The Generation 1.5 Adult Learner

Generation 1.5 adult learners are "students who arrived in Canada as children or adolescents and attended school in Canada" (Hermann & Gris, 2012, p. 148). These learners have not necessarily left school but may have gaps in their learning and may have ESL needs. These learners are in a situation where they tend to have high levels of "basic interpersonal communication skills" (BICS) but may struggle with "cognitive academic language proficiency" (CALP) (Hermann & Gris, 2012, p. 36). According to Hermann & Gris (2012) - drawing on the work of Jim Cummins - these learners come to SPOs with "conversational fluency in [English]" but may have challenges regarding "[their] ability to understand and express, in both oral and written modes, concepts and ideas that are relevant to success in school" (p. 36). These learners "sound" as if English is their mother tongue but experience timelines and challenges in an academic setting that are different from those of their peers (Hermann & Gris, 2012). Learners in this situation may already have an Ontario (or Canadian) high school diploma, may have partially completed high school, may be struggling with current programming, or a combination of the above.

Questions are provided in the Core Questions section of this website to assist SPO practitioners (i.e. assessors, teachers, managers, caseworkers etc.) in identifying prior learning experiences, academic needs, and goals for Generation 1.5 adult learners.