Second chance diverse literacy learners: Factors that influence their learning

Year: 2009

Author: Fletcher, Jo

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The need to enhance adults’ foundation competencies in literacy is recognised worldwide. This study investigates literature to develop a framework for understanding the factors that influence literacy learning. The research records the stories of two adult second-chance, culturally diverse female students while they were completing their first semester of study in a foundation qualification that included a course in adult literacy. In Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori and Pasifika peoples are, on average, underachieving in literacy, so this small study specifically invited Māori and Pasifika adult students to tell the researcher of their quest to improve their literacy levels. The purpose was to draw from the women’s accounts implications for adult educators working with culturally diverse, second-chance learners to determine what acts as motivators and/or barriers for and to their learning, and to explore aspects that enhance their learning. The emerging issues were the cultural capital and life experiences that the two students brought to their study, their goals and motivation to undertake their courses, the atmosphere and support they identified within their courses, what they saw as barriers to their study, and their identification of different cultural practices and expectations within their courses.