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Becoming Qualified to Teach Low-literate Refugees: A Case Study of One Volunteer Instructor

From: Community Literacy Journal
Volume 7, Issue 2, Spring 2013
pp. 21-38 | 10.1353/clj.2013.0006



This case study investigates Carolyn, an effective volunteer ESL and literacy instructor of adult African refugees, in order to understand both what it means to be a qualified instructor, and also how community-based volunteer instructors may become more qualified. The study’s findings suggest that Carolyn’s qualifications are a combination of personal dispositions, such as cultural sensitivity, and professional behaviors, including self-education, seeking mentoring and outside expertise, and purposeful reflection on her teaching. Several implications for supporting community-based volunteer literacy and ESL instructors emerge from these findings.

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