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Collaborative Inquiry as a Way to Promote Elementary Students´ Reflections in the EFL Classroom

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  • Año de publicación 2016
Descripción
This qualitative action research study approaches an inquiry based learning process in which fifth graders work collaboratively by examining a local topic (school snack) from their school context, from many different perspectives of their interest. The collaborative inquiry was a way to promote elementary students’ reflections in the EFL classroom. The EFL curriculum was organized around students’ communities and realities as relevant resources for language learning. The school snack was the topic selected by students for inquiry and language learning. Lessons were organized around students’ knowledge about the daily snack and what they wanted to learn about the topic. Exploring together issues related to the school snack, students wrote reflections, interviewed school administrators and the people in charge of bringing, serving and providing the school snack daily. They also searched for information in different sources to document their inquiries. Data were collected through reflective journal entries written by students, a book about the learning experiences in inquiry groups and the researcher´s field notes. Findings report that through a classroom project, fifth graders developed inquiry skills and literacies (digital, visual, oral, written) while learning together and improving their social competences through collaboration. Learning is about developing competencies for life and using language to learn to think and to express oneself. Inquiring in the language classroom evidenced the use of language (Spanish and English) as the means to learn about meaningful content beyond mere English grammar lessons. Inquiring collaboratively led to individual reflections about the challenges of working together and school coexistence as the way all the members of a scholar community relate to each other.

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Collaborative Inquiry as a Way to Promote Elementary Students´ Reflections in the EFL Classroom

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