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Researching ELT: Classroom Methodology and Beyond

Dincay Köksal

This book is an outcome of the 9th ELT Research Conference organised by Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. The papers in this volume illustrate some of the key research interests and priorities for English language teaching in Turkey and provide significant insights into a range of contemporary issues and practices in the field. The papers present research focusing on issues in the areas of technology, learners, teacher training and post-graduate education, which have been gathered together in four sections, each section containing articles covering several different aspects of the topic in question.

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Foreword by Graham Hall


English Language Teaching (ELT) is a broad and complex field of practice and research. Yet the relationship between theoretical ideas and research findings on the one hand, and what really happens in classrooms on the other, is not straightforward. Different approaches to language teaching and learning complement and contradict each other in complex ways. And although ELT is a global activity, we cannot underestimate the importance of local contextual factors in shaping what happens in our classrooms.

Formulating an approach or approaches to research which moves or move our knowledge of the field forward in ways which are relevant to teachers is sometimes a challenge. Should our research design be quantitative or qualitative? How might we analyse and present our data appropriately? And how can we make our findings, and the way in which we present them, relevant to both others in the research community and to ELT practitioners who do not research but wish to become more informed and develop their professional practice? And who are ELT researchers anyway – academics, PhD candidates, and MA students, or teachers themselves focusing on their own classrooms and contexts through approaches such as Action Research or Exploratory Practice? (The answer, of course, is all of these groups.)

Clearly, how we address these issues depends on what we want to research – our research methodologies are shaped by our research questions, and these, in turn, are shaped by what we understand to be important aspects of our field, ELT,...

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