ADULT REFUGEE LANGUAGE LEARNERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF LITERATURE CIRCLES TO SUPPORT READING COMPREHENSION AND REDUCE FOREIGN LANGUAGE ANXIETY
Nasiri, Sekineh Naz
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The number of adult refugee English language learners is growing in the United States. As a new resident and second language learner there are many obstacles they must face such as English language ability, academic achievement, and foreign language learning anxiety. Many adult refugees seek educational opportunities to learn how to communicate in English accurately and have better career opportunities. However, the instructional practices are similar to the traditional approaches they have already experienced with poor results in language learning. In this study, adult refugee English Learners participated in the Literature Circle approach, which is a student-centered learning process and provides opportunities for language learners to experience cooperative learning, independent reading, and improve their reading comprehension skills. In past years, there have been many different research studies on the impact of the Literature Circle approach on students. However, there is not enough information regarding the influence of Literature Circles on refugee English language learners and the influence on foreign language learning anxiety level. This study was conducted through a qualitative method design to examine the perceptions of adult refugee English language learners toward Literature Circles while enrolled in an advanced reading comprehension course in the United States. The primary purpose of the study was to determine if participation in the Literature Circle discussions better supports reading comprehension versus traditional approaches to second language learning. Additionally, the second purpose of the study was to examine the influence of Literature Circle discussions on refugee English language learner’s foreign language learning anxiety level. The participants of the study consisted of five adult refugee English language learners who were enrolled in an advanced reading comprehension course in a bilingual language institute in the United States. The methods of data collections were an individual pre-interview, post interview, and group interview. Additionally, the method of data analysis was constant comparison analysis. Findings The results of the study revealed adult refugee English language learners’ perception toward the Literature Circle approach was positive and language learners strongly believed that the Literature Circle approach not only enhanced their reading comprehension skills, but also had a great influence on improving English language ability. Pursing this further, findings support the need for future research involving a larger population, different English language skills, and a mixed method research design in the field of the Literature Circle approach and refugee community.