Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.


A.B. Larsen

University of Tromsø (NORWAY)
This paper aims at discussing some aspects considering pupil voice in international Internet-based research networks where the participants communicate in non-mother-tongue English. How researchers and teachers can facilitate the participation of pupil voice in international research designs which demands EFL, English as a foreign language, communication, is discussed. Examples are taken from an inter-Nordic network, TALE, “Teaching and Learning English”, which involves approximately 400 pupils aged 12-14 and approximately 100 educators in the roles of teacher trainees, class teachers, teacher educators and researchers. Seventeen teacher education institutions in the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden take part in the project which include an external evaluator from Charles Sturt University in Australia. The pupils primarily participate in classroom discussions where their teacher is the only grown up receiver. In addition to such informal channels the pupils are invited to voice their opinions in “Blackboard” which is used in TALE, thus making their opinions known throughout the network. Very few pupils make use of such opportunities. The attitudes of the grown-ups in the network are vital in this respect. In order to make pupils’ voices activated the teachers and researchers have to convince the pupils of the importance of the individual voice. To develop the proficiency in oral and written English is therefore necessary. How can we facilitate students' and pupils' participation in international networks where the proficiency in English as a lingua franca is a prerequisite for participation? What challenges do such networks meet in this field? Narrative writing may stimulate the pupils’ ability to take an active part in the school organisation and the international network. To practise the foreign language in the narrative structure may increase the feeling of mastery of English and create an ownership feeling towards English also for the non-English participator. International ICT networks present several possibilities where the participants’ views can be exchanged. New technology in school challenges the ideas about how pupils and teachers can cooperate and collaborate with other schools. Both to city schools and to smaller schools in rural areas, this provides supplementary and more stimulating learning environments for the pupils and at the same time contributes to developing teacher cooperation.