Promoting ESL in Work-Based Learning Term Paper

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Learning that is imparted through an educational institution or training company within the workplace setting in known as Work-based learning (WBL). WBL is administered by an external teacher in professional capacity and supervised by an employee of the company where WBL is imparted. An exhaustive literature review indicates that it was only after Moser report's shocking revelations, regarding lack of literacy, language, and numeracy skills in one out every five adults in Britain that U.K took expedited policy actions to introduce WBL. WBL is relevant for all adult and young learners and more pertinent for instruction of English as a second language (ESL). Since medium of interaction and business transactions in U.K is English, instruction of ESL is essential for empowering vast percentage of population that does not have requisite skills to compete in labor market due to lack of language skills. Increased use of computers and multimedia in teaching and skill development requires that adult learners have competence in the use of English. The paper investigates methodologies and frameworks using which ESL can be promoted in work-based learning. It is by making the ESL courses and modules more interesting and practicable that ESL can be promoted. The paper provides a brief of historical development of ESL in context of work-based learning. Importance of reading comprehension, vocabulary, spoken skill development, and web-literacy has been emphasized by most of the researchers. Problem-based and project-based instructing methodologies are notable in improving the use of ESL for professional purposes.

based learning, English as a second language (ESL), ESOL, Learning

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction 2

2.0 Literature review 6

2.1 Second language acquisition (SLA) theories 6

2.1.1- Behaviorist and Monitor theory 6

2.1.2- Action learning theory 7

2.1.3- Functional approach to SLA 8

2.2 Historical background 8

2.2.1 Work-based learning (WBL) 8

2.2.2 Adult literacy and ESL 9

2.3 Reading comprehension in ESL 11

2.4 Spoken English in ESL programs 12

2.5 Use of Computerized WBL: A theoretical framework for ESL 14

2.5.1 Web literacy in ESL programs and use of multimedia 16

2.6General vocational ESL 19

3 Application of theory to practice 22

3.1 Applying problem-based learning 22

4- Conclusion 28

5- Suggestions for further research 29

Bibliography 30

1.0 Introduction

In an increased globalized community throughout the world, English is the language that dominates world literature. It is English that is used in computing that forms main medium of communication across work environments. National and transnational communication in work-based environments is carried out in English. This holds true not only for English speaking countries such the U.S. And U.K but in Europe and Asia as well. Such globalized is the use of English that no community can ignore the importance of English as a medium of instruction in professional environments. Hollqvist (1984) observed that such vast is the use of English as a communication language that Swedish employees working for Ericsson communicate in English within and outside the organization. Warschauer (2000) observed that the symbolic analysts use English as a language to gather information in all professional and applied fields in which they work. Such heavy reliance on English has impacted the language instructors as well.

It is also observed that irrespective of the fact that an analyst and a worker visits an English speaking country or not, he/she has to communicate in English which leaves instructors to formulate more strategies to instruct ESL in work-based environments. All of this would be better in the introduction when you can emphasize the role of English in businesses today and therefore justify a focus on WBL and ESL within the context of WBL. Distance learning is not typical in academic pursuit of education, it today forms as major portion of work-based learning as well.

English as a second language (ESL) is learnt by non-native speakers of English. In U.S., the initiative to impart English as foreign language has its foundation in early 1900s when immigrants started reaching in the U.S. Large number of non-native speakers needed to learn English up to a level that they could organize themselves for their just rights. Acquiring citizenship in the U.S. was also among the main reasons that immigrants were compelled to learn English (Work-Based, 2013).Instruction of ESL in England dates backs to 1800s, much before it took place in the U.S. However, it was in March 2001 that Britain, under the leadership of Tony Blair, recognized the need for improving adult literacy, numeracy, and language (ESOL) skills.

Having anticipated the acute issue in numeracy and language skills of adult population, Department for Education and Skills (DfES) U.K established the National Research and Development Center for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC) in 2002. The aim was to promote English as a language that breaks barriers to livelihood and development avenues in personal, professional, and social life of non-native speakers. In partnership with several public and private education and skills development institutions and joined by London Strategic Unit for the Learning and Skills Workforce (LSU) in 2008, NRDC currently spearheads U.K's governmental and non-governmental efforts to promote literacy, language, and numeracy LLN (NRDC, 2013).

Increase in immigrants in the U.S. And U.K has reinforced the need for English learning by foreign immigrants. Since immigrants assume an obligation of not only supporting themselves but their families as well, therefore ease of time and venue selection for learning English remains an uphill task for the immigrants. Work-place remains an optimal venue for immigrants to learn English as second language.Present study will explore the means, methods, and frameworks that may promote ESL in work-based learning. Following research question will guide the review of pertinent literature on ESL promotion in work-based learning.What are the general framework/s, method/s, and approach to promote ESL in work-based learning? The literature review is divided into eights subsections as follows. Section 2.1 historical backgrounds, section 2.2 and 2.3 are reading comprehension in ESLand Spoken English in ESL programs respectively, section 2.4 ESL for functional and analytical purposes, section 2.5 Web literacy in ESL programs, and section 2.6General vocational ESL. Section 3 is application of theory into practice. Each section reviewed different but interrelated work-based learning concepts, specifically in context of ESL. Conclusion and further research proposal forms section 4 and 5 of the paper. Literature on theories that have been most influential in learning and second language acquisition (SLA) has been used to conduct further research on methodologies and perspectives of work-based learning through ESL.

2.0 Literature review

2.1 Second language acquisition (SLA) theories

2.1.1- Behaviorist and Monitor theory

Many theories have been used to describe the process of second language. Behaviorist approach of learning has significantly impacted theoretical work in theories of learning. Prior to behaviorism, multiple theories having different focal points regarding learning process were coined. Variance competence theory of Tarone, Acculturation theory of Schumann, Nativization model of Andersen are some to mention. Behaviorism describes learning as an outcome of external events and ignores any internal mental processes. Only external stimulus is the rationale of one's action. Pavlov's experiments with dogs also reinforced such theoretical framework that promote behaviorism. Thus, theory of classical conditioning long remained in practice in pedagogical circles. Operant and behavioral conditioning is offshoot theories of behaviorism. Language learning was also understood through the same theoretical lens. Reinforcement and punishment are main tools used in behaviorist approach. For SLA, a learner theretofore must repeat and condition him/her to correct model of language. As opposed to behaviorism and structural linguistic models, creative constructivism theory of second language learning asserts that language is learnt through a creative process by using unconscious hypothesis (VanPatten, 2008; 24-25).

Monitor theory, presented by Stephen Krashen was first SLA theory. It describes SL learning occurs by comprehending meaningful messages within a text and interaction of these messages with language acquiring faculty of learner. The theory outlines an acquisition-learning hypothesis in which acquisition is from natural sources, by interacting with language 1 source. Language 2 learner becomes aware of second language just be interacting with L1 source. Chomsky also presented a theory called theory of language. This theory is closer to monitor theory and supports the notion that language acquisition ability is ingrained in child and forms essential elements of biological makeup.

2.1.2- Action learning theory

Action learning theory is prevails in the organizational settings and therefore more appropriate for work-based acquisition of second language. McKeown and Curtis (1987) describes that Rig Revans was the founder of action learning. The theory of action learning implies that there can be no learning without action and no novel action without considerable learning. Revans held the notion that for organizations to survive and prosper, the rate of their learning shall be equal or greater than rate of change. The language learning motivation (Oxford & Shearin, 1994) is also vital in this perspective. Frequent interactions based on action learning can induce the participants learning of skills and knowledge necessary for their professional progress. This however in case of immigrants and second language learners is not easy as English becomes in itself a barrier…[continue]

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