Discovering research a teacher friendly approach
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Discovering research: a teacher-friendly approach. Deborah Bullock. Overview Introduction attitudes: reflection and discussion 2. British Council ELT Research Partnership scheme aims, publications and projects in progress 3. Your turn activities, reflection and discussion

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Discovering research a teacher friendly approach

  • Overview

  • Introduction

  • attitudes: reflection and discussion

  • 2. British Council ELT Research Partnership scheme

  • aims, publications and projects in progress

  • 3. Your turn

  • activities, reflection and discussion

  • 4. Wrap-up and feedback


Discovering research a teacher friendly approach

  • Engaging with research

  • How often do you read? What?

  • Important to you/your institution? Why/why not?

  • Benefits?

  • Barriers?

  • Accessibility factors?


What are the benefits of enagaging with research
What are the benefits of enagaging with research?

  • allows teachers to reflect on and review their teaching

  • keeps teachers fresh

  • allows teachers to question assumptions about language learning/teaching

  • helps teachers understand the reasons for their practices

  • makes teachers more informed practitioners


Discovering research a teacher friendly approach

  • “I feel strongly about the value of research because I feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • Borg, S. 2008. Research engagement and quality in English Language Teaching (Report for British Council)


What are the barriers
What are the barriers? feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • sheer volume is daunting

  • ambiguous results

  • often too much jargon and statistics - difficult to understand

  • too theoretical and unhelpful or irrelevant

  • researchers not writing for practitioners

  • research which imposes models on teaching (challenge validity)

  • subscriptions and costs


What makes research accessible to teachers
What makes research accessible to teachers? feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • relevant to their needs and interests

  • provides practical insight, e.g. credible case studies

  • originates from rather than ends in classroom

  • sufficient time to absorb and act on

  • training in how to engage with research or help from a facilitator/expert to support and guide

  • “What I would really love is an email that pops up in my inbox occasionally, giving me a little précis (essentially findings & conclusions) of new research and what this could mean for classroom practice (all summarised in a line or two).” Tavakoli, P. and Howard, M.J. 2012. TESOL teachers’ views on the relationship between research and practice. European Journal of Teacher Education, 0(0): 1-14


Bc elt research partnerships activity areas
BC ELT research partnerships – activity areas feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • Learning & teaching of English at younger ages

  • ICT and new technologies in ELT

  • Teacher education and training

  • English language testing and assessment and applications of the CEFR

  • English language programme evaluation

  • English for development: social, economic, political aspects of English, education, and language teaching


Bc elt research partnerships some projects in progress
BC ELT research partnerships – some projects in progress feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • The transition from primary to secondary, Aston University

  • Inspiring state school English teachers, University of Leeds

  • English as a Lingua Franca in HE, York St John University

  • The use of learners’ L1 in ELT, University of Northumbria

  • Identity in ELT, University of York

  • Assessing Teaching Practice, University of Ulster

  • Global Survey of EYL teachers’ qualifications, experience and career path development, University of Essex

  • European vocabulary project, Manchester

  • Attitudes to English as a language for international development in rural Bangladesh, The Open University


Your choice
Your choice.... feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • Investigating Global Practices in Teaching English to Young Learners (Aston University)

  • Perceptions and Strategies of Learning in English by Singapore Primary School Children with Dyslexia – a metaphor analysis (De Montfort University & DAS)

  • ‘Tanggap, tiklop, tago’ (receive, fold, keep): Perceptions of best practice in ELT INSET (Lancaster University & Manila University, Philippines)


Focus on the intro
Focus on the Intro.... feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • Identify the ……

  • purpose/main aims of the study

  • the setting/context relevant to the study

  • the justification/rationale for the study – what ‘gap’ in the literature is it seeking to fill?


Focus on the implications
Focus on the implications…. feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • Think about your own context….look at the recommendations/conclusions and consider the following:

  • how is the research relevant to you/your context?

  • what questions does it raise?

  • what would be worth following up/looking into/investigating?

  • Discuss


Your turn
Your turn.... feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • Teachers of English often find research difficult to access, hard to understand and of no practical value.

  • Try to come up with 1 or 2 practical activities to support teachers in reading research e.g.

  • Letting them choose what to read (relevance): post titles and abstracts around the room, teachers stand by the 1 they’re most interested in and explain why

  • Providing questions to help them focus on particular aspects of the research

  • Helping them to identify links with own context

  • What else can you come up with? (see Contents)


Wrap up
Wrap up feel that too many EFL teachers … rely on their initial training (CELTA) and then DELTA to inform their decision making and do not question any of the assumptions about language learning/teaching that they were exposed to during those teacher training courses. This leads to a rather tired delivery of ‘the tricks of the trade’. However, when they do hear about/read about/get involved in some research they get into the critical and analytical thinking it requires and find it motivating. This then encourages an experimental approach which rejuvenates their planning/decision making and presence in the classroom.”

  • What next? Make a mental note

  • Sign up for the freely available online articles list (+ bibliography and activity ideas)

  • Feedback

  • Thank you very much. Deborah.Bullock@britishcouncil.es