Wallace Action Research For Language Teachers.pdf [WORK]
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I would like to begin by thanking all the EFL/ESL teachers (bothpractising teachers and would-be teachers) who have worked throughthe materials in this book, and, through their feedback, helped toshape it into its present form. I only hope that the content ofthis book has been at least as helpful to them, as reading theiraction research projects has been rewarding for me. I am gratefulin the first place to my colleagues in Moray House for
approach that will be explored in this book is the one that issometimes called action research, by which I mean the systematiccollection and analysis of data relating to the improvement of someaspect of professional practice. This approach is not for everyone.For one thing, it makes demands
These examplars are intended to achieve a number of aims. Theyshow how the research techniques being described can work out whenimplemented in a specific context. They demonstrate how researchfindings can be reported. They give examples of the kinds ofinteresting results which an action research approach can yield.And I hope, also, that you will find them worth reading in theirown right.
The 'Personal review' sections are intended to give you a chanceto think about the ideas being discussed and to relate them to yourown situation. In many cases this will be done by involving you invarious aspects of the process of action research - in other wordsa kind of 'learning by doing'.
teacher-training, or management of an English department, orwhatever it is you do in ELT). It is done by systematicallycollecting data on your everyday practice and analysing it in orderto come to some decisions about what your future practice shouldbe. This process is essentially \\7hat I mean by the term actiqnresearch. In this first chapter, I am going to try to locate actionresearch within the context of professional development.
How many different strategies did you come up with? Were the sixspaces sufficient, or did you want to list more? There are manypossibilities, of course. You may have listed the membership of aprofessional association as one of your strategies; This has manyof the advantages of informal discussions with colleagues, and inaddition a wider scope for social interaction. Men;:tbership of anassociation mayor may not go along with attendance at conferences.If you listed this, you may have found it difficult to grade, sinceconferences can vary so much in their impact upon one. Departmentalmeetings and membership of working parties can also be verypositive or very frustrating experiences, partly depending on one'srelationships with the colleagues involved!EveninglUJeek-endltwilight (i.e. after school) classes can alsovary widely on their effectiveness and congeniality. Taking up newchallenges, for example by career moves from one post to another,is another way in which many people expand their professionalexpertise. There is also, of course, private reflection: sometimeswe do our best professional thinking while silently driving to orfrom our place of work, ofwhile reading a book on some aspect oflanguage teaching. There is dearly a wide range of possibilities,and as I have already
concerned with areas of our expertise that we feel could beimproved. In my experience, teachers and colleagues in theeducation field generally, are much more conscious of such areasthan they are aware of their strengths. I would like you to imaginethat you wish to become a more effective teacher, inspector,adviser, administrator, project organiser, head of department,teacher-trainer - or whatever. The 'Personal review' section willalso ask you to think of the possible application of actionresearch to these areas of concern.
subsequent analysis of the data we have collected forms the coreof what w~ .~~.U .research . There are many other aspects ofresearch, and othyr' 'procedures may also be involved, but thisprocess forms its essence. We sge that, according to thisdefinition, research is a special kind of inqhfry, since not allinquiry is based on data collection and analysis. Some inquiry, forexample, takes the form of pure reasoning from first principles andis especially common in disciplines like mathematics or philosophy.This form of inquiry, or something approximating to it, is alsoquite common in ELT. Many of the influential writings onmethodology of teaching lang