New Festival event – 2017 Action Research in ELICOS colloquium at English Australia Conference, 21 September 2017

Sophie O’Keefe writes: 

This year English Australia, in partnership with Cambridge English Language Assessment and with the support of key reference person Anne Burns, marks the eighth year of the Action Research in ELICOS Program. This award-winning program supports teachers to systematically plan, act, observe and reflect on practical approaches to a ‘problematic’ aspect of their teaching and share the outcomes of their research with others.

In 2017, nine teachers from around Australia worked on six projects related to the theme of Teaching, learning and assessing listening. In the colloquium at the English Australia conference, following a brief introduction to the program, the theme and to action research by Anne Burns and Sophie O’Keefe, the teachers who participated will each present a brief outline of the main findings of their research.

This year’s projects explored the following themes:

  • How mobile based technologies influence the teaching of listening and student engagement in listening tasks;
  • Comparing the outcomes of student controlled and teacher controlled intensive listening tasks;
  • SIP and Listen: How does raising awareness of Stress, Intonation and Pausing affect listening skills?;
  • Exploring the effects of metacognitive and grammatical awareness on students’ listening of short bursts of speech;
  • Using active listening skills to improve listening comprehension in expository discussions; and
  • How can teaching phonemic awareness impact on students’ listening (& note-taking) skills?

Sophie O’Keefe is Professional Development Manager, English Australia


Upcoming event – AINET International Teacher Research Conference, Nagpur, India, 14–15 September

Amol Padwad writes: 

The AINET International Teacher Research Conference, the first of its kind in India, is being held on 14-15 September 2017 in Nagpur. The event aims to bring together teachers with some experience of and/or interest in teacher research (TR), mentors and leaders who have been supporting TR work in India and overseas, and representatives of various agencies involved in teacher education and training. While many teachers share their TR studies in the conference, several speakers will dwell on issues, challenges and opportunities in TR. There will be some hands-on workshops on different aspects/ skills of TR, which beginner teacher researchers may find particularly useful. In a unique session some mentors will share insights and ideas from their TR mentoring experience. We hope that this event triggers a strong and widespread TR interest and begins the building of a TR community in the country and the region.

For more details, visit or write to


Amol Padwad is Secretary of AINET, the All-India Network of English Teachers.  


Exploratory Practice discussions at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio),  26 July 2017

Report by Cecilia Nobre

The afternoon (see more information here) started with a display of various posters around the patio. Teachers were engaged in talking us through their puzzles and promptly answered all questions I asked. Some teachers were paired up, while others worked individually. Some posters showed pictures of their students, written work or drawings designed by their students.

I had the chance to interview some student-teachers (see the link above for my interviews) and ask them how exploratory practice helped them identify and investigate their own beliefs as well as students’ beliefs and assumptions. One of my favourite posters was about a puzzle where the student-teacher asked “Who are my students” and “Why do they mock each other all the time?”. The student-teacher wanted to investigate why it seemed that their teenage students did not focus in class while they mock their peers.

The second part of the event took place in the classroom where student-teachers, course tutors Ines Miller, Sabine Mendes, Maria Isabel Cunha and visitor-teachers gathered together to share their experiences, some slightly emotional, in taking part in the exploratory practice sessions.

I’m really glad I had the opportunity to attend such event. It was a great afternoon of learning and sharing. I hope to bring some of what I learnt to my future practice.

Cecilia 1


Online conversation about teacher-research books – recording available!


Today’s Festival event was a conversation chaired by Mark Wyatt about the above three recently published books on/of teacher-research, with Kenan Dikilitas, Sian Etherington and Richard Smith.

The (one-and-a-half hour) recording is now available in case you missed it.

The conversation was wide-ranging,and took in several interesting aspects of teacher-research, as well as how it can be written about. There were participants from Brazil, Chile, India, Turkey and other countries who played an active role in posting questions and comments, several of which were addressed during the conversation. Many thanks to Mark Wyatt for organizing this event, and to IATEFL Research SIG for providing the Adobe Connect room in which it took place.

We’re now looking forward to our next event, which will be a 26 July discussion about teacher-education involving practitioner research at PUC-Rio in Rio de Janeiro, one of the homes of Exploratory Practice. We’ll be tweeting about this @trfestiva and Cecilia Nobre will blog about it here for us. Looking forward to it!

New Festival event announced: 18–21 September Introduction to Exploratory Action Research in ELT, Gauhati University, Assam, India

Following the 14–15 September All-India Network of English Teachers (AINET) International Teacher Research Conference in Nagpur, Amol Padwad and Richard Smith will lead a 4-day workshop in Guwahati, Assam, organized by the Department of ELT, Gauhati University, to introduce teachers of English to the principles and practices of exploratory action research. The workshop will be followed up with mentoring and other support by volunteers from AINET and by the Department of ELT, Gauhati University.

