Current Phase: 3
A prominent feature of the needs assessment phase of the study was deep frustration and anxiety about the mismatch between language-learning needs and the instruction received. The findings from this phase of the study (involving surveys and interviews with instructors and Syrian refugee learners and analysis of oral production data) have informed our design and implementation of the English-for-employment-purposes programs. Additionally, although we initially developed the instructional approach and materials for face-to-face teaching, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have pivoted and developed an additional set of instructional materials specifically designed for remote teaching and learning.
Moving into the field-testing phase of the instructional approach and materials, we received 2,242 responses expressing interest in participating in the program. Currently we are field-testing the technology-mediated pedagogical materials by offering free lessons to Syrian learners across Canada. Since January 3, 2021, we have offered over 100 instructional units to learners at various proficiency levels.
Our goal is to field-test each unit three times for learners across different levels. This is also a way of giving back to the Syrian community by offering lessons taught by certified instructors who are graduates of our program; their participation, in turn, will help us fine-tune the materials before making them freely accessible to those instructors across Canada who are supporting and working with these learners. Once in-person instruction is permitted, we hope to then field-test the face-to-face pedagogical materials before adding them to the remote-learning set.