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Transcript of Action Research, Teacher Research and Classroom Research in Language


Action Research Teacher Research Classroom Research identify a problem,
issue or question to
address plan an action
to carry out carry out the
action (small-scale
intervention) observe the outcomes of the action by collecting data
plan a new action reflect on findings
Heather, Paula, Simon and Tara
present McPherson's 1997
action research project First Cycle
plan: read literature about teaching mixed-ability classes, talked to colleagues, planned out
different groupings of students

action: tried out different groupings

observe and reflect: students had goals different from her own and sometimes resisted group
and pair work issue: teaching diverse learners Second Cycle
plan: talked to students about their thoughts on the groupings and activities and decided to
give them more control over the course content

action: gave students more responsibility to select their own materials and activities

observe and reflect: students picked groups in order to avoid intra-group tensions, but two
students remained marginalized Third Cycle
plan: decided to call on the marginalized
students more often

action: called on the marginalized students in
class and validated their answers

observe and reflect: found the two students were
becoming more involved in all the activities Action Research, Teacher Research, and
Classroom Research in Language Teaching
by Kathleen M. Bailey investigates what happens in the classroom when students and a
teacher come together

not tied to any specific data collection approach or methodological tradition any research
conducted by a teacher developed by Kurt Lewin to address social issues in the 1940s
an action-driven approach to conducting research
repeated cycles of procedures

Classroom research on Teacher Cognition Teacher cognition research looks at how teachers
think about their work, what skilled
decision making goes into effective teaching, and how novice teachers’ thinking and
teaching develop over time.

Much of this research involves:

teacher talk time and less group work. Washback Studies in Language Classrooms Washback: The effects of testing on learning and teaching. Japan. the United Kingdom and the United States. Major classroom research studies have been conducted in such countries as: Nigeria. Recommendations Encourage the use of a variety of sources rather than the use of one textbook Take students on an early field trip Conduct student needs analyses and feedback sessions Give specific observation tasks Require a grammar course for novice teachers The Globalization of Language Classroom Research In the 1980s most of the language classroom research was done in Canada. South Africa. observers’ notes Participants verbalize recollections and researchers record them while participants review the data. observers noted teachers stopped teaching new material in favour of intensive review. For example: Many world regions are investigating the topic of teachers' concerns about large class sizes. “provides the basis against which we make comparative claims about how different or unusual the phenomena we have seen may be. Australia.” The washback stopped after the students took the test. Now this research can be found globally. (Sri Lanka) Three factors promoted or inhibited washback (study in Japan by Watanabe (1996) teachers’ education and experience teachers’ beliefs about effective teaching how close the observations were to an upcoming exam New tests of Arabic as a second language and new EFL (Israel). Sri Lanka and Hungary. Baseline data: Information that documents what a classroom is normally like and. more metalanguage and less laughter.” Results of different washback studies National English exam influenced the content of English lessons. A lot of the research in this area has been conducted by outside observers. Two teachers (United States) were observed teaching regular ESL classes and TOEFL prep classes: TOEFL classes had more test taking.Teachers review data collected in their own classroom by researchers Teachers tell researchers what they were thinking and what motivated their decisions Stimulated recall Researcher uses a record of an event to prompt recollections of that event by someone who participated in it. Teacher's Journals Carol Numrich analyzed the teaching journals kept by 26 teachers-in- training who were enrolled in her practicum class. Why Should Teachers Get Involved in Language Classroom Reserach? . “classroom activities became testlike and the atmosphere became tense. Record can include audio/video recordings of the class. classroom transcripts. but had little influence on how teachers taught or graded students’ test performance.

Johnson (1998.Action Research and You? Cons Time consuming Requires discipline and specialized training May not be financially or strategically supported Research work may not be officially recognized Pros Data collection and analysis process can help you discover valuable patterns in interactions with students Teaching energized by discovering new puzzles and interesting answers Gather new ideas for teaching Become better connected to the teaching profession Learn from experiences in a meaningful way Deeper understanding of learning issues Able it address issues concerning difference and diversity Share feedback with fellow teachers at work.” What Topics Have Been Investigated by Teachers Doing Action Research in Language Classrooms? -Action Research has become increasingly popular since the 1980s -has opened a wide range of new topics and promoting research led by teachers -studies have shown that teachers have recently used action research to investigate issues in their own classrooms. conferences and in publications “The events that occurred forced me to remember that in the classroom there is more to learning a language than learning language. Tsui (1995). Van Lier (1988. Nunan (1991b). Freeman 1996) (Pica 1997) “the evolving relationship of language teaching and research as moving from coexistence to collaboration and complementarity” Where Are We Now? -increased methodological resources available to teachers -many more texts and articles available about classroom research: (Allwright & Bailey 1991) topics & methods of classroom research for language teachers (Brown 1985) diary study (Gass & Mackey 2000) stimulated recall procedure Freeman (1998). Nunan 1997) teachers are no longer the subjects. these studies are: Kebir (1994) studied adult language learner’s communication strategies Michonska-Stadnik & Szulc-Kuparska (1997) investigated learner independence in Poland Chan (1996) looked at action research as a vehicle for professional development in Hong Kong Tsui (1996) investigated student’s unwillingness to use English in the classroom Van Lier (1992) What is the Teacher’s Role in Language Classroom Research? teacher’s role in classroom research has grown tremendously (Allwright 1997. 1990) how to investigate language classroom interaction . but collaborators/partners (Freeman 1992) teachers as producers of classroom research (Crookes 1998. 1999).

-critique & questioning the procedures used in classroom research and problematic issues (Bailey 1991 & Seliger 1983) -problems that may arise in doing classroom research (Schachter & Gass 1996) .