with 'medical,' as compensation and aches and pains are areas of concern. In the complex of concerns centering around work, the Farmworkers Union does not play a very big role. The union is 98 regarded as a 'good thing,' but as something for other people to do, and since the CFU does not offer a dental plan or other perks the $60.00 membership dues are seen as a poor risk of money for no forseeable tangible results. PHONE The 'phone' topic area is connected to many aspects of students' lives. It was coded as a separate category because many conversations revolved specifically around memorizing appropriate phone language, but conversations coded for topics such as 'medical' and 'system' were also important as 'phone' exercises. The students continually brought up the importance of communicating over the phone. They asked about emergency numbers in the middle of a 'recipe' exercise, and about phoning long-distance in the middle of a 'medical' discussion. Most of the 'phone' conversations were based on activities I prepared in response to this constant demand. Again, there are four major subcategories. (For the purposes of this analysis I have included phone conversations that were coded for other topics.) The first of these concerns taking a message for a family member. The students were very afraid of being home alone, getting an English phone call, and getting the message wrong. This was especially important as many of their families worked on call, and a mistaken message could have serious consequences. The second major type of phone conversation was making doctors' and dentists' appointments. 99 The students showed a surprising degree of interest in this considering that their doctors (and their assistants) all speak Punjabi. The third major category was emergencies. Again the motivation for this was fear of being home alone. The fourth category was the logistics, in terms of price, times and steps, of phoning.home to India. The 'phone' topic area thus overlaps with 'time,' 'homeland,' 'medical,' 'system,' 'work' and 'family.' It is of i most importance in the context of the latter: emergencies, doctors' appointments and calls home occur occasionally; but English speaking friends and employers call often. Incoming calls force students to respond in English to a situation over which they have no control, and which could be important. This threatening situation is their principal direct contact with English-speaking strangers. Their motivation to handle it well is fuelled by their responsibility to their families, and by the fear of being made to feel powerless and confused in their own homes. DATA IN TERMS OF FREIRIAN CRITERIA FOR THEMES I did not code my data in terms of "generative themes," as Freire makes it clear that there is more to the "generative theme" than a collection of descriptive information on a variety of topics salient to peoples' lives. He defines the distinctive characteristics of generative themes in Chapter III of Pedagogy  of the Oppressed. These have been described in Chapter I; here 100 I will briefly review the four key criteria. First, generative themes arise from and are embedded in a specific historical-cultural context and are expressed in real-life "limit-situations" (92). The second key component of generative themes is "the thought language with which men refer to reality, the levels at which they perceive that reality" (86). Third, the relationships between a situation and peoples' perceptions of that situation imply tasks or "responses in the form of historical action" (93). Fourth, "the meaningful thematics should include a concern for the links between themes" (99). As I attempted to apply these criteria to each topic area, it became apparent that the generative themes contained in them could best be described in terms of three theme areas comprised of topic areas for which the situations, perceptions, implicit actions and linkages are similar. The following analysis of the students' "minimum thematic universe" is therefore presented in terms of sources of fear (the unknown), sources of strength (the known), and sources of tension between the two. SOURCES OF FEAR The situations and experiences represented in the 'system,' 'medical,' and 'neighborhood' topic areas all represent a society that to the women in my class is new, unknown and threatening. They are immigrants from a rural, traditional, third-world society to a white, urban, industrialized setting. 101 They live in material cirucumstances that are more comfortable than they were used to in India, but they have suffered relative demotion from one of the more prosperous and prestigious groups in India to one of the most exploited and least welcome "ethnic" groups in Canada. The history of their peoples' settlement in this country has been characterized by exclusion and discrimination on the part of Canadian society, and counter-assimilative responses from the Punjabi community. Their peoples' place in the economy is that of unskilled labourers doing jobs that are shunned by native-born Canadians. Isolation is the key characteristic of my students' individual relations with Canadian society, as it is of many of the farmworkers surveyed by the 1982 C.F.U. needs assessment. Their personal mobility is limited to visits within walking distance of their homes or bus rides no farther away than the Punjabi shopping areas around Main and Fraser Streets and 49th Avenue. For all other excursions they are dependent on family members for transportation and translation. When they do have to interact independently with Canadian society it is usually in anxiety ridden circumstances: when they need to get help in emergencies, make medical appointments, or answer strangers on the phone. I was the only white English speaker they knew personally; most of their neighbors are Punjabi and they don't know the others. Their main connection with the Canadian 'system' is as collectors of unemployment inurance. They have a very vague notion of the relationship (or lack thereof) between institutions such as the university, the union, and the 1 02 unemployment office. This was reflected in their concern that my tapes not fall into the hands of U.I.C. investigators. This lack of information increases their dependence on family members and community "gatekeepers" such as the leadership of the temples in all their interactions with Canadian society, and also shapes their perception of it. An important factor in the students' sense of isolation from Canadian society is that they are not here by their own choice. All came because of family decisions that were made for them; all would rather be living in India. Baldev's trip to India brought these emotions to the fore: Feb. 14 - me asking about the preferences of Indian people for Canadian and Indian food; Ranjeet and Gurminder sidetracked onto 'fruit' - Amarjit: didn't eat for 20 days when she first arrived; very sick, fever of 106; because she came alone, was very homesick; before she got married; living in the same place; knew Gurnam's family from before, in India; didn't eat on the plane; there was another girl in the same situation as her on the plane; they sat together - Gurminder telling the story of her plane flight and what she ate; brought her own food - me asking again what Canadian food they like; Amarjit: bread - Baldev saying she's not coming back from India: "everybody like India, no like Canada" April 2 - Baldev not happy to be back, constant theme that everything about India is better than everything about Canada: "everybody all the time happy"; still very homesick, didn't want to come back to Canada; smuggled a lot of Indian food through customs packed between clothes in suitcases Students compared the Canadian social welfare system favorably to that of India: 103 Jan. 12 - discussing arranged versus love marriages, I pointed out that 50% of Canadian marriages end in divorce - them: divorce is unknown in India; but possible here because (Gurminder): "government care"; family allowance, welfare, no such thing in India: "government no care"; have to stay with family - I suggested that maybe that way things get worked out instead of given up on; they either didn't understand or didn't agree May 23 - Gurminder: "India people no compensation, no welfare, no unemployment, no help" from government - Gurminder and Ranjeet in Punjabi; Gurminder: in India, welfare might come to $50.00 per month; some disagreement, argument in Punjabi - Ranjeet: "India old man"; Sybil asking if they get pensions; Ranjeet: yes; Gurminder and Baldev in Punjabi - Gurminder: "finger, farmworker, finger broken, union office compensation, no union worker, no compensation?" (Can you only get compensation if you're a member of the union?) - me explaining that compensation is not from the union, but from the government; doesn't matter if you're in a union (them discussing it in Punjabi) Despite this, however, Gurminder's fears that her unemployment insurance benefits would be cut off were unallayable. Overall, the students expressed great indifference to local events and issues not directly related to their own community (we spent several lessons on the Baisakhi parade, but my pictures of the Vancouver Peace March failed to arouse even the slightest interest). Their perception of Canadian people, as they presented their ideas to me for verification, was that though they smoke and drink and are immoral, they have happier lives in general than do Punjabis, and that they dislike Punjabi food and Punjabi people. 