New Festival event – Webinar by Emily Edwards, ‘Getting started with action research’ (Wednesday 24 January, 9am GMT)

Richard Smith writes …

An event just added to the Festival line-up will be this webinar, featuring Emily Edwards of the University of New South Wales, AustraliaThe webinar will take place in ReSIG’s Adobe Connect room. Join in here on Wednesday:

Summary of the webinar:

Action research is a way of systematically exploring your teaching practice that involves planning, observing and reflecting on different actions (interventions) in order to better understand or improve teaching and learning in your specific context. It can be a very useful form of continuing professional development for English language teachers, but sometimes daunting to get started with. This webinar will help you to start thinking about how you might engage in action research yourself, or together with colleagues. First, I will introduce some different contexts for doing action research, and the processes and stages involved in conducting an action research project. I will then spend most of the webinar focusing on how to get started with action research, including how to choose a topic, refine a research question and plan the intervention(s). I will also discuss ways that you might observe the effects of your action(s), and how you could analyse and reflect on the data gathered in order to continue with another cycle of research.

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 21.29.32Emily answered three questions about the webinar, as follows:

Who’s the webinar targeted at?

Mainly targeted at English language teachers who are interested in knowing more about or getting started with action research – either individually or as part of a collaboration. It might also be useful for Coordinators/Senior Teachers who are in charge of professional development programs and who are keen to mentor teachers in conducting action research.

And what do you hope to achieve by means of the webinar?

I will focus on the beginning stage of an action research project – so how to choose a topic, design a research question and then start the first cycle with an intervention or exploration. I hope the attendees will leave the webinar feeling confident about getting started with their research, or feeling inspired to look into options for doing action research in their own contexts.

Finally, what experience are you mainly talking from? 

From three key experiences: (1) my experience as an English language teacher conducting action research myself in 2012 as part of the Cambridge English/English Australia Action Research program; (2) my experience setting up an action research program in a language school in Australia in 2015 and mentoring teachers in that program; and (3) my PhD research (completed in 2017) which explored the impact of the English Australia Action Research program.

More about Emily Edwards:

She works as a Lecturer and Research Project Manager at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. She recently completed her PhD in Education (TESOL), which explored the impact of a national action research program on the professional development and identities of in-service English language teachers in Australia. Before commencing her PhD, Emily worked as an ESL teacher and conducted action research together with her students to improve teaching materials. In 2015, she set up a localised annual action research program within the English language college where she was teaching. Her publications on action research that are freely accessible online include articles in ELT Research (Issue 31), ELT Journal (Volume 70, Issue 1), English Australia journal (Volume 29, Issue 1) and Cambridge Research Notes (Issue 53).



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