Young EFL Learners as Co-researchers: Agents in Foreign Language Contexts

Çiğdem Güneş

Abstract


Autonomy is a crucial concept that has gained popularity in educational contexts in recent years. The importance of autonomous learners who are independent in that they are able to plan, control and evaluate their own learning has increased in classrooms. That is why this study investigates young EFL (English as a foreign language) learners’ attempts as co-researchers doing their own research autonomously. Fourth grade students in a primary school were assigned to conduct a study on a topic of their interest and were interviewed to get insights into their research processes to identify their autonomous actions. Findings show that the majority of participants were able to choose a topic and conduct studies individually without any support from the teacher, and to successfully report their findings. They had problems with reflecting on and evaluating their outcomes.


Keywords


autonomy; co-researcher; English as a foreign language; language learner autonomy; learner autonomy; learner involvement; target language use; young learners

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ISSN 2045-4031. University of Central Lancashire 2010-2013.