Achu Charles Tante

Achu Charles Tante


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“I’m Afraid to Ask the Teacher a Question”: Young Learners’ Voices in the Primary Classroom

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This study sets as its purpose to explore Young Learners’ (YLs) channels to voice their perspectives on English language classroom-based assessment, schooling, and school experiences. Qualitative research design was used to collect data through focus group interview from 42 participants drawn from English-medium primary schools. Their selection was by purposive sampling from 7 schools. Field notes were also employed to highlight salient points and corroborate participants’ opinions. Findings indicate that pupils are afraid of answering a question in class wrongly; their peers give them this fear of being laughed and mocked. There is lack of solidarity amongst the pupils. They wish for a variety of assessment methods and techniques but parents seem to maintain a strong position in the children’s lives so that they would not want to disappoint parents by not doing well in their assessments. Teachers’ feedback does not seem to be transparent, even though pupils did not mention this in the group interviews. Pupils have many beliefs when attributing success and failure and some of these beliefs are superstitious, and they go to school for instrumental as well as for reasons of knowledge acquisition.

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