Parent and guardian support of Korean migrant learners' primary schooling experience

Du Toit, Merise (2012-03)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Trans-national migration to English-speaking countries has become increasingly popular among Asian families. Their aim is for their children to obtain overseas educational credentials and to gain the English language as cultural capital in the global market. Over the past few years, South Africa has been perceived as a place where immigrants, as well as migrants can make a new life for themselves and their families. The study aimed to explore the support given by parents/guardians of Korean migrant learners with regard to the learners' primary schooling experiences. In seeking to understand the phenomenon of parent/guardian support of Korean migrant learners' primary schooling experiences, I use the ecosystemic approach, which is constructed by both the general systems and the ecological theories. I discuss the ecosystemic framework by dividing it into its micro-, meso- and macro-systems. In the research, within the micro- and meso-systems the parent/guardian was considered to be part of a larger system of family, school, education system and community. These systems interact with each other. Acculturation theory, which focuses on psychological adjustment of the migrant learners, influenced the inquiry. Furthermore, Korean migrant families struggle within various ecological social systems outside the family system. These include the educational, physical, mental health, economic and political systems, which can influence the reasons for migration. The matter of cultural differences and the way in which they influence Korean migrant learners' schooling experiences were also explored. The macro-systems analysis includes Bourdieu's theory on cultural capital and the social closure theory. The specific design selected for this study is a case study that is qualitative and explorative in nature. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with individual parents/guardians and a focus group to gather information regarding the support given to Korean migrants in their primary schooling experiences. The data was analysed within the micro-, meso- and macro-systems and themes emerged during the interviews. The findings revealed that the macro-systems focused on the reasons for migration, which were gaining English skills and experiencing the process of globalisation. The study also focused on the micro-systems and thus dealt with the diverse experiences of the participants, which included the family dynamics, the support given to Korean migrant learners and parents'/ guardians' perceptions of schooling experiences. The trans-national migrant families in South Africa vary between 'wild goose families', nuclear families and guardianships. The support given to Korean migrant learners ranges from emotional support (e.g. hugs, kisses and motivation), financial support (e.g. money for various things) and physical support (e.g. transport) to spiritual support (e.g. praying and going to church). It was concluded from the study that cultural capital and global positional competition play an important role in Korean migrant learners' primary schooling experiences. Although these parents/guardians bring the learners to South Africa to move away from the very formal education system of Korea, it seems as if they are still reinscribing familiar patterns of living in South Africa. It is questioned whether it is not better for Korean learners to be educated in Korea. They appear to improve their English language in South Africa, but may be compromised in other areas, such as emotional well-being, which could cause poor psychological adjustment. Therefore it is recommended that more knowledge be gained in order know how to support these learners effectively.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Transnasionale migrasie na Engelssprekende lande het aansienlik uitgebrei onder Asiatiese families. Die rede hiervoor is om oorsese opvoedkundige getuigskrifte vir hulle kinders, en taalvaardigheid in Engels as kulturele kapitaal in die globale mark te verwerf. Oor die afgelope paar jaar was Suid-Afrika ʼn gewilde bestemming waar beide immigrante en migrante saam met hulle families ʼn nuwe toekoms vir hulself kan skep. Daar is met die studie gepoog om ondersoek in te stel na die ondersteuning wat die ouers/voogde van Koreaanse migrante leerders aan die kinders bied met betrekking tot hul skoolervaringe. Die ekosistemiese benadering brei uit op die algemene sisteme en die ekologiese teorieë om die verskynsel van ouer/voog-ondersteuning van Koreaanse migrante leerders tydens die leerders se ervaring in die primêre skool te verstaan. Ek het die ekosistemiese benadering as raamwerk vir my bespreking gebruik deur dit te verdeel in mikro-, meso- en makro-sisteme. Binne die mikro- en meso-sisteme word ouers/voogde bespreek as deel van die wyer sisteem van familie, skool, onderwysstelsel en gemeenskap. Hierdie sisteme is interverweef en in konstante wisselwerking met mekaar. Akkulturasieteorie, wat op die sielkundige aanpassing van die migrant leerders fokus, het hierdie ondersoek gerig. Die Koreaanse migrant families ervaar ook hindernisse binne verskeie ekologiese sosiale sisteme buite die familie-sisteem. Hierdie hindernisse word ervaar binne die opvoedkundige, fisiese en geestesgesondheid-, ekonomiese en politieke sisteme, wat die redes vir migrasie kan beïnvloed, asook die kulturele verskille en hoe dit die Koreaanse migrant leerders se skoolervaringe beïnvloed. Die makro-sisteme fokus op Bourdieu se teorie aangaande kulturele kapitaal en die sosiale sluitingsteorie. Die navorsingsontwerp van hierdie studie is ʼn gevallestudie en is kwalitatief en ondersoekend van aard. Semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is met die deelnemers en ʼn fokusgroep gevoer om inligting rakende die ondersteuning van Koreaanse migrante leerders in die laerskool te verkry. Die data is ontleed binne die mikro-, meso- en makro-sisteme, asook die temas wat uit die onderhoude met die deelnemers ontstaan het. Die bevindinge het die deelnemers se diverse ondervindings binne die mikro-sisteem aan die lig gebring. Dit sluit in: familie dinamika, deelnemers se ervaring van ondersteuning aan Koreaanse migrante leerders, asook ouers/voogde se persepsies van die Koreaanse migrante-leerders se skoolervarings. Die studie was verder op die makro-sisteme gerig, waar die fokus op die redes vir migrasie was. Laasgenoemde verwys na die verwerwing van Engelse vaardighede en die belewing van globalisasie. Die slotsom van die studie is dat kulturele kapitaal en globale posisionele kompetisie ʼn belangrike rol speel in die Koreaanse migrante leerders se laerskool-ervaring. Alhoewel die ouers/voogde die leerders Suid-Afrika toe bring sodat hulle kan wegbeweeg van die baie formele opvoedingsisteem in Korea, blyk dit egter dat hul presies dieselfde patrone van onderrig en leer in Suid-Afrika beleef. Die vraag is dus: Sal dit nie beter wees vir sulke leerders om in Korea onderrig te ontvang nie? Onderrig in Suid-Afrika bied wel die geleentheid om beter vaardighede in Engels aan te leer, maar die vraag ontstaan: Wat is die prys wat hulle daarvoor moet betaal? In die lig hiervan is my aanbeveling dat meer kennis aangaande hierdie leerders se ervaring verwerf behoort te word ten einde meer effektiewe ondersteuning aan hulle te fasiliteer.

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