Syrian Refugees’ Challenges and Problems of Learning and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL): Jordan as an Example

Heba M.N Alefesha, dina Al-Jamal

Abstract


The study sought to identify the problems and challenges of teaching EFL to Syrian refugees and to identify the solutions to overcome the problems. The study has successfully met the purpose by conducting semi-structured interview with 10 Syrian refugees, one director of resettlement agency, one EFL manager, and one ESL instructors. The thematic analysis results shows that social, education, financial, and institutional are four important challenges of learning and teaching ESL to Syrian refugees in Jordan. Most of the social challenges are derived from the financial crisis, concerns about immediate family and relatives who are still residing in Syrian, childcare, lack of fulfilling basic needs, and mental hazard are severe social challenges for the Syrian refugees in terms of teaching ESL. Most of financial challenges are centralized to afford the regular family expenses, such as food, clothes, and medicine. Most of the challenges of learning EFL in terms of education include poor educational background, uncomfortable with English, lack of knowledge of teachers to deal with Syrian refugees, and lack of motivation. Budget crisis for addressing the demand of additional learning materials, new class environment, scarcity of teachers and volunteers, and poor academic background of Syrian refugees are major challenges under the institutional related challenges. The study recommends that the curriculum of teaching EFL should be designed easily by using sophisticated and learner friendly teaching methods. If necessary, ESL teachers should pay extra attention to teach EFL to Syrian refugees. For providing extra effort, the institution should pay extra compensation to motivate the teacher.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Al Hariri, B. (2018). Teaching ESL to Syrian refugees: Problems and challenges (Doctoral dissertation) University of Toledo.

Alcantud Diaz, M. (2016). Digital storytelling with pre-service teachers. Raising awareness for refugees through ICTS in ESL primary classes. Digital Education Review, 30, 1-16.

Arslan, C., & Tanis, B. M. (2018). Building English Vocabulary Schema Retention Using Review Value Calculation for ESL Students. Research in Social Sciences and Technology, 3(3), 116-134. Retrieved from http://ressat.org/index.php/ressat/article/view/374

Aydin, H., & Kaya, Y. (2017). Educational needs and barriers for Syrian refugee students in Turkey: A qualitative case study. Intercultural Education, 28(5), 456-473. DOI:10.1080/14675986.2017.1336373

Aydin, H. & Kaya, Y. (2019). Education for Syrian Refugees: The New Global Issue Facing Teachers and Principals in Turkey. Educational Studies, 55(1), 46- 71. DOI: 10.1080/00131946.2018.1561454

Baynham, M. (2006). Agency and contingency in the language learning of refugees and asylum seekers. Linguistics and Education, 17(1), 24-39.

Bond, L., Giddens, A., Cosentino, A., Cook, M., Hoban, P., Haynes, A., . . . & Glover, S. (2007). Changing cultures: Enhancing mental health and wellbeing of refugee young people through education and training. Promotion & education, 14(3), 143-149.

Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.

Burgoyne, U., & Hull, O. (2007). Classroom management strategies to address the needs of Sudanese refugee learners. An adult literacy national project report. Adelaide, SA: National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd.

Carr, E. R., & Incetas, Y. (2018). Perceptions & Experiences of Non-Muslim Minority Students on the Muslim Image. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 5(2), 43-52.

Casimiro, S., Hancock, P., & Northcote, J. (2007). Isolation and insecurity: Resettlement issues among Muslim refugee women in Perth, Western Australia. Australian journal of social issues, 42(1), 55-69.

Cinkara, E. (2017). The role of L+ Turkish and English learning in resilience: A case of Syrian students at Gaziantep University. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 13(2), 190-203.

Clark, K. (2017). Are we ready? Examining teacher’s experiences supporting the transition of newly-arrived Syrian refugee students to the Canadian elementary classroom. Retrrieved from https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/76952/1/Clark_Kathryn_201706_MT_MTRP.pdf. [18/5/2018]

Evans, W. N., & Fitzgerald, D. (2017). The economic and social outcomes of refugees in the United States: evidence from the ACS (No. w23498). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Frimberger, K. (2016). Towards a well-being focused language pedagogy: Enabling arts-based, multilingual learning spaces for young people with refugee backgrounds. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 24(2), 285-299.

Gan, Z. (2013). Learning to teach English language in the practicum: What challenges do non-native ESL student teachers face?. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(3), 6.

Gizatullina, A , Sibgatullina, A . (2018). Forming a Foreign Language Teacher's Professional Competencies in a Multilingual Educational Environment. Journal of Social Studies Education Research, 9 (3), 282-295. Retrieved from http://dergipark.org.tr/jsser/issue/43625/534238

Gupta, N. (2011). Business Research Methodology. Abhigyan, 29(1), 57-58.

James, G. (2018). A narrative inquiry perspective into coping mechanisms of international postgraduate students’ transition experiences. American Journal of Qualitative Research, 2(1), 41-56.

