Perspectives on Introversion and Engagement in the Adult ESL Classroom
Committee MemberDunn, William
SubjectEducation--Adult and Continuing
Education--Bilingual and Multicultural
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAdult learners who display introverted tendencies in formal English as a Second Language (ESL) learning environments are a heterogeneous group whose unique needs have gone relatively unexplored in the field of education. Research indicates that ESL instructional strategies typically viewed as “best practices” in North America may not always be the best fit for adult learners who display introverted tendencies. In this qualitative study, the author used semi-structured interviews and reflective journals to explore the stories of introversion and engagement of 11 adult ESL learners drawn from two educational institutions in Alberta. Interview questions included definitions of introversion, effects of introversion on learning English, barriers faced in the ESL classroom, and strategies for overcoming these barriers. After coding and categorizing individual interviews, and compiling and synthesizing information from all data sources, analysis and interpretation of findings were organized into three themes: 1) complex, multiple perspectives of identity, 2) sources of learners’ struggles, and 3) meeting learners’ needs. Findings indicated that there are diverse understandings of the term introversion based on cultural contexts, and that adult ESL learners demonstrate engagement in a number of ways that do not always align to traditionally accepted instructional practices within North America. The author concludes that introversion is complex, multidimensional, and changeable and offers an alternative framework for understanding the multi-faceted topic of introversion. Recommendations for instructors, instructional/curriculum designers, and adult ESL learners are aimed at creating more inclusive classrooms through the avoidance of labeling. The study could impact the way educators engage with learners who display introverted tendencies in formal, adult education learning contexts by providing additional context regarding barriers faced by such learners as well as strategies for assisting with their unique learning needs.
CitationGiles, K. (2016). Perspectives on Introversion and Engagement in the Adult ESL Classroom (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/27320
University of Calgary graduate students retain copyright ownership and moral rights for their thesis. You may use this material in any way that is permitted by the Copyright Act or through licensing that has been assigned to the document. For uses that are not allowable under copyright legislation or licensing, you are required to seek permission.