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Parvaneh Tavakoli "TESOL Research and Practice: Teachers' and Teacher Educators' Perspectives"
Date: 27 June 2012 Time: 3.30-5.00 pm
Venue: Bowland North 25
The Second Language Learning and Teaching (SLLAT) research group are pleased to announce the following presentation:
TESOL Research and Practice: Teachers' and Teacher Educators' Perspectives
Although the divide between TESOL research and practice has been documented for a few decades and is often referred to as a "damaging split" (Allwright, 2005) or an "already significant, perhaps growing divide" (Belcher, 2007), there has not been much empirical research to provide evidence on teachers' and teacher educators' views and beliefs about the relationship between research and practice. Little is known about why this divide has emerged or what contributes to its development. This talk aims to provide an overview of the literature in this area and will complement it with the findings of a recent research project that focused on investigating teachers' and teacher educators' views on their engagement with research and its usefulness in their practices.
In the research project reported in this talk, a sequential mixed-method approach was adopted in which a total of 70 TESOL teachers and 10 teacher trainers from different teaching contexts and educational backgrounds in England participated by responding to a questionnaire or taking part in an interview. The results clearly suggest that although their views on research and its usefulness are positive, teachers are mainly sceptical about the practicality and relevance of L2 research, and hesitate about what research could offer them. Wenger's (1998) Community of Practice (CoP) is adopted as a conceptual framework in order to help understand teachers' views and beliefs about the relationship, relevance and association between research and practice and in portraying their reflections on their own professional experiences. The results of the analysis suggest that the teachers perceive both a gap between research and practice and a divide between researchers and practitioners and claim that they are often working towards divergent goals. Teachers continually use their different trajectories, identity and learning experiences to highlight this separation and allude to issues of membership and legitimate peripheral participation to distinguish the two communities. The initial analysis of the interviews with teacher educators implies that the research element in the current training programmes is restricted and that teacher engagement with research is not an essential requirement of the training programs. These results have significant implications for researchers, teacher training programmes and other mediatory institutions.
Who can attend: Anyone
Organising departments and research centres: Linguistics and English Language
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