1 04 My students' perceptions of Canadian society and people and their relation to it are borne out for the community in general in the anthropological studies. Most South Asian immigrants have come to Canada from societal contexts characterized by a strong sense of community and very dense social networds. Canadian society is such that it is impossible to build structural replacements for these social networks that are anything but pale shadows of the originals ... many South Asians find themselves more socially isolated than ever before in their lives. This seems to be particularly the case for ... women, especially if they do not work and are without easy access to transportation. (Buchignani, 1979:62) A questionnaire survey of working-class men revealed that "a high proportion of Sikhs feel that they are frequently the victims of discrimination ... because of their divergence from British norms" and because of Canadian ethnocentrism (Buchignani and Indra, 1981:151). The authors argue that "Sikh perceptions of the degree of conflict and threat which exists between themselves and others is much overdrawn," and attribute it partly to a "heritage of constantly activating Sikh identity in conflict with others" (Buchignani and Indra, 1981:151). The focus of this identity conflict in relation to Canadian society is generally family and social mores: Because few Sikhs maintain close relationships with non-Indians, they assess Canadian family life largely in terms of those features that are the special obsession of our own mass media: sexual exploitation, youthful rebellion against parental authority, the tragedy of old age, and the alleged instability of the conjugal relationship. Further, Sikhs judge Canadian patterns in terms of their own traditional ideals rather than in terms of Canadian 1 05 values. It is therefore not surprising that their perceptions are at least negatively tinged. Where family life among East Indians in B.C. has been disrupted, even by stresses inherent in the traditional family structure, this disruption is typically explained by reference to 'rebellious' members who have been 'corrupted' by Canadian patterns. (Ames & Inglis, 1973:28). Annama Joy concluded of her Sikh informants in the Okanagan that "their settlement in Canada has been one of frustration. They remain ambivalent toward the Canadian way of life" (1983:343). There are two sorts of action implicit in this reality of isolation and misinformation and these perceptions of Canadian society as threatening and hostile. One is the response that characterizes the community as a whole as well as most individuals within it: to make the adjustments necessary to survive, but to energetically resist assimilation. As far as learning English is concerned, this would involve certain survival skills such as emergency numbers and reading street signs, but not necessarily communication skills for shopping or chatting with co-workers. This type of response is not uncommon, suggests Freire, when "men perceive reality as dense, impenetrable, and enveloping." In this case, "the task implied by the theme is the lack of a task." (1970:95, 105). The other implicit action is to take steps to acquire first-hand information and to emerge from isolation; to replace fear and suspicion based on ignorance with confidence based on personal experience. In a sense, this is the action that my students have taken. It did not involve a very radical 1 06 behavioral change, since English was brought to their doorstep, but for women of their age and limited education (excepting Amarjit) to embark on a new educational enterprise is unusual, and shows that they have realized that life might be better if they could interact more independently with Canadian society. Other students in the ESL Crusade have found that personal friendships with their tutors broke down many stereotypes. In fact, in every year of the Crusade the inter-cultural understanding arising from friendships between tutors and students has been a far more notable result than any increase in language skills (Jackson, 1984; Millard, 1985, 1986). The strange, threatening society surrounding students in the ESL Crusade is necessarily linked to their own familiar, understandable society by virtue of the conflicts, perceived and real, between the two. Chadney describes the link between the two in terms of the latter as a coping strategy to deal with the former: How can one simultaneously be a Canadian and A Sikh? The solutions lie in the recognition that one must adjust to the realities of the host society at the same time one maintains a viable identification with what is perceived to be a traditional Punjabi culture. (1977:199). SOURCES OF STRENGTH There are two main areas within the general theme of students' traditional culture as a source of strength. The first of these, which concerns the topic areas of 'food,' 'clothing' and 'leisure,' is characterized by activities which 1 07 distinguish the role of women in Punjabi culture. The second concerns the role of 'religion' and 'homeland' as sources of strength and affirmation. The historical-cultural reality of the first theme can be described in terms of the various activities that traditionally constitute "women's work." Most of these are creative, but I have also included under this heading the 'consumption' of Punjabi videos. My students represent the most traditional type of woman in the Vancouver Punjabi community: not-highly-educated recent arrivals from India who speak very little English, and who do not work outside the home. Their sphere of activities is very clearly defined and accepted. In their families, women do all the cooking, cleaning, and sewing, although men will help with shopping, house and garden maintenance, and child care. Cleaning tends to devolve upon the younger women in a household; Baldev and Amarjit showed much more interest in this than did the older women. Sewing and needlework handicrafts are a matter of personal taste; however, all my students knit (an ability they regard as very pedestrian), crochet and embroider (this is regarded as an art). Tablecloths, dust-covers and pillow-cases of their own making adorn all their houses. As has been discussed earlier, all enjoy cooking, which includes raising, drying, grinding and mixing spices, and often making their own clarified butter from dairy-bought milk. Another popular women's activity is watching Punjabi videos. These are almost always musical romance-adventures involving stock characters and plots. Several times when I arrived for class, one of these was 108 running and it frequently took considerable insisting on my part to get it turned off.2 At no time did I detect nor did the students express any dissatisfaction with their roles, although Amarjit did think that her husband should be more patient when she can't get all the work done. None of them particulary like housework, but consider it a point of pride to keep a clean home. None of them seem to regard cooking or sewing as drudgery. On the contrary, all of the students shared great pride in their food preparation abilities, and great confidence that Punjabi food is both tastier and healthier than any other kind. (This is understandable since their ingredients for Punjabi food are fresh and home-made, whereas the Canadian food they have been exposed to is of the frozen pizza - Chicken McNuggets - Kraft Dinner type.) They also take pride in the sort of complicated details that they can add to Punjabi suits, and in their embroidery work. Part of the reason for students' positive identification with these tasks is that they are performed in the context of sisterhood. Students frequently cook together, and share the products of their labours. They consult with one another on aspects of embroidery and on recipes. Although these women have very different personalities and do not get along all the time, the strength and affirmation that they derive from this 'sisterhood' as expressed in communal performance of 'women's 2The popularity of these movies is such that the ESL Crusade does not organize classes for Monday and Thursday evenings, when they come on the multicultural pay-TV channel. 109 work' far overrides individual squabbles in importance. Through it their talents, abilties and roles are affirmed, their creativity finds an appreciative audience. The students perceive that these domestic cultural skills are not highly valued in Canadian society, as reflected in their constant surprise that I like Punjabi food and will wear a Punjabi suit. This perception that what they regard as valuable is valueless in Canadian society increases both their sense of isolation from Canadian society, and the importance of the affirmation provided by the sisterhood network. For the students, the obvious task implicit in this theme is to maintain a sense of connectedness with the homeland through spice blending and cooking, sewing Punjabi suits, and watching media that celebrates (and idealizes) traditional village life. A task to address the conflict between their high and Canadians' low valuation of their domestic skills could involve greater exposure of their talents on the one hand, which might lead to greater understanding and appreciation of them on the other. This could possibly be attempted through the establishment of a collective enterprise such as a crafts cooperative or a catering service.3 Thus the topic areas of food, clothing and leisure are linked through their common connection to the pride and affirmation that students derive from these activities that 3Recently, the women have begun to joke about opening up a restaurant in the Punjabi market, and the various roles they would all play; despite the fact that they see this as an impossible dream, it is indicative of their growing awareness of the potential financial value of their skills. 110 define their roles as women, and through which their relations of sisterhood are developed and expressed. The importance of these skills in maintaining the cultural heritage applies also to the related theme of religion as a tie to the homeland. THE TIE THAT BINDS Chadney (1976) discusses the importance of the Sikh religion in the Punjabi community as the strongest influence towards maintaining tradition, as opposed to the influence of economic opportunity toward cultural adaptation. Since the early 1980's, the Sikh temples have certainly been the most conservative element, and represent the strongest ties to and identification with India, of any sector of the community. Enabled by strong family ties that lead to frequent travel to and from India, religious revivalism and political discontent from Punjab had taken root in Vancouver by the late 1970's (Dusenbery:109). By the time that my investigation took place, support for a separate Sikh state of Khalistan had become even stronger in Vancouver than in Punjab, by some reports." Depending on whether one talked to the fundamentalist-dominated temple leaderships or more secular, moderate community spokespersons, the vast majority of the community was either firmly committed to Khalistan or firmly against it but afraid to *One traveller to India at this time returned with the report that people there were joking that maybe Khalistan should be set up in B.C. instead of in India, since it has so much more support here. 111 speak out. My students' views on the issue were shaped by the temple leadership: they told me how many bullet holes had been fired into the Golden Temple, described a movie that showed Hindus butchering Sikh babies, and reported a rumour that Jarnail Bhindarwale, the fundamentalist leader killed in the Golden Temple attack, had in fact not been killed but, unbeknownst to the Indian government, had escaped by helicopter and was hiding out in Pakistan. They all participated in the very-Khalistani Baishakhi parade, despite the official non-participation of the Richmond temple that three of them attend. However, their personal opinions on the issue were less clear. Baldev returned from India reporting that fighting was over and all was normal, discounting some of the alarmist opinions then current in Vancouver. However, at the same time a calendar commemorating Bhindrawale as a saint appeared on the wall of her living room. The following conversation illustrates some of the differences in opinion and affiliation: April 4 - Baldev and Gurminder: curfew, military presence at Amritsar; four people can't talk together, 6:00 busses close, store, temple, but people can be on the streets - Ranjeet: no problem, no curfew - Gurminder: people my and David's age in jail for 30 years for being Khalistanis - Baldev in Punjabi - Gurminder: Baisakhi in April, start of Sikh people 500 years ago, parade, amrit (baptismal water) Guru Gobind Singh, Punjabi new year, like Christmas, people go to Delhi, big Khalistan demonstration, police shooting - Baldev in Punjabi about parade - Gurminder: Sikh people "hurt"; government people, military, 200 - Baldev still in Punjabi: two parades in India, no worry - Gurminder to David: Sikh party and Congress party different -me to Baldev: is there still fighting? 1 1 2 -Baldev: no, all finished, no problem; saw two parades, no fighting, no problems - (simultaneous me to Baldev and Gurminder to David) - Gurminder: Richmond temple sides with government of India, Congress party, not with Khalistan - Baldev: saw her 'guru' in a parade in India - Gurminder: Richmond and Ross St. temples not the same thing - argument between Baldev and Gurminder in Punjabi, then deciding not to argue about it - me asking about parade in Vancouver, who will participate: no Richmond, no Surrey Although students were concerned for the safety of their families in India, this major issue of their community was not a major personal issue. As has been previously mentioned, there was far more interest in discussing the everyday routine of the temple. For my students, the operation of the local.temple represents the strongest source of continuity between life in India and life in Canada. Their families are the most obvious emotional tie to the homeland, but they are contacted only infrequently by phone or by letter; the temple is always there -a place where things are done just as they were in India. Students' enthusiasm for the temple is illustrated in the following conversation: Jan. 29 - getting out pictures of Indian temple exteriors, handing around, identifying those they recognize or have been to, Ranjeet reading captions; much interest and excitement - Ranjeet is from Patiala or near there; discussion of temples, some Punjabi and some English, mostly me and Ranjeet - Fategahr Sahib where Gobind Singh's sons were bricked into the wall; Taran Taran 11 km. from Amritsar; Gurminder has been there often; Paonta Sahib and Vancouver temple the same; Gurminder: Guru Nanak founded Paonta Sahib - (constant background rumble of Punjabi from other students and two Punjabi, two Anglo visitors) - Gurminder asking Brett if he liked the pictures of samosas, she and Baldev explaining to him that we made them 1 1 3 last month: "house, kitchen, last month, student, you, my, picture, cook, rolling" -Gurminder telling me people at the temple, ladies, happy I took pictures at the temple, liked me; told her I liked the people too - Baldev inviting me to Richmond temple with her family next Sunday to take pictures - started putting India and Canada pictures on different sides of pocket chart, questions about copies of pictures - outside pictures: seven from India, one from Canada; discussing other temples to take pictures of in Vancouver, where they are: Surrey, Skeena St., Abbotsford; too far, one hour to drive - Gurminder: come with her when she goes out to pick berries - me asking if they've been to Abbotsford temple; Baldev: $20.00 worth of gas to go to Abbotsford and back; her brother-in-law lives there - talking about CFU service at the New Westminster temple last year - all want to come along with me to take pictures of Surrey temple - back to pictures, discussing what's happening inside - discussion of difference of 'langar' (communal meal) in India and Canada; outside versus inside and downstairs - Baldev with 'langar' picture from Canada: "lunchtime" - asking me if I ate at the temple, laughter - Gurminder telling Brett: "you next week hungry, you lunch Sikhs temple, okay?" - asking me if I like the food, telling them how much I ate; four rotis, most people only have two The different levels of importance of these two aspects of students' religious reality - the political versus the everyday - points to the the nature of their perception of their situation. Their concern over the dramatic events affecting their faith-community cannot come close to upsetting the assurance and satisfaction that they derive from the familiar beliefs and activities centered in the temple. The action implicit in this theme of religion as the strongest tie between life in India and life in Canada is, for my students personally as well as for community leaders, to maintain and strengthen the bonds. The fact that this bond 1 1 4 increases their psychological distance from Canadian society is immaterial, since the bond to India is desired and intimacy with Canada is not. This reveals an important source of conflict between students and the leadership and objectives of the Canadian Farmworkers Union. The CFU leadership is drawn from that sector of both Canadian-born Punjabis and educated, young immigrants who regard "recent Sikh revivalism as an unfortunate return to aspects of life in 'village India,' with little relvant to, or positive implications for, the community's situation in Canada" (Dusenbery, 1981:110). They regard the temples as abusers of power and supporters of exploitative intra-community social structures, and have sought and received little cooperation from them.5 Without even the passive sanction of the temples, however, farmworkers like my students will be unlikely ever to identify with the union in more than a token way. The implicit task for the union in this regard is to accept, rather than challenge the peoples' belief structure; to appeal to their strong Sikh heritage of fighting for justice, rather than to their (non-existent) sense of identity and pride as members of the Canadian working class. As Freire says: Even if the people's thinking is superstitious or naieve, it is only as they 5In the spring of 1986, the CFU leadership did approach the temples for help on a 'safe' issue: to protest the increase of unemployment insurance eligibility requirements from ten to sixteen weeks for most farmworkers. Six hundred people turned out to a demonstration advertised in and sanctioned by the temples. Throughout the summer, union organizers collected several thousand signatures for a petition on the same issue at various temples. This activity greatly enhanced the union's visibility in the community and has had positive effects on its organizing efforts. 1 1 5 rethink their assumptions in action that they can change. Producing and acting upon their own ideas - not consuming those of others [either temple or union leaders] -must constitute that process. (1970:100) SOURCES OF TENSION The third important theme area consists of points of tension between these sources of fear and of strength. These are areas of students' lives in which the demands of the Canadian environment meet and clash with the demands and rewards of the traditional culture. For my students, there were two points of significant contact between these two worlds: their ESL learning, and their families. My students' interest in the nature of the language learning task has been discussed earlier. Despite some discouragement with their slow rate of progress and with the difficulty of remembering certain words and phrases, they fre quently referred to English class as "fun," and seemed to enjoy the process of learning. Their perception of the value of learning English, however, was somewhat vague. As was mentioned previously, for my students attending ESL classes was in part a step towards breaching the gulf between themselves and their English-speaking environment. Lack of English is seen as the reason for this gulf. "Because we don't know English, our lives are bad," Gurminder, through Amarjit's .translation, once told a visiting tutor. This illustrates a tendency on the part of many 1 1 6 farmworkers who join the ESL Crusade to regard English as a sort of 'magic key' to greater satisfaction in Canada. Respondents to the inital needs assessment identified their language-learning needs primarily in terms of tasks such as taking the bus, going shopping, getting a better job. In trying to teach to these needs over the years, however, many tutors have discovered that students would never take the bus or go shopping alone even if they did speak English. This reveals a gap between students' perceptions of how learning English would improve their lives, and the reality of how much difference it would actually make given cultural restrictions on their personal mobility and independent contact with English speakers. Farmworkers' perceptions of English as a ticket to a happier life in Canada leads them to enrol in ESL Crusade classes; their perception of the difficulty of the task, once faced with it, leads many either to give up or, given some intital measure of success, to accept small advances and to narrow their scope of concentration to achievable, concrete goals. These can almost always be located in the context of the family. English language learning is not widely perceived as having relevance to family relations, but my investigation revealed that, for my students at least, this can be its primary area of importance. Students' families are both a buffer between them and Canadian society, and their principal point of contact with it. English-speaking family members can be relied upon to perform most of the tasks requiring communication with and knowledge 1 1 7 about Canadian society; driving, paying bills, arranging for house repairs, filling in official forms. They also can be called upon as translators; Baldev took her daughters with her on her frequent confrontational visits to the Indian consul prior to her trip to India; she takes them out of school to accompany her to doctors' appointments. In our classes, communication of certain types of information, mostly dates and times, often had to wait until the children got home from school to translate. On the other hand, it is family members who bring Canadian culture into the home. Sons and husbands watch hockey games and want to eat frozen pizzas, teenagers listen to rock music and watch "Dallas," and grandchildren make Valentine's and Mother's Day cards in school. In the community at large, "the Sikh family is seen as a refuge against the onslaught of new values" (Joy, 1983:251). For women such as my students, however, it is not so much a refuge (this is the role of the temple) as a front line of combat. The relevance of English to this context emerges in situations which involve both personal and cultural conflict, and which illustrate a need for specific language skills. The first of these has already been discussed. It is that of being able to use the phone to answer incoming calls and to make emergency calls out. This need illustrates the fear that students feel of being in a situation where they are unable to depend on family members for help and also reveals their awareness that total dependence is undesirable and potentially 1 18 dangerous. English ability is also a crucial factor in handling telephone calls which, if family members work on call, could be an important factor affecting family income. Other situations reflect the impact of students' lack of understanding of English on relations within the family. Although Punjabi is the language of the home, children often switch to English when they do not want their parents to understand what they are saying. In the CFU needs assessment, several respondents indicated the ability to understand their children as an important learning need. I frequently watched Baldev's children insult her to her face in English, after acceding to some demand in Punjabi. To women for whom deferential respect for elders has always been assumed and expected behavior, this ability of children to mock and keep secrets from their elders with impunity is a source of great concern. Situations of family conflict are rarely attributed to cultural causes , however, but rather to bad character on the part of the children, lack of strictness on the part of parents, high blood pressure, drinking, or just quick tempers. Students are aware of the phenomenon of family conflict as a problem in their community, but they ascribe it inherent flaws in Punjabi people and culture: Jan. 12 - requesting permission to tape classes led to discussion of what would happen next year; would I still be their teacher - much explanation required, communication problems trying to get across 'I hope so'; resorted to 'maybe', explaining that yes, if I get a job in Vancouver, but I can't be sure 119 of that - led to discussion of my future: job, marriage, children? Would I like that? - me: yes, but no current prospects - led to discussion of arranged marriages - would my parents find me someone?; answer an emphatic no - discussion: In India parents would, pros and cons of arranged marriages, mostly cons; Gurminder verbose, Ranjeet silent (she has a happy marriage) - Amarjit: her aunt-in-law has a love-match; lucky - her four brothers all live together in harmony; very unusual - Gurminder: 5% (literally "hundred, five") of arranged marriages happy - Baldev: Punjabi people "all the time, fighting, no happy" Whether they attribute the conflicts to cultural or personal causes, their lack of English clearly diminishes their ability to assert authority over and demand obedience of their children. A similar if less overtly hostile erosion of parental and grandparental authority is related to adults' dependence on children as translators. In my students' families the children were always cooperative when called upon (although I sometimes doubted the accuracy of their thirty-second translations of five-minute communications) and either were not aware of or chose not to exercise their potential for abuse of this power. However, adults are very frustrated by their dependence, which limits their personal mobility and communicative ability to the availability and skill levels of the younger members of their families. Also related to loss of authority within the home is the inability of parents and grandparents to understand the Canadian cultural items that their families bring into the home well enough to judge what is harmless and what is not, and to check the flow. They are unable to understand the English-language 1 20 T.V. shows from which their children are absorbing North American cultural values. They do not know, or consider it possible to know, what is being taught (and informally learned) at school. It is generally agreed that parental authority is gradually eroding ... The lack of fluency in English on the part of the parents and the lack of fluency in their mother-tongue on the part of the Canada-born contributes not only a communication gap, but even leads to lack of respect for the parents' views (which are not always understood) and a lack of respect for the parents and 'age.' The diverse influences ... to which the Canada-born are subjected lead them to reject some of the East Indian values and the assumptions behind them. For example, the close relationship between age and wisdom that forms the basis for respect and obedience is generally rejected ... the Canada-born consider their parents to be too authoritarian and lacking in understanding. The parents complain of rebellion among the youth. (Srivastava, 1974:388-389) For grandparents, this is reflected not so much in rejection of authority by young grandchildren as by a decrease in intimacy. Both Ranjeet and Gurminder have managed to turn this problem around by having their eldest grandaughters teach them some English, and have thus maintained a very important bond. STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND The above analysis of students' generative themes reveals that significant aspects of themes emerge only when the links between topic areas are considered, and they are seen in terms of their relationship to one another and to the whole picture. STRANGERS Sources of S trenrjth 1. Women'B Work Food C1othIng Leisure 2. The Tie that Binds nel1gI on Home 1 and LANGUAGEJLEARNING — Emergenc1es I Author 1ty I Dependence I Cultural Malntalnence I FAMILY Work T Ime Phone STRANGE LAND id c CD 1 Sources of Fear CO Ne1ghborhodd trange Sys tern rs in PJ Med 1ca1 Strange La nd 1 22 Figure 1 shows how the topic areas relate to one another through the relationships between the key theme areas - sources of fear, sources of strength, and sources of tension. The "strange land" is Canada, that new environment that will never be 'home,' that is frightening in most respects, but that must be coped with and not allowed to disrupt the traditional cultural fabric. It contains the sources of fear represented by the 'neighborhood,' 'system,' and 'medical' topic areas. The "strangers" are the students. All that is familiar and affirming to them in their religion, homeland, food, dress and entertainment is regarded here as exotic, bizarre and inappropriate. Their two main sources of strength are represented by the titles: 'Women's Work' and 'The Tie that Binds,' consisting respectively of the topic areas of 'food,' 'clothing,' and 'leisure,' and of 'religion' and 'homeland.' Bridging the gap between the familiar and the strange, bringing them into contact and therefore into conflict, are the theme areas of "language learning" and "family." These are related not only by virtue of their similar linking function, but also directly, through the concrete situations in which students' English competence affects their performance of normal family functions. These include the ability to call for help in an emergency, the disruption to traditional authority structures caused by the language gap between parents and children, the dependence of adults upon children for translation, and linguistic limitations on students' ability to perform their roles as cultural custodians and gatekeepers. The topic areas 1 23 of 'work,' 'time,' and 'phone' are related to one another primarily in the family context, as in the concrete situation of reporting about family members' work routines on the phone. Each of these situations involving English in the family context occurs as part of the everyday lives of students. Each involves specific language skills (mainly listening and understanding) that could be taught within the context of any ESL program, and particularly in a home-based one such as the ESL Crusade. Each also represents an occasion of contact between the "strangers" and the "strange land," and is thus a logical starting point for problem-posing about the conflicts between them. General recommendations for the objectives, approach and content of a curriculum based on this analysis of the students' 'minimum thematic universe' are presented in the following chapter. 