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Connecting research and practice in TESOL: a community of practice perspective

Tavakoli, P. (2015) Connecting research and practice in TESOL: a community of practice perspective. RELC, 46 (1). pp. 37-52. ISSN 1745-526X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0033688215572005

Abstract/Summary

In line with a growing interest in teacher research engagement in second language education, this article is an attempt to shed light on teachers’ views on the relationship between teaching and practice. The data comprise semi-structured interviews with 20 teachers in England, examining their views about the divide between research and practice in their field, the reasons for the persistence of the divide between the two and their suggestions on how to bridge it. Wenger’s (1998) Community of Practice (CoP) is used as a conceptual framework to analyse and interpret the data. The analysis indicates that teacher experience, learning and ownership of knowledge emerging from participation in their CoP are key players in teachers’ professional practice and in the development of teacher identity. The participants construe the divide in the light of the differences they perceive between teaching and research as two different CoPs, and attribute the divide to the limited mutual engagement, absence of a joint enterprise and lack of a shared repertoire between them. Boundary encounters, institutionalised brokering and a more research-oriented teacher education provision are some of the suggestions for bringing the two communities together.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:37981
Publisher:SAGE

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