Workshop: Moving from teacher research to supporting learner research

Exploratory Practice (Allwright, 2003; Allwright and Hanks, 2009) is an innovative form of practitioner research, revolving around the exploration of a question about language teaching or learning known as a puzzle. EP has been adopted enthusiastically by teachers, but in its fullest enactment, it encourages learners to develop their own individual puzzles about language learning.
This workshop is for teachers who, having conducted their own teacher research, might now like to move from teacher-initiated inquiry towards learner-initiated investigations, supporting their learners in identifying, formulating and exploring their own puzzles about language learning. The presenters, UK-based language teachers and their mentor, draw upon their recent and ongoing experience of working with the principles of EP.

Empowering teachers’ and learners’ collaboration (Dr. Assia SLIMANI-ROLLS, Regent’s University London, UK)

In the first part of this workshop, the teachers’ mentor, Assia Slimani-Rolls, explains how an initial work, grounded in the principles of Exploratory Practice, stimulated the teachers’ engagement with EP, promoted collaboration and, ultimately, empowered them (Slimani-Rolls & Kiely, in press).

Developing learner research agendas (Chris BANISTER, Lecturer, Regent’s University London, UK)

In the second part of the workshop, Chris Banister, a teacher involved in the project, describes the transition from working with his own teacher-initiated puzzles to supporting his learners develop their own lines of language learning inquiry.

Understanding learner engagement with classroom activities (Anna COSTANTINO, Lecturer, Regent’s University London, UK )

Finally, in the third part of the workshop, another teacher involved in the project, Anna Costantino, shares her experience in attempting to deploy qualitative research tools as classroom activities to promote learner understanding and enhancement of their own learning.

Throughout this interactive workshop, participants will be invited to consider what their own learners might puzzle about, share these ideas and think about the prospect of learner puzzling in their own local teaching and learning context.