124 VI . CONCLUSIONS The object of this study was not to yield definitive conclusions, but to contribute to a greater understanding of the issues involved in basing ESL program content on generative themes. In Canada there has been research and materials development for Freire-style ESL education (mainly out of Toronto), and the Participatory Research Group provides a network whereby 'Freirian' educators can share the wisdom of their experience. However, the development of a consistent adaptation of Freirian theory to the demands of the Canadian ESL teaching context is still in its infancy. What is needed at this time is not so much answers as identification of the right questions. This chapter, therefore, identifies questions and presents comments, recommendations and further questions. First, my observations on the feasibility and difficulties of ESL classroom thematic investigation are summarized, and recommendations are made for a study that would take some of these into account. A general outline of the type of curriculum that would address students' themes is then presented, and finally several issues are raised concerning the compatibility of the Freirian approach with the teaching of ESL. 1 25 SUMMARY OF STUDY AND FINDINGS  THE INVESTIGATION The procedural focus of this study was to address the discrepancy between Freire's recommended large-scale generative theme investigation and the adaptations made to it by ESL practitioners. Is it possible for an ESL teacher to come up with an analysis of students' themes based on a classroom investigation? To this my answer is yes, and no. The previous chapter is evidence that I, as an individual teacher, was able to obtain enough information from and about the students to propose a tentative analysis of their 'thematic universe.' I tried the techniques and activities recommended by Nina Wallerstein, Deborah Barndt, and others, and found that most of them led to the revelation of information about students' everyday reality, their perception of that reality, or both. I found that activities will most likely be successful in revealing thematic information if they are inspired by direct student input (rather than the teacher's agenda), contain an element of challenge or controversy, answer either a learning or a sharing need, and if their educational purpose is clear to the students. Acting as participant-observer as well as teacher enabled me to identify useful observational strategies, most notably watching students' in-class behavior and interaction, participating in everyday events (such as cooking) with them, visiting their homes, and attending their cultural festivals. I found that the best way to elicit thematic information, however, 1 26 is to let students 'just talk.' Through classroom activities, watching, and listening to students, it was possible to collect a considerable amount of information relevant to students' generative themes. However, I encountered both logistical and philosophical problems which impeded the process and limited the accuracy of the analysis. Logistical limitations included the language barrier, the amount of time and energy consumed by the investigation, and the impossibility of developing codes during the investigation because all the thematic interconnections could not be assessed until the end. Philosophical problems included the difference between my agenda to investigate themes and the students' to just learn English; the stress caused by the conflict between the roles of teacher, researcher, union representative and friend; and the difficulty of balancing investigating and teaching without sacrificing either the students' learning or their control over the learning process. In sum, I believe that it is possible for a teacher to investigate generative themes in an ESL classroom setting, more or less thoroughly depending on the demands and opportunities afforded by the teaching situation. I doubt, however, whether it is possible for a teacher to adequately identify themes and teach according them while the investigation is in progress, because of both the logistical and philosophical difficulties involved. Freire describes "education and thematic investigation, in the problem-posing concept of education," as "different moments 1 27 of the same process" (Freire, 1970:101, emphasis mine). The generative theme investigation is preliminary to the educational program itself. A thorough professional analysis of the findings is conducted before they are developed into teaching materials. . ESL practitioners have found it necessary to individualize the procedure and to investigate themes simultaneously with teaching largely because few programs have both the resources and the commitment to mount such an investigation. The findings of this study suggest, however, that the investigation must precede the educational program, and that it is too big a job for one person. Taking into account both Freire's requirements for thematic investigation, and the constraints imposed by the ESL situation, I would recommend the following procedure. A STRATEGY FOR INVESTIGATING GENERATIVE THEMES FOR ESL Within a given. ESL program for immigrant adults, a team of two to four teachers willing to commit themselves for two years (or terms) should be formed. Between them they should speak as many of the students' languages as possible. They should be familiar with Freire's criteria for generative themes and with his investigative procedure, and with the recommendations of Wallerstein, Barndt, et al. During the first year or term, the team should investigate the themes of their respective classes according to the activities and observational strategies identified in this study as successful. They should share the 1 28 load of out-of-class observation of students' communities. They should meet regularly to debrief, compare observations and share teaching materials and preliminary codes. It should be made clear to the students from the start that an investigation to determine relevant content is taking place, and they should be invited to participate as cultural informants and co-investigators. Systematic records should be kept of the most popular topics and issues of discussion. Transcribing of tape recordings of the classes will provide the most reliable data for thematic analysis, but it should only be attempted if the team members have enough time outside of their teaching responsibilities. At the end of the term or year, the team should have time to pool their results, analyze the relationships of the different topic areas, and draw up a tentative analysis of the students' themes. A materials developer or artist should be hired to create codes based on the themes. During the following year or term these codes should be tested by other teachers in the program as well as by the members of the team, and teacher and student reactions to them should be recorded. Any revisions to the codes resulting from this input should be made at the end of this term. Those themes whose relevance has been confirmed over two years, with their codes, should constitute the basis for the thematic curriculum of that program. This suggestion assumes a program with flexible content and approach, and teachers and administrators familiar and sympathetic with Freire's pedagogy. It assumes that the program 1 29 is ongoing, and that funding will be available to hire a materials developer and keep the teachers on staff during the 'analysis' part of their investigation. Given the availability of funding, however, the procedure described above would be practicable in the Farmworkers ESL Crusade. THE THEMES The second question addressed by this study was: What are my students' generative themes and what is their relevance to ESL learning? This I have described in terms of the "strangers in a strange land" image, in which the thematic areas of 'language learning' and the 'family' function as a link between the 'strangers* area representing students' familiar, traditional culture and the new, foreign, fear-inspiring 'strange land.' Topic areas identified through a content analysis of the transcriptions of tapes of the lessons constitute the basis of this analysis. Through examining how these are linked to one another, how they are expressed in real situations in students' lives, what they reveal about students' perceptions of their situation, and what tasks they imply, I was able to organize classroom input into a curriculum basis which I believe reflects the students' 'minimum thematic universe' as it relates to language learning. Many of the themes - those represented in the 'strangers' area - seem to have little or nothing to do with ESL. Students 1 30 do not need to know the English words for their favorite spices, or to go to the temple. I found this very frustrating in my teaching because it seemed that the topic areas which seemed to motivate students the most were those for which they had the least need for English. On the other hand, the thematic area for which students' need for ESL appears most obvious is that of the "strange land." This is the area of interest assumed by most 'survival' curricula, by Wallerstein's and the ESL Core Group's thematic curricula, and by most farmworkers when they join the ESL Crusade. However I found that in reality students have very little direct independent contact with Canadian society, nor would their contact be likely to increase even if their English improved. Thus students' most positive potential motivation exists in areas for which they have no need of ESL, and in the areas in which this need is acknowledged, the motivation to learn springs from the negative sources of fear and ignorance. This, combined with the lack of necessity to learn in order to survive, is often insufficient to sustain their interest and efforts. This study identified a way out of this dilemma, by showing that both the positive motivation and the need to learn are combined in the area that is most important to the students in everyday life: the family. This is the primary context in which situations demanding specific English language skills arise. It is also the point at which the 'strangers' and the 'strange land' themes come into contact, and often into conflict. Thus 131 teaching ESL for the 'family' is both relevant and motivating, and the family is the most logical context for problem posing on issues of cultural conflict. Following is a suggested approach to constructing a thematic ESL curriculum focussed on 'family' learning needs. A THEMATIC ESL CURRICULUM The overall approach of a thematic curriculum designed for students such as those of the Farmworkers ESL Crusade should be to affirm their culture while providing skills to decrease tension in the family and lessen their alienation from Canadian society. If the students' perceptions are to be truly represented, the lessons should assume their cultural roles, interests and priorities as normal, and present Canadian society as the strange, bewildering environment that it is. It should then realistically address the conflicts and teach linguistic, cultural and critical thinking skills that will enable students to address them. Affirmation of students' sources of strength and reduction of their fear and alienation should both lead to and be accompanied by growth in awareness of the cultural, social and economic causes of their problems, so that they can begin to identify options for dealing with them. In essence, this is 'conscientization.' The ESL curriculum must also answer very immediate, concrete communication needs. Practical empowerment through ESL should focus initially on the family context, then on a 1 32 realistic level of independence within the neighborhood and the 'system.' Codes should be used both for problem-posing and for the teaching of immediately applicable language. Each lesson in the thematic curriculum should contain a variety of linguistic activities,, in order to be flexible enough to use with multi level classes. The language content of the curriculum should not build sequentially on each previous lesson; rather, the curriculum should be a collection of units or modules that can be used in whatever order the issues arise in class. Well constructed codes should each have connections with several others, and thus many logical sequencing possibilties would exist. ISSUES IN FREIRIAN ESL TEACHING AND RESEARCH DIALOGUE IN ONE-WORD PHRASES One of the most serious problems that I encountered in my research was the difficulty of balancing the requirements of theme-eliciting and teaching. My initial concentration on the former was detrimental to student satisfaction and learning, to order in the class, and to my own sense of responsibility as a teacher. The latter stage, in which I concentrated on delivering lessons, was easier on everyone but led to virtually no new thematic information. This contradiction between what consititutes good thematic investigation and good ESL teaching is symptomatic of a deeper conflict between Freire's approach of 'dialogue' and the constraints of the second language teaching 133 situation. The ESL teacher has a conflicting responsibility to impart information to the students and at the same time to avoid falling into the "banking concept of education, ... in which ... instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiques and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat" (Freire, 1970: 58). Dialogue rests on the epistemological claim that "knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry men pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other" (Ibid.). A good deal of research into second language learning suggests that the better part of students' learning will result from their own discovery or acquisition of patterns and structures in the target language. It is not enough, however, to regard language as that object of inquiry to which "the united reflection and action of the dialoguers are addressed" (Freire, 1970:77), assuming that the process of problem posing will provide enough comprehensible input that language learning will just happen. Over the years, tutors in the ESL Crusade have tried various techniques based on this assumption, and achieved very little language learning progress.6 Our experience indicates that dialogue is inappropriate, or at least insufficient, as an ESL teaching approach. 6Of course, the ESL Crusade is hardly a fair test of this approach, involving as it does minimally-trained volunteer tutors with very few resources provided for them, and students who are illiterate, unaccustomed to formal learning, and frequently unmotivated. I experienced the same problems as all the other tutors, however, as a trained teacher with an abundance of resources and relatively enthusiastic students. 1 34 This was one of the issues raised by Freire himself when he addressed the ESL Crusade tutors. His answer was to separate language teaching and problem-posing, and conduct a bilingual program. "As far as I understand you, you are trying to teach English also, no? Of course, in my point of view, well, not my point of view -we can say rigourously - you would have to emphasize their language first; the orality in their language. Look, these people need to get security through their feelings, which maybe they cannot express in English. Why not in the beginning of the meetings, propose a kind of game - the game of speaking their language, even though you don't understand anything? I am sure that they need to have a certain space for the language ... they are their language." This raises the point that in addition to teaching ESL, organizations offering educational programs have an obligation to address the peoples' themes in their own language, if they claim to represent and stand for the interests of their community. We explained, however, that it is difficult to find Punjabi-speaking tutors, and that we receive requests from many students for tutors with no knowledge of Punjabi, so that they will be forced to speak English. From the point of view of problem-posing, a bilingual program would indeed be ideal. Given, however, the reality that it is not possible for the C.F.U. to offer such a program at this time, Freire outlined how language teaching can be in itself empowering: "I think that everything you could do, you could invent ... if they could get, let us suppose, two or three or four nucleus of the 1 35 stucture of English ... if it is possible to do that; and I know it is, I am not capable but I know that it is possible ... because for me, even discussing something about their historical situation, political situation, cultural situation should come afterwards, and not now.... for me, the first moment for them is how to break down this incommunicability ... I think that one of the things you have to do - quickly -should be to make possible for them to begin to say something in English - in order to open the door." Combining problem-posing and ESL teaching might be possible for students at an intermediate level or higher, but not for beginners, unless the teacher speaks their language. Both Nina Wallerstein and the ESL Core Group admit this in the introductions to their thematic curricula. The problem then remains of how to teach beginners dialogically. Freire seemed to regard a certain amount of information depositing as acceptable in the ESL context, because it is within the overall framework of a dialogical program, and because the objective is to empower people rather than to domesticate them. He criticized learning by memorization of survival phrases, "wasting time on this craziness of 'Can I please have, can I please have'" as "a very bad theory of knowledge." Given that a certain amount of langauge teaching has to occur before problem-posing discussions, this teaching ought to encourage students to think, to provide them with a strategy for 'figuring out' English, and it must also teach them how to say what they most need and want to say. 1 36 ROLE CONFLICTS IN THEMATIC INVESTIGATION The conflict discussed above between the requirements of dialogue and of ESL is an issue of teaching, within and outside of the context of investigating generative themes. Another set of problems has to do with the research aspects of the investigation. The conflicts that I experienced between the four roles of teacher, researcher, union representative, and friend have been discussed in Chapter IV. The investigation strategy outlined earlier in this chapter diffuses, but does not eliminate, these conflicts: even if the investigators are not representatives of a union or friends of the students, they must still play the dual roles of teacher and researcher. The conflict is greater than that usually experienced by the ethnographic researcher as simultaneous participant (teacher) and observer (investigator), because of the nature of problem-posing teaching. The role of the teacher, according to Freire, is to "not only listen to the individuals but ...[to] challenge them, posing as problems both the codified existential situation and their own answers" (1970:110). If it is difficult to teach and observe at the same time, it is almost impossible to actively challenge students to change at the same time as trying to observe them as they are. There are two possible avenues to address this problem. One is to separate the roles of teacher and researcher into two persons, with the researcher adopting a more passive observational strategy. Nettle and Unda tried this, however, 1 37 and found it far from ideal: The teacher was far more disconcerted by the researcher's presence in her classroom than the researcher realized.... There was some tension on both our parts about how the researcher would fulfill her obligation to the funding source to produce a product w.ithout interfering with the teacher's primary responsibility to teach English to her students. When the researcher proposed to act as recorder of the course process, the teacher expressed resentment of the researcher's opportunity as an academic to write about the teacher's work in the field. She felt that she was so busy doing the work that she never had time to write about it. (1982:49-50) Another solution to the teacher/researcher conflict is to involve the students more actively in the investigation. This is the participatory research approach described in Chapter I. It is the approach taken by Deborah Barndt to classroom thematic investigation, and promoted by the Participatory Research Group as a collective, popular alternative to individual, academic social sciences research. Most importantly, it is the approach upon which Freire insists. The methodology proposed requires that the investigators and the people (who would normally be considered objects of that investigation) should act as co-investigators ... Precisely because it is not possible to understand these themes apart from men ... it is necessary that the men concerned understand them as well. (1970:97,98) . However, none of those (including Freire) who laud the virtues of participatory research explain how people involved get interested in an issue, define a problem, and decide to research it. Even if there is a collective consciousness of issues in a community, and the will to address them, people do 1 38 not generally seek out an ESL class as a forum for doing this. They seek out an ESL class as a forum for learning English. Thus the main problem with involving ESL students in the investigation of their own generative thematics is that this is not what they have signed up to do; the agenda of the teacher/researcher differs from the agenda of the students. This was certainly the case in my investigation. The problems that it created led me to the conclusion that the teacher's primary responsibility is to respect the agenda and expectations of the students, and not at any cost sacrifice their learning to the interests of the research. I do not know how to get ESL students interested in investigating their generative themes, nor do I find it surprising that oppressed people should be unwilling to look closely at problems that they are having a difficult enough time coping with already. I do not believe, nevertheless, that this means that ESL generative theme investigation should not be attempted. "You have to have an agenda. The question nevertheless is how much you are consistent in not trying to impose your agenda but to discuss your agenda with the others. This is the question. You have the duty to discuss the agenda with the others and not to hide it on the behalf of some purity. To the extent that we do that, we continue to help the oppressors." (Paulo Freire, 1984) The conflicts between ESL teaching and the dialogical approach, and between the investigator's role as teacher and researcher, are important issues in the development of a practical adaptation of Freire's pedagogy to the Canadian ESL 1 39 context. In fact, the very reason for their existence is also the primary reason that it is important that they be worked out in further research: it is that this is one of the few ESL approaches that regards the social context of learners as an important factor in their language learning. LANGUAGE LEARNING IN A SOCIAL CONTEXT » One cannot expect positive results from an educational or political action program which fails to respect the particiular view of the world held by the people. Such a program constitutes cultural invasion, good intentions not withstanding (Freire, 1970:84). Freire's pedagogy can be situated in the context of approaches that emphasize the social dimensions of second language learning, in contrast to those that treat it as primarily an individual cognitive exercise. The organization of curriculum according to generative themes correspondingly contrasts with the organization of curriculum according to psycholinguistic analysis of native speaker interaction. There are research problems associated with the latter as great as, if different in nature from, those associated with the investigation of ESL students' generative themes.7 Freire's model reflects the view that students will derive more benefit from a curriculum that accurately depicts their specific social context than from one 7The current research in this area is reviewed by Evelyn Hatch (1983). Gail Weinstein (1984) discusses the need for ethnographic methods in second language acquisition research. 1 40 that accurately depicts the linguistic tasks required by certain situations, but in which the only acknowledgment of their culture may be that the man getting on the bus with incorrect change is "Rodrigo" instead of "Bob," or that the woman returning the wrong size blouse becomes "Mrs. Chan" instead of "Mrs. Brown." If the analysis on which a thematic curriculum is based is imperfect or incomplete, the process of dialogue and problem posing allows for - and even encourages - amendments and improvements based on student input. On the other hand, curricula organized primarily according to linguistic criteria (particularly those claiming to teach survival) may contain implicit assumptions about society - particularly the role of immigrant labour in the economy - that can discourage ESL students from seeing, much less addressing, issues of cultural conflict and economic injustice.8 Acknowledgment of the social context of language learning must not stop short of acknowledging the power relations within that social context. The role of language learning in challenging these power relations is the focus of Freire's approach. Dialogue is the encounter between men, mediated by the world, in order to name the world. Hence, dialogue cannot occur ... between those who deny other men the right to speak their word and those whose 8This issue is addressed by Elsa Auerbach and Denise Burgess. They examine several survival ESL texts representing "the 'communicative' trend in language teaching," and conclude that "frequently, neither the situational content nor the communicative structure of materials reflects authentic interaction. Furthermore, the texts often prepare sutdents for subservient social roles (1985:475). 141 right to speak has been denied them.... To exist, humanly, is to name the world, to change it (1970:76). Acquiring literacy skills, through an approach of thinking critically about the world, gives adults this ability. Naming the world, through language, is the first step to transforming it. Any program or curriculum which attempts to apply Freire's approach to the teaching of ESL must acknowledge that second language learning, for most immigrants, like literacy for Brazilian peasants, is an issue of power. LANGUAGE LEARNING AND POWER The relation of language learning to power in real life situations became apparent in my investigation of generative themes. Four specific areas of family conflict illustrate that lack of language is directly related to powerlessness. Lack of basic English renders students helpless in the case of an emergency at home, leads to the erosion of parental authority, makes older family members dependent on younger ones for translation, and hinders women from performing their function as cultural custodians because of their inability to understand and thereby screen out the intrusion of undesireable Canadian cultural influences in their homes. Increased competence in English would directly increase students' power in each of these situations. Better English might also increase their independence in spheres more removed from the family. They would have greater personal mobility, and 1 42 thus independence, within the neighborhood if they could read street signs and bus numbers; potentially, they could improve their employability in occupations outside of farmwork. However, lack of English is not the sole reason for students' problems, nor will learning it inevitably lead to their solution. Even parents whose English is fluent have problems with rebellious children. As tutors in the ESL Crusade have discovered, young women whose English is good enough to get a driver's license often do not bother, because their culture decrees that they never go out alone anyway. Lack of English is not the only reason that ESL Crusade students do farmwork. It is there for them to do because it is in the interests of our agricultural economy to have a pool of cheap labour to do work that is shunned by native-born Canadians. Thus, the further the analysis moves out from the family sphere, the more the relationship between lanugage learning and power decreases, and the more the extra-linguistic factors in students' powerlessness take on the nature of oppression. Learning English is not enough to eliminate this, and students should not be misled into believing that it is; rather, the process of language learning should be accompanied by a process of critical analysis of all the sources of oppression. Language learning can, however, be empowering in and of itself, on a personal level. This became evident to me in my students' attitude towards their language learning. For illiterate or poorly-educated adults, who have been told or assumed their whole life that they are stupid, success in a 1 43 learning task - especially a relevant, important one like being able to understand a phone call - is enormously encouraging. It bolsters their confidence in their ability to learn, in their intelligence, and in their ability to take on new challenges, whether related to languge learning or not. Freire's approach allows for this learning to occur as part of a program that acknowledges the relation of language to power, that accurately depicts their real social context, and that is organized according to their most important themes. This study has described and discussed some of the difficulties that are bound to come up in an educational needs assessment with a scope so much broader than is common. The fact that adapting Freire's approach to the Canadian ESL context is difficult, and that doing research in this area is equally if not more difficult, does not mean that the attempt is not worthwhile. Indeed, it is absolutely necessary. It is necessary that ESL programs should acknowledge students' real social contexts and the sources of their oppression, and Freire provides a model for doing this. It is also necessary that ESL educators applying Freire's model should be honest and critical in addressing the issues that come up in the attempt. Among Freirian ESL educators in Canada there is a shortage of critical reflection on our own practice, at least as expressed in publications and empirical research. This thesis has addressed only the initial needs assessment stage. The Toronto work has focussed on materials development. Nina Wallerstein has developed a methodology for problem-posing. Areas such as 1 44 teacher training, the type of ESL techniques best suited to the dialogue, the practical problems of implementation, and evaluation (all problematic aspects of the ESL Crusade) remain virtually untouched. There is great need for expansion of the use of Freire's approach in ESL programs in Canada, but such expansion would be ill-advised and likely unsuccessful if unaccompanied by constant critical examination of why we're doing what we're doing, and how to do it better. 