Exploring the Roles of Parents and Students in EFL Literacy Learning: A Colombian Case

  •  Sergio Torres    
  •  Harold Castaneda-Pena    


There is little scholarly information about parent involvement in their children’s English as a Foreign Language (EFL henceforth) literacy learning in the Colombian context. This exploratory-qualitative study looks into the possible roles of parents and children in EFL literacy learning at home, with special emphasis on parental roles and contributions. The study has a three-fold purpose: (1) to describe the behaviour of parents and students when doing EFL literacy tasks at home, (2) to explore feelings and thoughts (perceptions) of parents and students about working together on EFL literacy tasks at home, and (3) to identify ways in which parents contribute to a student’s EFL learning. Sixteen ninth grade students at a state school, and their parents or caregivers, carried out a series of EFL literacy tasks in their respective homes. Video recordings, field notes, qualitative interviews, and surveys were used as data collection tools. The results demonstrate that even when parents do not have a command of the English language, they have the potential to help with EFL learning from a non-linguistic point of view (e.g. monitoring children's homework, providing learning conditions, shaping children’s minds for EFL by giving advice, and feedback about EFL homework development).

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