LISTENING TO STUDENTS’ VOICE: ENGPOWER PROJECT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PARMA

A. Giglio, S. Valla

University of Parma (ITALY)
The ENGpower Project at the University of Parma aims to identify the strengths, weaknesses and possible strategies to solve educational issues bonded to the use of English in university contexts. Within the ENGpower Project, we conducted 7 mixed-method inquiries that involved more than 800 participants (among students, lecturers and teachers from the University of Parma).

The main focus during this investigation was to give attention and importance to all of the inputs that students, lecturers and teachers shared with us, in a Students’ Voice perspective, where listening is intended as: (a) a basis for subsequent decisions (Grion & Cook-Sather, 2013), (b) a way for educators and educational researchers of learning how to "express themselves listening" (Freire, 1998, p. 104), and (c) a radical epistemological change in the current educational context, towards trust and respect (Oldfather et al., 1999).

In this contribution, we will present the first results deriving from the investigation above mentioned, with a particular attention to the Student Voice perspective and to the solutions that arose from students, lecturers and teachers when trying, or speculating, to solve didactic and educational issues related to the use of English in the academic contexts of the University of Parma.