English Teachers’ Research Engagement: Current Barriers and Future Strategies

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 English Department, University of Neyshabur, Neyshabur, Iran

2 English Department, Azad University- Neyshabur Branch, Neyshabur, Iran

Abstract

Reflections on the relationship between Iranian ELT researchers and practitioners suggest that research-practice gap has been an endemic feature of our language education programs. This issue has recently become a prime concern for many educational researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders. As such, calls for empirical investigations of measures to be taken in order to improve the relationship between research and practice were made.  The present study was carried out to explore the extent to which English teachers are engaged in doing and reading educational research, and also the barriers that impede them from research engagement. Qualitative interview data were collected from two groups of Iranian teachers: high school teachers, and teachers at private institutes. The analysis of the data revealed low levels of engagement in terms of both reading and doing research. The findings also showed various barriers to research engagement including: barriers related to the production of research, barriers related to the use of research, barriers related to the lack of collaboration between researchers and practitioners, and barriers related to the educational system. The study concluded with a discussion of a set of practical strategies that can be employed in the Iranian ELT context to improve research-practice gap.

Keywords


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