Partnership of Change: Transforming Language in Three-Way Conferences for English as an Additional Language (EAL) Student Success

Researchers: Shawna Jurgens, Brenden Kroeger, Dr. Zhi Li, Dr. Hyunjung Shin, Shannon Storey, Julia Daantos, and Xiaoxue Xie. 

The purpose of this proposed research is to strengthen partnerships among EAL parents, students and teachers so schools can better support academic success of EAL students in Saskatchewan (SK). Through participatory action research conducted by teachers in two different schools both in rural and urban SK with the support of university EAL researchers, this locally based initiative aims to 1) offer suggestions for how EAL parents and teachers can collaboratively develop linguistically and culturally appropriate pedagogy and communication to enhance student success; 2) support teachers to generate knowledge about EAL teaching and learning relevant to their own classrooms; and 3) contribute to knowledge about teaching and learning to enhance EAL student success both in rural and urban SK schools. 

By showcasing two schools in SK, the proposed research will significantly contribute to knowledge about teaching and learning to support EAL student success. As a team of two teachers and three university-based EAL researchers/teacher educators, we will conduct research to investigate the language used in 3-way conferences as well as stakeholders’ perceptions of these conferences. To understand needs within diverse contexts, data will be collected at a Saskatoon school and two rural schools with high EAL populations upon receiving all required ethical approvals. Data collection will include (1) observations of 3-way conferences, (2) follow-up focus group interviews with EAL parents and students, and (3) interviews with teachers.