The lived experience of students as English language learners in the nursing classroom: A critical hermeneutic inquiry
JoAnn Mulready-Shick, EdD, RN, CNE, ANEF
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This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of students as English language learners in the nursing classroom. The study is a direct response to the under-representation of students from linguistically diverse backgrounds in nursing education, the call for greater diversity in the nursing workforce and profession, and the issue of ever-increasing numbers of students entering college as English language learners. Employing interpretive phenomenological methodology, participants engaged, in open-ended, hermeneutic interviews which yielded new understandings of everyday concerns that impact their academic success. A critical theoretical framework applied during data analysis exposed power structures impacting student experience across language, culture, classroom practices, and socioeconomics.
Four themes emerged from interviews with six participants at an urban community college in the Northeast. These themes include the ways in which students make adjustments, overcome doubts, demonstrate determination, and co-create community. Findings suggest that the key to participants' academic progress involves additional academic learning time dedicated to studying the English language, along with learning the language of health care and nursing concepts. Findings also reveal that students experienced classroom environments as uneven and unequal; some classes fostered learning and the development of higher order thinking skills while others did not. Traditional and monocultural practices, representing acts of power and dominance, thwarted learning and possibly contributed to lack of progress. Yet participants also articulated learning gains despite challenges presented by less effective pedagogical practices and socioeconomic realities.
Finally, this query initially related to a notion of identity but expanded to participants' perceptions of "being-in-the-world," their sense of wholeness, and to future endeavors. Faced with myriad inequalities and missed opportunities in the classroom, a pattern of hope and possibility was also revealed as central to participants' outlook as each suggested ways to enhance teaching and learning in the nursing classroom and beyond. This study counters the dominant perception that students without a greater command of English are not ready for the rigors of nursing education. The study, therefore, offers specific recommendations to faculty, policy makers, and students for creating inclusive classroom practices and keeping the doors to nursing education open to students developing English proficiency.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 3313764; ProQuest document ID: 304816407. The author still retains copyright.
This item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Research Approach||Qualitative Research|
|Keywords||English Lanugage Learners;
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