BAAL 2023: Broadening the Horizons of Applied Linguistics

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • 56th Annual Conference
  • Wednesday 23rd August – Friday 25th August 2023,
  • The University of York

Teaching as Research: A Case in Practice

Whilst a great deal of research within the teaching research nexus is done on or with teachers, clearly some of the most emic insights into classrooms come in the form of practitioner research. The need to present research as something polished and finished that meets the requirements of academic journals can lead to a ‘distancing effect’ (Ushioda, 2021), and may create a divide between the two activities where the nexus meets. Furthermore, there is a tendency for published research to further distance itself from reality by presenting only the sanitized and ‘ideal’ version of the process and findings (Rose & McKinley, 2017).

In this presentation, I reflect upon my own journey to becoming a practitioning researcher by discussing one of the projects I have undertaken which was every bit as much part of my teaching as it was part of my research. I will discuss how conducting this research helped me broaden my horizons and develop as a practitioner. I will discuss the types of data and evidence that I collected in order to question any assumptions about my practice, thus allowing me to arrive at more solid and evidence-based conclusions  (Walsh & Mann, 2015).

During this short talk, I will explain what I do in my classes and how I make my research a part of my teaching practice by employing an approach that utilises elements of autoethnography, exploratory practice and evidence-based reflective practice. I will mainly describe some of the methods I employ in day-to-day classes and how data is generated as a natural by-product of the type of teaching I do. I will also comment briefly on why I feel this is also an ethical approach and why it can benefit my students and my own practice as both a teacher and a researcher.

Rose, H., & McKinley, J. (2017). The realities of doing research in applied linguistics. In J. McKinley & H. Rose (Eds.), Doing research in applied linguistics: Realities, dilemmas and solutions (pp. 3-14). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Ushioda, E. (2021). Doing Complexity Research in the Language Classroom: A Commentary. In R. J. Sampson & R. S. Pinner (Eds.), Complexity perspectives on researching language learner and teacher psychology. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Walsh, S., & Mann, S. (2015). Doing reflective practice: a data-led way forward. ELT Journal, 69(4), 351-362. doi:10.1093/elt/ccv018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *