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ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROVISION AND COMMUNITY NETWORKS: A COLLABORATIVE STUDY

Swinney, Katherine (2017) ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROVISION AND COMMUNITY NETWORKS: A COLLABORATIVE STUDY. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis explores how English language provision is connected to the community in a super-diverse ward in Sheffield, Northern England. The research was planned and developed in collaboration with English language students in response to cuts to adult community education. The study examines the importance of dynamic local networks which linked English language classes to service provision and engagement with local campaigns and activities. In a period of cuts to public services the study focused on community education in Burngreave. The legacy of radical community development work could be seen in key structures in the area which derived strength from organising and campaigning. The research was conducted in three stages, firstly 325 questionnaire interviews were conducted in 35 classes, between November 2012 and February 2013, generating baseline data about the student population and the English language classes. A consideration in the use of a questionnaire was the diversity and dynamic environment being investigated. The data collection involved considerable teamwork, multilingual peer support and collaboration from community members. Graphs, charts and network diagrams were used to analyse quantitative research data. These visual tools enabled data driven dialogue amongst participants from super-diverse language backgrounds. Collaborative analysis of the data with groups of students, teachers and providers informed the next stage of the research process. This study challenges the view that community education is peripheral. It is significant that over 85% of participants in the study are women. The thesis explores the roles of super-connectors through a series of conversational interviews conducted in June and July 2014 and considers how networks developed in relation to the English language classes across the area. The study identifies the importance of local concerns and community knowledge to develop and sustain appropriate connectors in local networks; these include the local community newspaper, the Adult Learning Guide and other super- connectors. The study also considers external links which connect the provision to city-wide and national sources of funding and support.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.733607
Depositing User: Ms Katherine Swinney
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2018 09:44
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:51
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19311

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