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Title: A qualitative exploration of the experiences of parents, who speak English as an additional language, and school staff in their communication together
Authors: Dyson, Priya Anand
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis is centred on the participation of parents, who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL), within the school community. It aims to explore the experiences of school staff and Romanian-speaking parents in their communication together, with a view to understanding the role of Educational Psychologists (EPs) in promoting communication between the two groups. The thesis is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 is a Systematic Literature Review, which aims to answer the question: how does EAL affect parental participation and the development of home-school relations? The chapter used thematic synthesis to consider several qualitative studies, focusing on parents from the UK and USA. Chapter 1 identified a gap in UK literature, noting that communication is a central theme in understanding how EAL affects parental participation and the development of home-school relations. Chapter 2 provides a methodological and ethical critique of the ensuing research, considering my philosophical positioning and the relevance of this to the methodology, method and subsequently, the findings. Following on from Chapter 1, Chapter 3 explores the communication experiences of school staff and Romanian-speaking parents. To understand participants’ experiences, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse the data collected from semi-structured interviews, finding variation in individual factors affecting communication, but a consensus that trust and respect were fundamental. A key aim of the empirical study was to identify a role for EPs, which includes practical next steps for relevant change within the profession. Therefore, the interview findings were shared in a focus group of EPs to uncover their experiences of communication alongside parents, who speak EAL, and school staff; as well as investigating their perceived role in promoting communication between the two groups. Reflexive Thematic Analysis was used to generate themes from the focus group data. The themes provide suggestions of changes to EP practice, such as providing parents with choices around who interprets and an increased presence at community events; themes were identified at individual, group and systemic levels of EP working. Finally, Chapter 4 offers a reflective synthesis of my professional and academic learning acquired throughout the research process. The chapter discusses some of the challenges I have experienced, including decisions relating to terminology. Additionally, Chapter 4 considers my dual researcher-practitioner role and the implications of this for future research and practice.
Description: D. App. Ed. Psy. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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