Until comparatively recently, the focus of concern in much of the writing on second and foreign language education was at the level of method. Methodological prescriptions were generally argued logico-deductively and prescriptions for practice were generally devoid of data.This tended to reinforce the gap between theory, research and practice, a gap which, according to van Lier, is due in part to the obstacles which prevent teachers from doing research:
Those of us who work in teacher education know that one of the most difﬁcult things to balance in a course is the tension between theoretical and practical aspects of the profession. . . . Theory and practice are not perceived as integral parts of a teacher’s practical professional life. . . . This situation is the result of communication gaps caused by an increasingly opaque research technocracy, restrictive practices in educational institutions and bureaucracies (e.g. not validating research time, or not granting sabbaticals to teachers for professional renovation), and overburdening teachers who cannot conceive of ways of theorising and researching that come out of daily work and facilitate that daily work.