In preparation: Classroom-based research for professional development Electronic Village Online, January–February 2018

This TESOL CALL-IS Electronic Village Online project ran successfully, with a focus on teacher-research for difficult circumstances, in January–February 2017. We are aiming to run it again, along similar lines, with a larger team of mentors, in January–February 2018. The project provides a hands-on introduction to inquiry-based teacher development, especially (though not exclusively) for teachers working in difficult circumstances (large classes, low-resource classrooms, etc.). The five-week workshop will take participants through different stages of teacher-research, engaging them in practical activities to gradually build their confidence in teacher-research. 

Registration begins on 1st January 2018 and activities begin on 14th January, going on until 17th February. There may also be some final presentations by participants online in March. Participation will be absolutely free. 

Before we open registration on January 1st 2018, you can, in the meantime, join the Classroom-based research for professional development Facebook group, to obtain updates and reminders.


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:

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



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



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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…’