Ethical and Methodological Issues in Researching Young Language Learners in School Contexts

Edited by: Annamaria Pinter, Kuchah Kuchah

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Multilingual Matters
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234mm x 156mm
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This book focuses on ethical and methodological issues faced by researchers working with young language learners in formal school contexts. It uncovers and explicitly discusses a range of ethical dilemmas, challenges and experiences that researchers have encountered and grappled with, in studies of all kinds from large scale, experimental studies to ethnographic studies focused on just a handful of children. The chapters are written by researchers working with children in different classroom contexts around the world and highlight how ethical dilemmas and tensions take on a complex form in child-focused research, requiring researchers to pay particular attention to the social and cultural norms of the different communities within which children are educated as well as their school-based experiences. The book comprises three sections, with the first part focused on involving children as active participants in research; part two on ethical challenges in multilingual contexts and part three on links between teacher education and researching children. The book includes a critical discussion of the opportunities and challenges associated with applying the UNCRC (1989) document in second language research with children which will be of use to any researcher working in this area.

The book is an excellent resource for anyone contemplating research focused on young linguistically diverse learners, and those in multilingual classrooms. Not only are readers given critical insights into issues of social justice, marginalisation and ethics to guide the research process but children's rights are also highlighted for a better understanding of possible areas for concern.

Funke Omidire, University of Pretoria, South Africa

This book is a true gift and indispensable reading. How do young children become co-investigators of their own language education? What are the legal, cultural, and ethical ramifications of such a change, across different countries and continents? Readers are in for a fascinating journey that will make them rethink the very notions of 'childhood' and of 'research'.

Lourdes Ortega, Georgetown University, USA

With contributions from nine countries, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to the ethical and methodological challenges faced by researchers when they work with young language learners. Each chapter bristles with insights that are as relevant to teaching and learning as they are to research. Essential reading for language teachers, teacher educators and student teachers.

David Little, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Annamaria Pinter is Reader at the Department of Applied Linguistics, the University of Warwick, UK. She is the author of Teaching Young Language Learners (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2017) and Children Learning Second Languages (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

Kuchah Kuchah is Lecturer in Language Education at the University of Leeds, UK. He has served as a consultant on language policy and practice with the British Council, the Council of Europe and Windle Trust International and is currently President of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL).


Chapter 1. Kuchah Kuchah and Annamaria Pinter: Researching Young Language Learners in School Contexts: Setting the Scene


Chapter 2. Yuko Goto Butler: Researching with Children as an Opportunity for Active and Interactive Learning: Lessons from a Digital Game Design Project

Chapter 3. Samaneh Zandian: Constructing Joint Understandings of Research with Children

Chapter 4. María del Pilar García Mayo: 'Are you coming back? It was fun': Turning Ethical and Methodological Challenges into Opportunities in Task-based Research with Children


Chapter 5. Victoria A. Murphy: Social Justice and Questions of Marginalization in Research with Linguistically Diverse Children

Chapter 6. Gail Prasad: Reframing Expertise: Learning with and from Children as Co-investigators of their Plurilingual Practices and Experiences

Chapter 7. Nayr Ibrahim: Artefactual Narratives of Multilingual Identity: Methodological and Ethical Considerations in Researching Children

Chapter 8. Jane Andrews: "I don't want to talk any more": Reflecting on Research into Young Children's Perspectives on their Multilingual Lives

Chapter 9. Kuchah Kuchah and Lizzi O. Milligan: Navigating Cultural and Methodological Complexities in Research with Children in a Sub-Saharan African Context


Chapter 10. Gail Ellis and Nayr Ibrahim: Teachers' Image of the Child in an ELT Context

Chapter 11. Rama Mathew and Annamaria Pinter: Children and Teachers as Co-researchers in Indian Classrooms: Some Ethical Issues

Chapter 12. Sandie Mourão: The Ethical Practices of Collecting Informed Consent from Child Participants in Action Research Projects

Chapter 13: Annamaria Pinter and Kuchah Kuchah: Revisiting and Expanding Opportunities for Participatory Research with Young Learners in School Contexts


Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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