New event: Webinar on Exploratory Practice – Wednesday 28 February 14:00 GMT

IATEFL Research SIG webinar:

Exploratory Practice: integrating research and pedagogy in English for Academic Purposes

Judith Hanks, University of Leeds

Language teachers are frequently told to engage in research and/or scholarship. However, when asked, teachers cite the lack of relevance of much research to their classrooms, and they indicate the limited time and resources available. In this webinar I critically examine Exploratory Practice (EP) as a sustainable way for teachers and learners to engage in research which is directly relevant to learning and teaching in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Based on a set of principles which prioritise working for understanding and Quality of Life, while involving everyone in mutual development, EP both challenges and is challenged by those in the academy. Drawing on case studies from pre-sessional programmes in a university Language Centre, I discuss these challenges: why is it so important to prioritise understanding? Why is EAP a particularly productive setting for EP? Why insist on the differences between EP and other forms of practitioner research? I consider the assumptions that surround research and scholarship, and conclude that Exploratory Practice leads to relevant, creative, and therefore motivating ways to engage in researching our EAP practice.

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 12.07.25Judith Hanks started teaching EFL in 1987 and has worked as a language teacher, teacher educator and manager in China, Italy, Singapore and the UK, where she is now Associate Professor at the School of Education, University of Leeds. She has been centrally involved in Exploratory Practice since 1997, working with colleagues from Brazil, China, Japan and UK to develop a framework of principles for practitioner research for language teachers and learners. This culminated in her book with Dick Allwright: The Developing Language Learner: an introduction to Exploratory Practice (2009), and her most recent book: Exploratory Practice in Language Teaching: Puzzling about principles and practices. (2017). Her research interests lie in the areas of practitioner research, exploratory practice, teacher education, learner/teacher development, and intercultural studies.



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