Hulistijn, J. H. (2011). Language proficiency in native and nonnative speakers: An agenda for research and suggestions for second-language assessment. Language Assessment Quarterly, 8(3), 229-249.

Kagema, J. (2018). The School Curriculum and Its Influence on Teacher Motivation in Curriculum Implementation in Kenya. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 1(1), 9-25. Retrieved from http://cultureandvalues.org/index.php/JCV/article/view/3

Kanno, Y., & Varghese, M. M. (2010). Immigrant and refugee ESL students’ challenges to accessing four-year college education: From language policy to educational policy. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 9(5), 310-328.

Karam, F. J., Kibler, A. K., & Yoder, P. J. (2017). “Because even us, Arabs, now speak English”: Syrian refugee teachers’ investment in English as a foreign language. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 60, 169-182.

Lee, K. (2016). Using collaborative strategic reading with refugee English language learners in an academic bridging program. TESL Canada Journal, 97-108.

Lertola, J., & Mariotti, C. (2017). Reverse dubbing and subtitling: Raising Pragmatic awareness in Italian English as a second language (ESL) Learners. The Journal of Specialised Translation, 28, 103-121.

Li, X., Doyle, A., Lymburner, M., & Ghadi, N. Y. (2016). Parental Support for Newcomer Children's Education in a Smaller Centre/Soutien parental pour l'éducation des enfants des nouveaux venus dans un centre plus petit. Comparative and International Education, 45(3), 1.

MacNevin, J. (2012). Learning the Way: Teaching and Learning with and for Youth from Refugee Backgrounds on Prince Edward Island. Canadian Journal of Education, 35(3), 48-63.

Miles, J., & Bailey-McKenna, M. C. (2016). Giving Refugee Students a Strong Head Start: The LEAD Program. TESL Canada Journal, 33, 109-128.

Miller, J. (2009). Teaching refugee learners with interrupted education in science: Vocabulary, literacy and pedagogy. International Journal of Science Education, 31(4), 571-592.

Nel, N., & Müller, H. (2010). The impact of teachers’ limited English proficiency on English second language learners in South African schools. South African Journal of Education, 30(4).

Ogilvie, G., & Fuller, D. (2016). Restorative Justice Pedagogy in the ESL classroom: Creating a caring environment to support refugee students. TESL Canada Journal, 86-96.

Olliff, L., & Couch, J. (2005). Pathways and pitfalls: The journey of refugee young people in and around the education system in Greater Dandenong, Victoria. Youth Studies Australia, 24(3), 42.

Perry, K. H. (2013). Becoming qualified to teach low-literate refugees: A case study of one volunteer instructor. Community Literacy Journal, 7(2), 21-38.

Popov, O., & Erik, S. (2015). Facing the pedagogical challenge of teaching unaccompanied refugee children in the Swedish school system. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 64, 66-74.

Reliefweb. (2018). UNHCR Jordan Factsheet - August 2018. [Online] Available at> https://reliefweb.int/report/jordan/unhcr-jordan-factsheet-august-2018 [Accessed: 25 March, 2019]

Riggs, E., Block, K., Gibbs, L., Davis, E., Szwarc, J., Casey, S., ... & Waters, E. (2012). Flexible modESL for learning English are needed for refugee mothers. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 52(2), 397.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students. Pearson education

Steele, T. J. (2017). English language teaching to Syrian refugees in transit. Online Journal of English Language Teaching (TOJELT), 2(1), 40-52.

Stevenson, J., & Willott, J. (2007). The aspiration and access to higher education of teenage refugees in the UK. Compare, 37(5), 671-687.

Sujito, S , Budiharso, T , Solikhah, I , Mutaqin, W . (2019). The effect of analogy variations on academic writing: How Indonesian EFL students perform with different cognitive styles. Journal of Social Studies Education Research, 10 (1), 116-132. Retrieved from http://dergipark.org.tr/jsser/issue/45447/570406

Tarman, B. & Gürel, D. (2017). Awareness of Social Studies Teacher Candidates on Refugees in Turkey, Journal of Social Studies Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.jssr.2016.11.001

Van Rensburg, H. J., & Son, J. B. (2010). Improving English language and computer literacy skills in an adult refugee program. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 6(1), 69-81.

Watkins, P. G., Razee, H., & Richters, J. (2012). ‘I'm Telling You… The Language Barrier is the Most, the Biggest Challenge’: Barriers to Education among Karen Refugee Women in Australia. Australian Journal of Education, 56(2), 126-141.

Werge-Olsen, I. B., & Vik, K. (2012). Activity as a tool in language training for immigrants and refugees. Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy, 19(6), 530-541.

Yigit, I. H. (2018). Mass Religious Ritual and Intergroup Tolerance: The Muslim Pilgrims’ Paradox. [Book Review]. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 5(2), 196-200.

Zikmund, W. G., Babin, B. J., Carr, J. C., & Griffin, M. (2013). Business research methods. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/235

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies  E-ISSN: 2149-1291

Copyright © FGCU Publishing Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'ejecs.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

   EBSCO_logo_new_120