Guiding the way : how ESOL teachers can support refugee-background students transitioning to mainstream tertiary studies : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Many refugee-background students from a variety of pathways enter mainstream tertiary studies in their countries of resettlement. Yet, despite having an English level sufficient to enter these courses, a growing body of research suggests these students face a number of challenges that make succeeding in tertiary studies difficult. Through the transformative paradigm and a critical perspective, this thesis explores my experiences as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher and those of five Middle Eastern refugee-background students about to start the next stage of their learning journey. By using two focus groups and an action research project, we work together to investigate ways that ESOL teachers can best support this cohort of students in their transition into mainstream studies. This thesis concludes with The COMPASS Model, designed as a result of this study to assist in guiding ESOL teachers to support refugee-background students through the use of Collaboration, Orientation, Multiple literacies, Personalised learning, Advocacy, Strategising and Self-care. Suggestions are also given on how to adapt the curriculum to better suit these learners and on how institutes and governments can live up to their ethical responsibilities and provide equal opportunities for refugee-background students.
Refugees, Education (Higher), New Zealand, English language, Study and teaching, Foreign speakers, Educational equalization, Inclusive education