I want to be regular! (ir)regularities, (in)equalities, and (in)equities in Manitoba’s EAL programs
This research examined the extent to which Manitoba’s kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) education system caters to and validates the needs of its multilingual learners. Examining the experiences of nine multilingual newcomer learners who have earned EAL credits in Manitoba, I analyzed the implementation of the EAL credit at the high school level. I questioned how the EAL credit potentially influences the learning environment for newcomers. Terms such as “equity” and “equality” are deconstructed under a social justice framework. Grounded within a social reconstructivist stance, I collected and interpreted data using a life history approach. Data were derived from transcripts from nine semi-structured interviews with former Manitoba high school students who participated in EAL programs. Their experiences informed my critical analysis of the dissonance between participants’ transcript responses, Manitoba’s EAL Framework Documents (2011), and equitable practice in Manitoba. Findings suggest that although participants felt that their experiences within EAL programs were invaluable, in order to create an equitable learning environment, they urge clearer communication between schools and newcomer families.