Migrant students’ and employers’ perspectives on cooperative education in New Zealand: Implications for English language teaching
Brown, T. Pascal; Ayres, Robert
Citation:Brown, T. P., & Ayres, R. (2006). Migrant students’ and employers’ perspectives on cooperative education in New Zealand: Implications for English language teaching. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 7(2), 16-23. Available from http://www.apjce.org/files/APJCE_07_2_16_23.pdf
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1927
New Zealand has at present a low unemployment rate and a shortage of skilled workers. There are also many immigrants from non-English speaking countries who are unemployed. These migrant New Zealanders often have no locally based work experience, know little about the culture of work and are lacking in English proficiency. Employers on the other hand can be reticent to employ a migrant for a variety of reasons; the main ones being the migrant’s English language skills and lack of NZ-based work experience. Ways to overcome these barriers for the migrants, both linguistic and sociolinguistic, can best be addressed in a TESOL course which includes a cooperative education module. Addressing employer attitudes is more difficult but there are examples of ‘good’ employers who welcome migrants. There are also benefits for employers in accepting migrants on unpaid work experience such as learning about diversity in the workplace and addressing their EEO principles. This paper summarizes data collected through employer and student interviews and questionnaires that investigated perceptions of both employers and employees on what migrants need in English language training courses to best prepare them for the workplace. The paper also gives examples of authentic spoken workplace texts (ASWTs) that can be used in the classroom to prepare migrant students for co-operative education. It is suggested that these texts can be used to lead students into discussing not only linguistic issues at work but also sociolinguistic situations and issues that they will come across. The paper also frames these ASWTs within a model of teaching entitled the ‘Authentic Independent Motivational teaching model’.