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Part IV From implementation to research

Action research has been recommended to educators in general as one of the most eff ective forms of professional development. After all, action research is nothing more than refl ecting on interesting or problematic areas in one’s teaching in a structured way by looking at some actual information (data). This is something that we often do (or should be doing) anyway – as Keith Richards (2003) has aptly summed up:

Most ESOL [i.e. EFL/ESL] teachers are natural researchers. We’re used to working out the needs of our students, evaluating the eff ects of particular approaches, spotting things that work or don’t work and adjusting our teaching accordingly. Very few teachers approach their work mechanically and nearly all of us refl ect on what we do in the classroom.