Can I do an action research project?
Seoul National University
Action research is a buzz word in today's EFL circles, especially in
Asia. Yet, many teachers hesitate, even balk, at initiating an action research
project in their classroom. Responsibilities limit their time. Also, the
word "research" implies use of statistics, the principles of triangulation,
reliability and validity to support the generalization of findings. Many
teachers, experts in practical skills such as managing people so that they
learn, might not feel comfortable working with theory, or research with
a big "R". However, action research, or research with a small "r", enables
teachers to apply these practical skills in a systematic way to a problem,
issue, question or concern they face in -their classroom.
In this workshop participants engage in the process of inquiry. They
apply Nunan's seven steps to their own classroom, and move a question into
a research project.
1. Teacher notices a problem in class/Initiation.
2. Teacher observes the class & takes notes on their behavior/Preliminary
3. Teacher forms a question or hypothesis as to the cause of the problem/Hypothesis.
4. Teacher tries several solutions to solve the problem/Intervention.
5. After some time the teacher consciously observes or
measures the class again to see if there has been any improvement/Evaluation.
6. Teacher shares her/his findings with others/Dissemination.
7. Teacher looks for other methods to solve her/his original
Participants leave this workshop with an outline of their own Pan-Asian
research project. This practical presentation is intended for any teacher
interested in getting started in action research projects. .
Jane Hoelker is an associate professor of TEFL at Seoul National
University, and National Public Relations Chair of Korea TESOL. She
has been active in the Pan-Asian series of conferences since its inception,
and currently is the PAC2 Research Coordinator and Public Relations Chair.
Prior to working in Korea, she taught TEFL in Japanese colleges and universities
for 12 years where she was active on the national level in JALT.
She is a candidate for the MA in TESOL at the School for International
Training (SIT), Vermont. Her first MA is from University of Wisconsin-Madison.