Can teachers learn from interactive reflection? A study into Schön’s reflection-in-action

Can teachers learn from interactive reflection? A study into Schön’s reflection-in-action

Reflection-in-action is a highly influential, yet often misunderstood construct that is central to Donald Schön’s epistemology of practitioner learning (Schön, 1983, 1987). Particularly in the field of teaching it has often been understood to mean simply ‘thinking on one’s feet’ (e.g., Francis, 1995). Yet, within Schön’s epistemology, its importance was much more than this, as … Continue reading Can teachers learn from interactive reflection? A study into Schön’s reflection-in-action

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Activities for Cooperative Learning

Activities for Cooperative Learning

Activities for Cooperative Learning is one of two new titles inaugurating a new series from Delta Publishing called ‘Ideas in Action’. The idea behind the series is to link the theory behind a specific aspect of teaching or language learning with activities that teachers can use in their own classroom. This blog post provides a … Continue reading Activities for Cooperative Learning

On the origins of ‘jigsaw’ and ‘information gap’

On the origins of ‘jigsaw’ and ‘information gap’

This blog reports on research I conducted into two widely used terms in communicative language teaching; ‘information gap’ and ‘jigsaw’, as part of a wider research project for my book Activities for Cooperative Learning in the Delta Publishing Ideas in Action Series, and my work on a taxonomy for jigsaw activities, presented in this article … Continue reading On the origins of ‘jigsaw’ and ‘information gap’

Translingual practices in English language classrooms in India

Translingual practices in English language classrooms in India

My latest research paper, co-authored with Amy Lightfoot of British Council S. Asia, explores the complexity of language use practices in English language classrooms across India. It reports on a survey (quantitative and qualitative) that we conducted with 169 Indian teachers last year, and sought to find out about what have traditionally been called ‘L1-use … Continue reading Translingual practices in English language classrooms in India

‘The future of training’ or The elephant that swallowed the room

‘The future of training’ or The elephant that swallowed the room

This is a copy of the guest blog I wrote for the International House Teacher Training Blog here. The IH ‘Future of Training’ Conference (23-24 November 2018) will mark 65 years of teacher training at IH London, the ancestral home of the initial ELT certification course that later became the Cambridge CELTA. It promises both … Continue reading ‘The future of training’ or The elephant that swallowed the room

If only… The dangers of positivist bias at the Education Endowment Foundation

If only… The dangers of positivist bias at the Education Endowment Foundation

Never heard of the EEF? You’ve just proven my point. Two weeks ago I went to see an invited speaker at the University of Warwick. It was a member of the Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF) team, which is the single biggest funder of research on education in the UK, and was given a £125 million … Continue reading If only… The dangers of positivist bias at the Education Endowment Foundation

‘Buying in’ to communicative language teaching: the impact of ‘initial’ certification courses on the classroom practices of experienced teachers of English

‘Buying in’ to communicative language teaching: the impact of ‘initial’ certification courses on the classroom practices of experienced teachers of English

In this paper, published this month in the journal ‘Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching’, I report on my study into the impact of a CELTA course on the self-reported classroom practices of 29 experienced teachers of English working mainly in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. As my previous blog documents, these teachers are part of … Continue reading ‘Buying in’ to communicative language teaching: the impact of ‘initial’ certification courses on the classroom practices of experienced teachers of English

What impact does CELTA have on the classroom practices of experienced teachers?

What impact does CELTA have on the classroom practices of experienced teachers?

As part of the IATEFL 2018 Forum on CELTA, I presented on research that I carried out with 29 experienced Egyptian teachers of English who took CELTA courses in 2016. I was interested in finding out what impact it had had on their classroom practices, and how much they had needed to adapt what they … Continue reading What impact does CELTA have on the classroom practices of experienced teachers?

Recent past and possible future trends in applied linguistics

Recent past and possible future trends in applied linguistics

Lei & Liu’s recent article: “Research trends in applied linguistics from 2005 to 2016: A bibliometric analysis and its implications” (2018) is possibly one of the most revealing accounts of recent changes in the popularity of research topics, authors and publications in applied linguistics since the turn of the (albeit rather short) current century. Based … Continue reading Recent past and possible future trends in applied linguistics