Researching transformative learning spaces through learners' stories

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review


Despite rapid development of learning theory in general and language learning theory in particular in the last years, we still can not provide an unequivocal answer on the question “why do individuals who presumably possess similar cognitive capacities for second language learning achieve such varied degrees of proficiency?” (Benson, Nunan, 2005, 1). For the unequivocal answer does not exist. Learning is an extremely complex multidimensional process that happens differently for everyone. The aim of this paper is to present a research method that allow researchers making an insight in unique, practical, emotional and symbolic life of the individuals in the concrete historical context (Kramsch, 2009), that is used in the research project “Transformative learning spaces – learning to learn through languages” to collect the data for work with the new perspectives on learning (Brooks etc., 2012). Inspired by Claire Kramsch´ work on ”The Multilingual Subject” (2009) and Phil Bensons and David Nunans “Learners´ stories. Difference and Diversity in Language Learning” (2004), a pilot study has been conducted at Aarhus University in the years 2011-2013. The aim of the pilot study was to find out how learner´ stories can be used in modeling a transformative learning space – physical and virtual, emotional and cognitive, individual and social space for learning where everyone has a possibility to learn in his or her own way (Maslo, 2003, 2011). Three learners´ stories will be presented and analyzed in the paper. Keywords learning, language learning, transformative learning spaces, learning to learn through languages, learners´ stories, qualitative research method Methodology or Methods/Research Instruments or Sources Used A number of semi structured qualitative interviews have been conducted with three learners of Danish as second language. The language learners are sharing their subjective experience on language learning in particular and learning in general. These learners´ stories have been analyzed in order to clarify which dimensions in learning processes have had influence on these learners´ success in (language) learning. Expected Outcomes The focus in the paper is on the research process and methodological tools. The goal of this paper is to show, that learners´ stories have a huge potential in researching learning processes. References Benson, P. & D. Nunan (2004). Lerners´ stories. Difference and Diversity in Language Learning. Cambridge University Press. Brooks, R., Fuller, A., & Waters, J. L. (2012). Changing spaces of education: new perspectives on the nature of learning. New York, NY: Routledge. Kramsch, C. (2009). The Multilingual Subject. What Foreign Language Learners Say about their Experience and Why it Matters. Oxford University Press. Maslo, E. (2003) Mācīšanās spēju pilnveide. Rīga: RaKa. Maslo, E. (2011) Flersprogethed - det handler om at skabe rum for læring. Sprogforum. Tidsskrift for sprog- og kulturpædagogik, 51, 32-38. Intent of the Publication The publication intents to provide the inspiration for educational researchers to use learners´ stories as a research methodology in the field of learning in general and language learning in particular.
StatusUdgivet - 2014
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedThe past, present and future of educational research in Europe: EERA Conference - University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Varighed: 1 sep. 20145 sep. 2014


KonferenceThe past, present and future of educational research in Europe: EERA Conference
LokationUniversity of Porto