This Festival event is generously supported by the All-India Network of English Teachers (AINET),  the IATEFL Teacher Development SIG, British Council India, and by a University of Warwick / Economic and Social Science Research Council (UK) Impact Acceleration Award. Further details

New event in Festival programme: 14th July online conversation

As part of the ‘International Festival of Teacher-research in ELT’,  the following event is being organised and sponsored by IATEFL Research SIG:

A conversation around new books showcasing and discussing teacher-research hosted by Mark Wyatt in IATEFL’s Adobe Connect Room

This will take place on 14th July 2017 at 1 pm (British Summer Time).

The conversation will feature:

Kenan Dikilitaş on his recent book with Carol Griffiths on developing language teacher autonomy through action research.

Sian Etherington on her recent book (co-edited with Mark Daubney) on developing as an EFL researcher: stories from the field.

Richard Smith on his recent book (co-edited with Anne Burns, Kenan Dikilitaş and Mark Wyatt) on developing insights into teacher-research.

 References with links:

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 00.21.46


Burns, A., Dikilitaş, K., Smith, R., & Wyatt, M. (eds.) (2017), Developing insights into teacher research. Faversham, Kent: IATEFL.



Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 21.34.06


Dikilitaş, K. & Griffiths, C. (2017). Developing language teacher autonomy through action research. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.



Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 21.30.16


Etherington, S. & Daubney, M. (eds.) (2017), Developing as an EFL researcher: stories from the field. Faversham, Kent: IATEFL.



Interestingly, the first word in all three book titles is ‘Developing…’


New book from IATEFL Research SIG

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 00.21.46IATEFL Research SIG (ReSIG for short) has just published a freely downloadable book called Developing Insights into Teacher-research. The book was launched at the recent ‘Teachers Research! Istanbul 2017’ conference and consists of an introduction and twelve chapters. A unique feature of the book is that the first six chapters are about mentoring teacher-research, which is an area that hasn’t been written about very much before. The remaining six are reports of teacher-research. All of the chapters arose from poster presentations given at last year’s conference in Istanbul.

The book has been edited by Anne Burns, who’s been a speaker at all three ReSIG Teachers Research! conferences so far; Kenan Dikilitas, who’s been the main organizer; Richard Smith, former coordinator of ReSIG who’s been closely involved in organizing the conferences with Kenan, and Mark Wyatt, who’s also on the organizing committee and is the editor of the SIG’s regular publication, ELT Research.

This is the third in a series of freely downloadable books published by ReSIG out of its annual conferences (you can access each book by clicking on its title below) :

Teacher-researchers in Action, edited by Kenan Dikilitas, Richard Smith and Wayne Trotman (2015)
Teachers Engaging in Research, edited by Kenan Dikilitas, Mark Wyatt, Judith Hands and Deborah Bullock (2016)
Developing Insights into Teacher-research, edited by Anne Burns, Kenan Dikilitas, Richard Smith and Mark Wyatt (2017)

The cover design is by an Argentinian artist, Guillermina Victoria, who has very kindly allowed ReSIG to use her art for its publications.

Regarding differences between the three volumes, Mark Wyatt, one of the editors comments:

A trend in the volumes has been to move away from single-authored contributions on individual teacher-research towards more joint authored and more collaborative teacher-research, with more emphasis on and reporting of research-mentoring too.

Kenan Dikilitas, who has led in the editing of each of the volumes, comments further that he’s observed both the form of research and the style of writing become less academic in nature over the three volumes. For example, the use of questionnaires and quantitative tables has decreased or become more context-specific, while the contexts for research have become better-described, with less attempt being made to generalize findings. Chapters have also become noticeably more reflective and self-evaluative, while writers have started to use more personal language, locating themselves within their research. He also notes the way teacher-researchers say they have gained in awareness through the writing and editing process.

And what of future publications? There are plans to publish another book out of the most recent conference. Mark Wyatt comments:

For the next volume, we are thinking of having a pre-service teachers’ section that might include more visual representation (utilizing their brilliant posters) and less text (so contributions in this section closer to those in the book Teachers Research! by Deb Bullock & Richard Smith). We are still discussing this.

It’s also possible that another book will be produced which is more international in flavour, including contributions from the other Festival events, not only the Istanbul conference. Discussion is also focusing on how to internationalize the conference itself and/or bring it to a wider audience. This could occur through attracting more participants from outside Turkey to the on-site conference and virtually via the internet, and enabling presentations at the conference to be disseminated outwards, even further.