UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Creating inclusive EAL classrooms : how LINC instructors understand and mitigate barriers, for students who have experienced trauma. Wilbur, Amea


This study explores the assumptions and understandings that English as an Additional Language (EAL) teachers bring to teaching students who they believe have experienced trauma. The instructors in this study teach in a Canadian federally funded program called Language Instruction Program for Newcomers (LINC). The research is informed by the critical literacy work of Paulo Freire, particularly his critique of the banking model of education and his work on dialogue and praxis. The work of Freire is considered in relation to larger conversations about social justice. The research draws on participatory action research. The study illustrates the complex and contradictory understanding that instructors have about trauma and the dilemmas they face in supporting students affected by trauma in a government-funded EAL program for newcomers. First, this project describes the multiple barriers students and instructors face in trying to create inclusive classrooms. Second, it demonstrates that instructors bring a variety of experiences, techniques and processes to support students who have experienced trauma. Third, it shows that for EAL programs to be responsive to the whole student requires a shift away from neo-liberal policy and practice. What is needed is a rethinking of current Professional Development (PD) practices, and active engagement through communities of practice are needed to enable EAL instructors to create more inclusive EAL education, particularly for students who have experienced trauma. This research contributes to the discussion on trauma and learning within government-funded EAL programs, specifically in relation to adult immigrants.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada