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Discovering research: a teacher- friendly approach Deborah Bullock.

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1 Discovering research: a teacher- friendly approach Deborah Bullock

2 Overview 1. 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

3 Engaging with research How often do you read?What? Important to you/your institution? Why/why not? Benefits? Barriers? Accessibility factors?

4 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

5 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)

6 What are the barriers? 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

7 What makes research accessible to teachers? 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



10 BC ELT research partnerships – activity areas 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

11 BC ELT research partnerships – some projects in progress 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

12 Your choice.... 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)

13 Focus on the Intro.... 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?

14 Focus on the implications…. 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

15 Your turn.... 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 theyre 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)

16 Wrap up What next? Make a mental note Sign up for the freely available online articles list (+ bibliography and activity ideas) Feedback Thank you very much.

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