Factors which contribute to resilience amongst poor, second-language learners
Cronje, Magdalena Francina
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The focus of this empirical study was on the antecedents of resilience among poor, English second-language (ESL) adolescent learners. The reasons why some adolescents in this situation are resilient and others are not, are indicated in this study. Adolescents qualify as being resilient if they are exposed to significant threat to their development, indicating high risk to the individual, and their adaptation to the threat is successful, due to support, resources or intervention. Thirty three resilient and 32 non -resilient poor, ESL adolescent learners were selected to participate in the empirical study. My study was a mixed method study because I made use of quantitative research (a survey questionnaire completed by the 65 selected learners), and qualitative research (semi-structured interviews with two identified resilient learners and a group interview with elders who are knowledgeable about young people in this community). The conclusions of my study emphasise that dynamic interactions between individual attributes, familial support, community resources, and cultural ties empower some adolescents to overcome hardships and be resilient. My findings are supported by literature. My findings cannot be generalised, as the adolescents in my study were all black, South African youth from an impoverished community in the Vaal Triangle. This is an explorative study, and themes that were identified as contributing to resilience in my study, need to be explored in future studies.
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