Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Postgraduate Research student wins 3rd place in University-wide 'Postgraduate Research Poster of the Year' award

4 December 2013 |

Postgraduate Research student wins 3rd place in University-wide 'Postgraduate Research Poster of the Year' award

Congratulations to School of Education postgraduate research student Chung Gilliland who was awarded (joint) 3rd place in the 'Postgraduate Research Poster of the Year' category at this year's Annual Postgraduate Conference, on Monday 2 December.

Chung's poster was based on her research in the School of Education and was titled 'When the power of language becomes unjust: some issues facing mainstream education in Vietnam.'

Her research supervisors in the School are Dr Jean Conteh and Dr Mary Chambers.

Chung has provided the following abstract on her research and poster:

"Vietnam is committed to an 'Education for All' policy and has made primary education completely free to bring all primary-aged children into school. After years of trying, however, the government is confronting challenges relating to ethnic minorities, including: bringing these children into schools; encouraging them not to drop out; heightening their academic achievement.

My research aims to seek a better understanding of the learning situations of these children who often do not speak Vietnamese in their homes, while this is the only language used in the country’s schools. The research therefore aims to seek an understanding of difficulties that these children may experience from learning in a second language in mainstream schools.

I particularly look at primary education, where the learners are at the initial stage of the home-school transition.  After spending approximately one year in the field collecting data at a primary school enrolling a large number of ethnic minority children, I returned with a rich source of data.

During analysis, some significant issues have emerged, one of which is the distinct power of the Vietnamese language in mainstream education. Of particular importance is the role that Vietnamese plays in deciding the final academic outcomes of ethnic minority learners, many of whom were first exposed to the language one year earlier, when they first entered the kindergarten class.

I believe that my research would benefit greatly from the opportunity to share my findings; to collect feedback and suggestions and to discuss this area with other researchers with similar experiences."

The Postgraduate Research Conference is an annual university wide showcase of postgraduate research here at the University of Leeds which celebrates the significant contribution postgraduate researchers make to the research profile of the University.

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