A comparative study of the language content of employment-related units in government-funded language programs for newcomers in Canada and Australia




Zhang, Yiran

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In response to the scant studies comparing the language content of the employment-related units in Australia's Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and Canada's Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program, the present study examines the curriculum guidelines and the selected instructional materials of AMEP's Certificate in Spoken and Written English (CSWE) III and LINC level 4 and investigates four instructors' implementation of the curricula (two instructors from each program). Through qualitatively analysis using NVivo, the results show that both LINC 4 and CSWE III exhibit strengths and limitations, and also alignment and misalignment, as compared to their theoretical frameworks. While LINC 4 covers more components in the framework, CSWE III demonstrates greater depth in implementing its theoretical foundation. Further, LINC 4 instructors mostly implement a task-based approach; the CSWE III instructors incorporate multiple approaches, while the curriculum claims text-based teaching as its main approach. This study suggests that in teaching English for employment purposes, more content that introduces the different functions of language use and communication strategies would be beneficial, and authentic texts and learner experience can also be valuable. The incorporation of different teaching approaches may be advantageous. Future research can further examine newcomer language program outcomes by comparing language production data from learners of similar programs in different contexts, in order to evaluate the impact of language training on learners’ ability to engage in employment-purposed communication.



Language program evaluation, newcomer language training, LINC, AMEP, newcomer English instruction