1 45 BIBLIOGRAPHY Freire's Pedagogy Facundo, Blanca. 1984. Issues for an Evaluation of Freire- inspired Programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Freire, Paulo. 1970. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum. Freire, Paulo. 1973. Education for Critical Consciousness. New York: Continuum. Freire, Paulo. 1985. The Politics of Education. South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey. Mackie, Robert, ed. 1981. Literacy and Revolution: The  pedagogy of Paulo Freire. New York: Continuum. Freire and ESL Auerbach, Elsa Roberts, and Denise Burgess. 1985. The hidden curriculum of survival ESL. TESOL Quarterly, 19(3):475-495. Barndt, Deborah, ed. 1978. Themes and Tools for ESL.: How to Choose Them and How to Use Them. Toronto: Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture. Barndt, Deborah. 1981. Just Getting There: Creating Visual  Tools for Collective Analysis in Freirian Educational  Programs for Migrant W11en in Peru and Canada. Working Paper #7. Toronto: Participatory Research Group. Barndt, Deborah, Feme Cristall and dian marine 1 982. Getting  There: Producing Photostories with Immigrant Women. Toronto: Between the Lines. Bell, Jill, and Barbara Burnaby. 1984. A Handbook for ESL  Literacy. Toronto: OISE Press. Dixon, Carol N., and Denise Nessel. 1983. Language Experience  Approach to Reading (and Writing): LEA for ESL. Hayward, Ca.: Alemany Press. 1 46 Duncombe, Brenda, ed. 1979. Themes for Learning and Teaching. Toronto: ESL Core Group. Fiore, Kyle, and Nan Elsasser. 1982. Strangers no more: A liberatory literacy curriculum. College English, Jan/Feb 1982:115-128. Hatch, Evelyn M. 1983. Psycholinguistics: A Second Language  Perspective. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House. Marino, dian and Deborah Barndt. 1983. Immigrants Speak Out: A  Series of Four Booklets by and about Immigrants. Toronto: Participatory Research Group. Moriarty, Pia, and Nina Wallerstein. 1979. Student/teacher/learner: A Freire approach to ABE/ESL. Adult Literacy and Basic Education 3, 3:193-200. Moriarty, Pia, and Nina Wallerstein. 1980. By teaching we can learn: Freire process for teachers. California Journal of  Teacher Education, Winter 1980. Sullivan, Kathleen, and Jean Unda. 1982. Unemployed ESL students tell their story in a photo-novel. ESL and  Community Groups Create Learning Materials: Four Case  Studies. Working Paper #9:44-64. Toronto: Participatory Research Group. Unda, Jean (Ed.) 1984. Our Lives. Toronto: Learnxs Press. Wallerstein, Nina. 1983. Language and Culture in Conflict:  Problem-posing in the ESL classroom. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. Wallerstein, Nina. 1984. Literacy and Minority Language Groups: Community literacy as a method and goal. Paper presented at National Adult Literacy Conference, Washington, D.C., January 1984. Weinstein, Gail. 1984. Literacy and second language acquisition: Issues and perspectives. TESOL Quarterly, 18(3):471-484. Educational Research Methodology Bogdan, Robert, and Steven J. Taylor. 1975. Introduction to  Qualitative Research Methods: A phenomenological approach  to the social sciences. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1 47 Borg, Walter R., and Meredith D. Gall. 1983. Educational  Research: An introduction (4th ed). New York: Longman. Carney, Thomas F. 1972. Content Analysis: A technique for  systematic inference from communications. Winnpeg: University of Manitoba Press. Hall, Budd. 1984. Participatory Research, Popular Knowledge  and Power: Two articles by Budd Hall. Toronto: Participatory Research Group. Krippendorf, Klaus. 1980. Content Analysis: An introduction to  its methodology. Beverly Hills, Ca.: Sage Publications. Lewin, Miriam. 1979. Understanding Psychological Research: The  student researcher's handbook. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Preissle-Goetz, Judith, and Margaret D. LeCompte. 1984. Ethnography and Qualitative Design in Educational Research. Orlando, Florida: Academic Press, Inc. Smith, Louis M. 1978. An evolving logic of participant observations, educational ethnography, and other case studies. Review of Research in Education Vol. VI:316-377. Lee S. Schulman (Ed.) Itasca , 111.: F.E. Peacock. Spradley, James P. 1979. The Ethnographic Interview. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Spradley, James P. 1980. Participant Observation. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Stake, Robert E. 1978. The case study method in social inquiry, Educational Researcher 7, (Feb. 1978):5~8. Weber, Robert P. 1985. Basic Content Analysis. Beverley Hills, Ca.: Sage Publications. The Punjabi Community in Vancouver Ames, Michael M., and Joy Inglis. 1973. Conflict and change in B.C. Sikh family life. B.C. Studies 20, (Winter 1973):15-49. Buchignani, Norman. 1979. South Asian Canadians and the ethnic mosaic4 An overview. Canadian Ethnic Studies 11, 1:48-68. Buchignani, N. and Doreen Indra. 1980. Intergroup conflict and community solidarity: Sikhs and South Asian Fijians in 1 48 Vancouver. Canadian Journal of Anthropology 1, 2:149-158. Cassin, Marguerite. 1977. Class and Ethnicity: the social  organization of working class East Indian immigrants in  Vancouver. M.A. Thesis, University of British Columbia. Chadney, James. 1976. Vancouver Sikhs: An ethnic community in  Canada. PhD Dissertation, University of Michigan. Chadney, James G. 1977. Demography, ethnic identity and decision-making: The case of Vancouver Sikhs. Urban  Anthropology 6, 3: 187-204. Craig, Rick. 1982. Racial Discrimination: Asian immigrants in  B.C. . Vancouver: Legal Services Society of B.C. Dusenbery, Verne A. 1981. Canadian ideology and public policy: The impact on Vancouver Sikh ethnic and religious adaptation. Canadian Ethnic Studies 13, 3:101-119. Ghosh, Ratna. 1981. Social and economic integration of South Asian women in Montreal, Canada. Women in the Family and • the Economy: An international comparative survey:59~71. Ratna Ghosh and George Kurian (Eds.) Westport: Greenwood Press. Joy, Annamma. 1982. Accommodation and Cultural Persistence:  The case of the Sikhs and the Portuguese in the Okanagan  Valley of B.C. . PhD Dissertation, University of British Columbia. Khalsa Diwan Society. 1983. Khalsa Diwan Society (Pamphlet). Vancouver. Redway, Brian, ed. 1984. Spotlight on Indo-Canadians: A resource book on the Indo-Canadian community and modern  India. Vancouver: NACOI, B.C. Chapter. Sikh Publications. Mewa Singh (Pamphlet). Vancouver. Singh, Khushwant, and Raghu Rai. 1984. The Sikhs. Varanasi: Lustre Press Ltd. Singh, Mohinder. 1981. Indo-Canadians in Greater Vancouver: A  socio-economic survey. Vancouver: NACOI. Srivastava, Ram P. 1974. Family organization and change among the overseas Indians with special reference to Indian immigrant families in British Columbia, Canada. The Family  in India: A regional view. George Kurian (Ed.) The Hague: Mouton. 1 49 Canadian Farmworkers Union and the ESL Crusade British Columbia. 1983. Minimun Wages: General. Employment  Standards Information Bulletin 9. Victoria: Ministry of Labour. British Columbia. 1983. Farm Labour Contractors. Employment  Standards Information Bulletin 11. Victoria: Ministry of Labour. British Columbia. 1981. The New Employment Standards: Farm and  Domestic Workers: Your rights and benefits. Victoria: Ministry of Labour. Canadian Farmworkers Union. 1984. Farmworkers are Workers Too!: An introduction to the Canadian Farmworkers Union. Canadian Farmworkers Union. 1986. Farmworkers: Canada's  Forgotten People. Cavanagh, Judy, and John Steeves. 1981. Farmworkers ESL  Crusade April 1982 - April 1983:" Project Proposal. Condy-Berggold, Craig. 1986. The making of "Farmworkers, Zindabad." Fuse I, 6:33-36. Hawthorne, Diana. 1986. Farmworker Health and Education  Project: Survey Report. Jackson, David. 1984. A Time to Grow: Farmworkers ESL Crusade  1984 Report. Jackson, David. 1985. Living and learning. Fuse IX, 4:32-35. Labour Advocacy and Research Association. 1979. Teacher's  Guide on Farm and Domestic Workers. Vancouver: LARA. Millard, Joanne. 1985. Farmworkers ESL Crusade 1984/85 Report. Millard, Joanne, ed. 1985. ESL Crusade Tutor Manual. Vancouver: Canadian Farmworkers Union. Millard, Joanne. 1986. Tutors' Evaluation Interviews. Neesham, Vanneau. 1983. A Time to Learn: A report on the Canadian Farmworkers Union ESL Crusade from August 1982 to  June, 1983. Steeves, John, and Sarwan Boal. 1982. A Time to Learn: A report on the needs assessment survey for the ESL Crusde of the Canadian Farmworkers Union. 1 50 Vancouver Sun. "Picketing by pickers nets back wages." July 18, 1979:B14. 


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