‘I don’t ever want to leave this room’: benefits of researching ‘with’ children

Annamaria Pinter, Samaneh Zandian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper considers an alternative perspective to complement the existing body of research in child EFL/ESL. This perspective assumes that children’s views are different from those of adults, and, since children are ‘experts’ of their own lives, it is worthwhile for adults to explore innovative ways in which their unique experiences and perspectives can be uncovered. The paper reports on the two authors’ joint research projects in which children have been involved in various participatory activities. Using short extracts taken from conversations between an adult researcher and the children, we attempt to illustrate some of the benefits of researching ‘with’ children. The data indicate that children exercise their agency by shaping the research activities in their own ways, making spontaneous comments, asking unexpected questions, and selecting topics they find relevant. We also consider some of the challenges involved in this type of research, but conclude by recommending that working with children ‘collaboratively’ in research projects is an excellent learning experience for teachers, researchers, and children alike.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalELT Journal
Volume68
Issue number1
Early online date29 Oct 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2014

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