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"Landscape of Premonitions": A Transcendental Phenomenological Study of How Newly-Arrived Immigrants Experience the Transition to South Florida While Enrolled in an English-Language Learning Program Open Access

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The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study is to understand how newly-arrived immigrants experience the transition to South Florida while enrolled in an English-language learning program. Within a conceptual framework of andragogy, transformational learning, and radical humanism, considered within the context of research on the diversity and number of immigrants, as well as language learning methods, the essence of the transition experiences of 12 nonnative speakers enrolled in an evening English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) 3 program was studied.Immigrants are coming to the U.S. in unprecedented numbers and from diverse backgrounds and they also comprise one-fifth of the low-wage earners in this country. Participants for this study were chose through a purposeful sampling of students enrolled in a federally-funded adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class. Open both to legal and illegal immigrants, ESOL programs are in place for the rapid acquisition of English and adjustment skills. While ESOL programming is the largest sector of adult education in South Florida, attrition rates nationally in these classes are high. There are also low passing rates on exit examinations, which call into question the adult language programming for nonnative speakers.These issues led to inquiries about the individual transition experiences of the immigrants themselves and they warranted exploration. This study was to understand how immigrants in a formal learning setting made sense of the transition to a new country, culture, and language and captured the essence of their shared experiences.

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