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Researching with Young Learners Webinar

Researching with Young Learners Webinar - organised by Dennis Newson on behalf of YLTSIG in co-operation with ReSIG
Date: Sunday, 27 January 2013
Time: 1.30-3.30 pm GMT (check your local time here
Presenters:  Harry Kuchah & Annamaria Pinter   
Location: IATEFL online conference room
Click this link to join the webinar (this link will be live from 1.00 pm GMT)

The Webinar

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.

The Presenters

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.  

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)).