n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Reflecting on the as an integrative learning experience for adult learners

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



In this paper, we reflect on the rationale for including the <i>Who-am-I? Essay&lt;/i&gt; as a learning experience in a Portfolio Development Course (PDC) which serves as a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) point of access to learners wanting to register for the Bachelor's degree in Management Leadership (BML) at the institution. The main aim is to show that student-generated narratives about their "selfhoods" provide an opportunity to these learners to engage in critical reflection <i>(i.e. reflexive competence)</i> as they produce discursive constructions of the self in relation to an array of new perspectives gained from learning experiences in a series of intensive workshops. Thus, learners' <i>practical competence&lt;/i&gt; (i.e. anticipating how ideas may be applied in the workplace) is developed and assessed on the basis of <i>foundational competence</i> gained from the knowledge covered in four prescribed PDC modules. One of the four modules, aligned with the management themes, and representing an integrated, interdisciplinary approach, focuses on textual cohesion and coherence, as well as essay-writing. The methodology in this paper derives from perspectives taken from narrative analysis, specifically Labov's (1972; 2001) sociolinguistic account of narratives and Riessman's (1993) focus on narrative structure, as well as Freeman's (1993) account of St Augustine's personal cycle of change. Analyses of a selection of discursive evidence from these essays are included to show the value of a narrative approach for both management training and management-specific language development. <br>In conclusion, we include a critical-reflective analysis of the Who-am-I? learning experience, and recommend some changes.

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