The Regent’s University London Language Teacher Research (LTR) project has been chosen to represent the UK at a prestigious US conference.
The British Educational Research Association (BERA) chose the Regent’s research for a coveted presentation spot at the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) annual conference from 27 April-1 May 2017 taking place in San Antonio (Texas).
The two-year long research titled ‘Exploratory Practice as Support for Teacher Development’ by the Regent’s Institute of Languages and Culture (RILC) aims to develop practitioner research in order to support the student learning experience.
The project leader, Dr Assia Slimani-Rolls said: “This is very exciting, we are deeply honoured to have been chosen to represent not just Regent’s University London but also the whole of the UK at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference. The BERA Conference Committee members confirmed that our project is an example of the best of recent British educational research and/or scholarship”.
“Our research aims to enable language teachers to question their existing practice and work alongside their learners to develop a better understanding of it by bringing research into their classroom routine”.
“Regent’s University London deserves this recognition given the commitment that we have shown over the years to sustaining the learning of modern foreign languages in a UK climate that is characterised by a long-standing decline of foreign modern language learning.”
Dr Slimani-Rolls has been leading on the project with six Regent’s language teachers, three from English and three from foreign languages - Chris Banister, Anna Costantino, Marianna Goral, John Houghton, Esther Lecumberri and Michelle Rawson.
Some of the research group members, who contributed to the symposium on Exploratory Practice at the 2016 BERA Conference will go to the American counterpart, joined by colleagues from the University of Leeds (Dr Hanks and Ms Bond).
The originality of the project framework (by Dr Dick Allwright) resides in the idea that teachers work together with their learners as partners in the research enterprise using normal classroom pedagogic activities as investigative tools in order to make teacher research indefinitely sustainable in the classroom. Dr Slimani-Rolls said that given the right conditions, practising teachers can engage with research, which is essential for the implementation of evidence-informed practices in the classrooms.
Dr Slimani-Rolls was also invited in 2015 to join a large project with several UK institutions of higher education led by Dr Sue Brindley (Cambridge University) and Dr D’Reen Struthers (University College London) to map the landscape of practitioner research in the UK in order to understand practitioner research and its impact on the student experience.
The project outcomes are currently the topic of a peer-reviewed book being written by the Regent’s research participants to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017. The book is entitled Exploratory Practice - An innovative form of continuous professional development.