27|01|2103: Researching with Young Learners Webinar - organised by ReSIG in cooperation with IATEFL Young Learners SIG
Researching with Young Learners Webinar - organised by ReSIG in cooperation with IATEFL Young Learners SIG
Date: Sunday, 27 January 2013
Time: 1.30-3.30 pm GMT
Presenters: Harry Kuchah Kuchah & Annamaria Pinter
Location: IATEFL online conference room
LATEST NEWS: The webinar has now finished. A full recording is freely available here (this takes some time to download but is worth the wait!)
Follow-up event: There will be a follow-up discussion on our YahooGroup, open to members and non-members. Please click here for further details.
As adults and teachers, we all have personal and shared opinions about pedagogic practices that can motivate young learners in the language classroom. However, it is rarely suggested that our opinions and practices might be at odds with the opinions and interests of the same learners for whom we develop these practices. While it is common practice to elicit feedback on teaching practices from adult learners, there is still little research in which adult researchers and teachers seek children’s perspectives about the way teaching should happen in their classrooms.
In this webinar talk we will be sharing some thoughts about what ‘good practice’ may mean when ‘adult outsiders’ attempt to elicit interview data from children. The talk will start with a discussion about the methodological and ethical dilemmas relevant to interviewing 10-year-old children in elementary schools for research purposes. The context (Cameroon) and the actual procedures of the data collection will be described next, and we will share some of the data and our analysis of it, focussing on the complexities and challenges of interpretation, bringing together both process and product (how the conversation unfolded and what the children actually said). Then we will match children’s perspectives with those of their teachers to show that, while there may be shared perspectives of good teaching practices, adult perspectives of what constitutes good teaching with young learners may not always be enough to rely on. Finally, we will summarise the most important implications for both classroom teachers and researchers working with child subjects.
Click on the title of the article below to read it online or download the pdf:
Kuchah, K. & Pinter, A. (2012). 'Was this an interview?' Breaking the power barrier in adult-child interviews in an African context. Issues In Educational Research, 22(3), 283-297.
Annamaria Pinter is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, UK. She lectures at masters and doctoral levels and supervises theses in the area of teaching languages to children. Her particular interests include task based learning, socio-cultural theory and materials design. She has been involved in teacher development programmes both at Warwick and overseas. She has published widely in the area of teaching English to young learners. She is the author of Teaching Young Language Learners (Oxford University Press (2006)) and Children Learning Second Languages (Palgrave Macmillan (2011).
Harry Kuchah Kuchah has worked for 14 years as ELT teacher trainer and inspector at primary and secondary levels in Cameroon. He is Teaching Fellow in Applied Linguistics in the School of English, University of Sheffield and currently completing his PhD research at the University of Warwick. His interests are in teaching and researching young learners, context-appropriate ELT methodology, teaching large and multi-grade classes, learner autonomy and teacher development. He has published widely about the African ELT context.
Article Discussion: 'Review of developments in research into English as a Lingua Franca’
Date: 9 - 20 July 2012
Article: 'Review of developments in research into English as a Lingua Franca’, by Jennifer Jenkins, Alessia Cogo and Martin Dewey
Guest moderators: Will Baker (University of Southampton), Alessia Cogo (University of Southampton) and Martin Dewey (King’s College London)
Location: ReSIG YahooGroup
Download article here
This event is open to ReSIG members and non-members.
You can join our YahooGroup for free here.
How to participate:
- Join our YahooGroup at the link above. if you're not a member yet.
- Download the article at the link above.
- Read the article.
- To help you get ready for the discussion, here are some possible questions, suggested by our guest moderators, apart from ones you might have of your own:
1. “ELF researchers feel their responsibility is to make current research findings accessible in a way that enables teachers to reconsider their beliefs and practices and make informed decisions about the significance of ELF for their own individual teaching contexts” (p. 306). Do you think this is an appropriate aim for ELF research? Do you think ELF researchers have been successful in doing this? If not, how might ELF research engage more with language teachers?
2. The article comments that language use in ELF communication is highly fluid and does not conform to a pre-defined set of norms (see p. 288-292). What implications does this raise for how teachers approach language in the classroom? What forms of English can or should we teach
and how should we teach them?
3. Research indicates that ELF is used to represent and create a range of ‘cultures’ that goes beyond the traditional associations of English with UK and US culture (however these might be defined) (e.g. Baker, 2009, cited on p. 297). What does this mean for the cultural content of English language classrooms?
4. “BELF studies demonstrate that intercultural communication skills rather than NS English correctness are key in BELF contexts, and BELF researchers therefore tend to conclude that communication and accommodation, rather than mastery of NS English forms, should be the
focus of business English instruction” (p.299). How do you feel about this conclusion given your own experiences of teaching (business) English?
5. Some of the studies cited in the article report that in ELF situations native speakers of English can be more difficult to understand than non-native speakers (see e.g. Kolocsai 2009, cited p. 302). Why do you think this might be? What consequences does this have for the model of an ‘ideal speaker of English’ that might be adopted?
6. One of the gaps in ELF research highlighted by the article is in writing. What implications, if any, do you think ELF might have for writing and the teaching of writing?
7. “As well as the signaling of non-understanding, the focus of ELF pragmatics research has been on how ELF speakers resolve instances of miscommunication, i.e. the strategies they use to respond to and negotiate an initial possibility of non-understanding.” (p. 293). Can insights from
ELF pragmatics inform classroom pedagogy? What kind of pragmatic strategies and skills can be taught for communication in ELF contexts?
8. Discussions of ELF research have often indicated that current language testing is in need of considerable restructuring. What challenges does ELF research present to existing assessment practices?
9. What do you feel are the implications of ELF for pre-service and in-service teacher education? Should ELF be included in the syllabus for teacher training programmes (e.g. on CELTA and/or Delta)?
How to Combine Teaching and Researching: Focus on Learners and Classroom Language Learning (Pre-Conference Event)
Date: 19 March 2012 (10am to 5pm)
Presenters: Ema Ushioda (University of Warwick), Richard Smith (University of Warwick) and Sarah Mercer (University of Graz).
Location: Glasgow, UK.
NEW!: Resources from the event (ppts, handouts, photos of posters etc.) .
NEWER! Feedback and further discussion opportunities.
NEWEST! Blog post about the event by a participant, Edward Russell
Our 2012 PCE explored how teaching and researching can interact with one another in fruitful ways, and discussed practicable methods that teachers may like to consider using for research in their own classrooms.
This was the first in a planned series of Research SIG events on Teaching-and-Researching. This was intended to be a practical workshop designed for teachers who are thinking of doing classroom research (for whatever reason), of interest also to postgraduate students who are planning to combine teaching and researching roles.
Through a combination of input, discussion and hands-on tasks, we considered the following:
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