Small talk and humour essential in working life

Professor Janet Holmes and Dr Meredith Marra, Victoria University

Over the last 18 months researchers from Victoria’s Language in the Workplace Project have been analysing conversations on building sites and in eldercare facilities and incorporating the transcripts into English teaching materials for refugees and new migrants, who frequently find employment in these fields.  The research was funded by Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Aotearoa New Zealand (TESOLANZ) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment..

Download full media release

Effects of Withdrawal of Refugee Study Grants

Angela Joe, Nick Wilson, Sara Kindon, and GEOG 404 Students, Victoria University of Wellington (October 2011)

This report details the way in which the withdrawal of Refugee Study Grants (RSGs) has impacted upon the ability of Refugee Background Students (RBS) to access tertiary education. This study has been undertaken to examine the funding obstacles for students who have the skills and motivation to engage with tertiary education.

Context of the report

There are a number of phases to this study, only the first two of which are covered in our report:

  1. National survey of students about the impact of the withdrawal of study grants.
  2. Follow up interview with a sample of students to compare what they said they would study and what they actually did in 2011.
  3. Audit of TEI websites (subject of separate report) (refer to preliminary findings from Kindon et al)
  4. Interviews with ESOL professionals in TEIs (subject of separate report: forthcoming).
  5. Participatory workshops with RBS about their study experiences in TEIs (subject of separate report: forthcoming)

There is an additional discussion document published by ChangeMakers et al this year which launched an equity campaign for refugee background students in TEIs. This was aimed at policy makers, institutions, advocates and community groups interested in promoting the interest of RBS to access tertiary education and participate on an equal footing with other NZers. A key aim was to raise awareness of the current difficulties faced by RBS in TEIs such as their background, barriers to education, academic achievement and institutional systems. To fulfil their potential & settle into NZ we argue for a government mandate to recognize RBS as an equity group.

Dr Angela Joe

Victoria University of Wellington

Download: Assessing the impact of the withdrawal of Refugee Study Grants on refugee background students at tertiary institutions in Aotearoa New Zealand

English Phoneme Acquisition

A longitudinal study of phoneme acquisition showing development of phonemes and reasons for the difficulties in producing accurate final stops.

By Marty Pilott
Tutor, Weltec

English Phoneme Acquisition

Warning: 16 Mb file.

Language teacher motivation: a study of teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) in New Zealand language schools

By Hay-yiu Yau
Masters Student

This study investigates the motivation of ESL teachers employed in private English language schools and other state tertiary institutions in New Zealand.

Language teacher motivation

TESOLANZ Professional Standards Project: Profile of the TESOL Profession

Project Officer

Profile of the TESOL Profession

TESOLANZ Professional Standards Project: Core Competencies Profile

Project Officer

Core Competencies

A study of English language provision for refugees - current provision, barriers, needs.

Refugee Resettlement

The effect of multiple texts on vocabulary acquisition

Jeannette Watts
Department of Language Studies, Massey University at Wellington

This study investigates the effect of reading multiple texts on incidental acquisition of vocabulary.


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