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ESOL Research Community

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DATE: Thursday 15 June 2023

TIME: 16:00 - 17:30

LOCATION:   Online



The next meeting for the ESOL Research Community will be on 15 June 2023 from 4-5.30pm. The group is led by Cathy Clarkson and Kathryn Sidaway.

ESOL Action Research

We are pleased to host two talks where the presenters will explain how they utilised action research to explore the experiences of their students. Each talk will last 15 minutes with 10 minutes for questions, then the final 30 minutes will be for more general discussions on the issues raised by the presenters. 


Dr Sarah Peters - Hull College 

'Action research, ESOL and Integrated Circles'


This presentation considers a pedagogy for Entry 3 adult ESOL students in FE that integrates reading circles (Furr, 2009) and writing circles (Gunnery, 2007) with student-led discussion. The circle investigation formed doctoral research with the University of Sunderland, 2017-2022.

The action-reflection research method (McNiff and Whitehead, 2017) is shared. Outcomes indicate the circle process impacted five key areas: reciprocal learning, transforming ideas, learning community, learner autonomy and the role of the teacher.

The findings offer a way to think about ESOL teaching and learning as carefully nurtured, communicative and co-operative, balancing accuracy and fluency, to contribute to a more participatory experience.


About the speaker 

Dr. Sarah Peters
is the Assistant Head of Department and a Lecturer for adult ESOL at Hull College, where she is also a Learning Coach. Her interests are participatory action research, reading for pleasure, dialogic learning relationships and learner autonomy.

Cathy Clarkson - Kirklees College 

'Learning to observing, observing to learn: the story of an evolving action research project'

This presentation is a story of my action research, how I have grappled with the messiness of engaging in research and practice as I address the central question of ‘how can I improve my practice?’ Through this story I reflect on the key principles of action research, how I gathered data and turned this into evidence.

The seed of my action research is the introduction of synchronous text-chat during teaching practice on the CELTA. This raised questions about this virtual text-based environment created by the text-chat, how this can be best utilised to support ESOL teacher learning while-observing peers teach.

In this presentation, I advocate for action research as a powerful research methodology for ESOL practitioners to explore their own practice in collaboration with their students.


About the speaker

Cathy Clarkson started teaching in China, before returning to England to teach ESOL and the CELTA. She is doing a part-time EdD, utilising action research to explore the use of text-chat during teaching practice on the CELTA and how we learn to teach through observation.

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Please find further details of the community on our padlet - https://tinyurl.com/36227a8x 

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  • Date(s): 15 June 2023 to 15 June 2023
  • Price: Free
  • Location: Online

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