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Competency-based assessment, employment and immigrant background : an exploratory investigation of adult language learners in Australia

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by John Ehrich, S Kim, L Ficorilli
Prior research investigating the relationships between immigrants’ linguistic abilities in the target language of the host country and their settlement experiences has done so largely from the perspective of language proficiency. Instead of language proficiency per se, we investigated this relationship from the perspective of a competency-based measure. The Certificate in Spoken and Written English (CSWE) is one such competency based measure currently used in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) in Australia. We conducted an investigation to explore the strength of the relationships between CSWE level, employment and immigrant background (as socio-biographical information). Data were collected from 46 newly arrived adult immigrants enrolled in the AMEP over a 16-month period. The findings indicated that the use of a competency based curriculum facilitated immigrants’ attainment of employment but only when they first arrived in Australia. Over time the outcomes of a competency-based curriculum became less relevant to immigrant employability. At the later stages of residency, socio-biographical factors, such as immigrants’ home country and educational experience, became strongly related to their ability to attain a job with little or no effect of competency-based curriculum.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

24

Issue

6

Start Page

485

End Page

494

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1747-7581

ISSN

0950-0782

Location

UK

Publisher

Routledge

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Dept. of Linguistics; Faculty of Arts, Business, Informatics and Education; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Language and education.