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A study of English workshop provision

A study of English workshop provision

Ware, Jennifer Helen (1993) A study of English workshop provision. MPhil thesis, University of Greenwich.

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During the past decade students with particularly low-level literacy skills have imposed special demands, some colleges of Further Education meeting their needs by means of workshops. There was an information-gap about how best to enable linguistic acquisition in 16+ mainstream students and that need prompted this investigation.

The author set out to identify and describe good workshop practice in individual LEAs or colleges and to define the features of a model workshop. The central question was whether or not the workshop strategy was effective in meeting the literacy needs of FE students.

After a preliminary survey to discover suitable colleges, students and tutors were interviewed. Workshop sessions were observed using two contrasting instruments and HE and LEAs surveyed. Teaching materials and the learning-environment were scrutinised.

Two kinds of workshop emerged: the ILEA Communications Workshop and the Literacy-support workshop found in the non-ILEA colleges in the sample.

Because of their individuality, it was not reasonable to delineate a model workshop. Nevertheless clear principles of good practice were established, for example that there was a need to create a careful balance between the following emphases:

- learning individually and within groups;
- experience of oral and written work;
- practice in formal and informal talk;
- the development of basic skills and wider learning-experiences;
- student autonomy and teacher-guidance.

As a result of the study it became clear that, whatever the lost opportunities discovered in individual workshops, in contrast with school they represented a positive educational experience for those who had been failed by traditional teaching-methods and students thought they were more effective in meeting their literacy needs. It also became clear that there was a need for staff development in the sample colleges and therefore probably in the FE sector as a whole in order to enable tutors to make more effective use of literacy workshops.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: post compulsory education and training, PCET, English studies, adult literacy,
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education
School of Education > Department of Professional Learning & Development
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:22

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