Negotiating understandings of language learning with Elli and her parents in their home

Hilkka Koivistoinen

Language ecology, Nexus analysis, Language learning


The relationship between pupils’ in-class and out-of-class language-related, often digital, practices is becoming a central concern in current language education when pedagogic designs are considered. The study looks at a 12-year-old Finnish pupil, her parents and the teacher exploring their understandings of language learning during a research interview in a home environment. An ecological approach and nexus analysis are introduced as the theoretical framework for this qualitative study. The study sheds light on how the pupil, her parents and the teacher were engaged in (re)negotiating their understandings of language learning. The analysis focuses on discourses emerging as important while the participants together examined various sites of language learning and use. The encounter with the family opened up a negotiation space to investigate the complexity of language learning, and the legitimacy of everyday language practices as a meaningful resource for formal instruction. The research interview provided a change-generating mediational means for the participants to explore change. The study raises new questions concerning parents’ understandings of learning, the home space for language ecology, language education, curriculum reform and teacher education.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies