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A case study of the utility of focus groups for program evaluation involving non-English speaking program participants

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Title: A case study of the utility of focus groups for program evaluation involving non-English speaking program participants
Author: Ritch, Adele Denise
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Education
Copyright Date: 1997
Abstract: In an English language context, the ability of program participants with limited English competency to participate in program evaluation processes is restricted. However, when program participants are invited to discuss their experiences in their preferred language, they make meaningful contributions as program stakeholders. Within the context of a program evaluation of the Nobody's Perfect Parenting Program (Ritch & McLaren, 1994), a case study approach was used to determine the utility of focus groups as a program evaluation methodology with non English speaking program participants. Six focus groups were facilitated by bilingual, bicultural facilitators using a set of questions to encourage participants to discuss their experiences in the program and to offer suggestions for program improvement. Analysis of these focus groups yielded new and useful information for program planners and policy makers. This work showed that people who are generally excluded from research samples because of linguistic barriers are able to participate as stakeholders in the evaluation process when their participation is sought in their preferred language. In their own language, participants provided feedback to program planners and policy makers which they were not able to provide in English. Through this process, their response to the program and their recommendations for improvement became known. The inclusion of program participants in the evaluation of the Nobody's Perfect Program focused attention on determining evaluation methodologies which would effectively include program participants from diverse cultural groups who are not English speakers.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/6587
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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