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Out of the box: Making education research more ‘digestible’

elt research

A ‘blogstorm’ could help close the research–practice divide, says Anthony Schmidt, founder of the ELT Research Bites blog

There is often a wide gap between research and practice in education. Lack of time and access, as well as believing that research is neither practical nor generalisable, are among the reasons so many teachers fail to engage with it.

However, there is so much great research out there, very practical stuff with clear implications for learning and teaching. Far from being dusty and obscure, a piece of academic research could solve a day-to-day problem you have been trying to crack for years.

This is why ELT Research Bites exists, to try to get this research out there. We find interesting and useful research related to ELT and make it bite-sized, easily digestible and freely available.

And we are hoping our latest project will fire teachers up even more.

Our Summer of Research (Bites) Blog Carnival is a way to give more people a chance to get involved with summarising research themselves. This will help to build up more bite-sized research online and to increase engagement with it.

The Blog Carnival works on the premise of numerous bloggers summarising research on their own blogs throughout June.
It will hopefully be a non-stop ‘blogstorm’ of research-based posts coming from all over the blogosphere. ELT Research Bites will curate and promote these blog posts and help spread research to as many people as we can.

The idea is that reading and summarising will become addictive, and participants will want to share what they have read with others, both on and offline.

This will enhance professional development for more and more people and thus help to close the research–practice divide. It’s an ambitious goal, but you have to start somewhere.

Anyone interested should visit www.eltresearchbites.com to join. If you are interested but do not have a blog, contributors are welcome to write on the ELT Research Bites blog.