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Day 1

Page history last edited by Benjamin L. Stewart, PhD 8 years, 5 months ago

Navigation: Day 1>Day 2>Day 3>Day 4>Day 5


Essential question: How can a research question reflect a researchable problem based on one's current teaching practices?


Instructions: After having completed the goal-setting activity, review the researchable problem page regarding how to narrow down a practical problem to a researchable problem. Begin surveying the literature that supports your researchable problem, making sure to narrow down the topic to a focused thesis statement.


Activity 1:

Reflect on your current teaching practice and identify a particular issue or problem that you wish to know more about.  Use the following questions as a guide: 


1. What is the issue?  Is it more pedagogical?  Is it based more on the learners?

2. Is the issue instructional?

3. Is the issue based on assessment?

4. Is the issue curricular? Is it based on policy?

5. Is it a problem others have researched?  Is there literature surrounding this issue?  Note: if the answer is "no", then I would suggest focusing on another researchable problem. Grounded theory will not be explored in this five-day workshop.


Once you have identified a researchable problem statement and if time permits, develop a research question or questions that reflect this specific issue directly. Make sure to develop (or at least consider) a question that addresses a researchable problem (specific enough to explore the literature) and not a practice problem (too general).


Activity 2 (see task for day 1 in outliner):


  • Step 1: Begin by discussing your researchable problem statement with colleagues and get their feedback on a possible thesis. A thesis statement should subsequently align with the problem statement. Refer to the Unity section above for tips in developing a thesis statement. Here is an example of a problem statement: (topic) I am studying teacher feedback because (research questions/hypothesis) I want to find out when giving feedback allows students to feel more confident when speaking L2 with their peers (significance, "so what?") in order to answer the bigger question of how teacher intervention can either promote or discourage student's oral production in class.
  • Step 2: Based on prior discussions with colleagues, create a problem statement that addresses the specifics of an issue that you face as an EFL/ESL educator. This is the first step in considering a thesis statement that articulates the overall idea of your paper.
  • Step 3: Upload your problem statement to the wiki.


Teacher reflection

  • How do you channel learners' needs, interests, and learning preferences to the curriculum?
  • How do you bring together learner goals and curriculum (course) goals?  How do you meet one without sacrificing the other?


Recorded Session




Comments (3)

Yanahalti said

at 11:11 am on Jan 15, 2016

Problem: I am interested in student interaction because I want to know how more prepared students can help the less advanced ones in order to develop more confidence among students when working in pairs or groups.

LOLIS said

at 12:42 pm on Jan 15, 2016

PROBLEM: I am going to focus on an extension course I had last semester. It was level V with adults, most of them older than 55. They complained about the new textbook. It caused a big barrier for learning. They said they were not going to learn because the textbook I so different and much more difficult than the last one. After changing the textbook, they changed their attitude towards learning English. My problem is definitely more focused on the learners but also in the new textbook. Unfortunately, the students want to cover every single page and exercise they have in their textbook because it was expensive and they found it essential for learning but at the same time they didn`t want to work withfeatures mentioned above. Working with old adults is not easy at all.
I am interested in knowing more about student’s expectations about learning because I want to find out what supplementary materials help Ss relate contents in order to use the language meaningfully.

Geras said

at 9:24 am on Jan 20, 2016

Problem statement:
I’m interested in the use of visual materials such as pictures, videos and realia in an ESP class because I want to find out what reactions students have when using them in order to practice the four skills of the English language.

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