Three Key Problems in Classroom Language Education Research


  • Andy Curtis City University of Macau



Research, Researchers, Publication, Classrooms, Data, TESOL, Teachers


This opinion essay begins by describing the problematic difference between “doing-research-on” and “doing-research-with,” particularly in relation to classroom-based research on foreign/English language teaching and learning. In “doing-research-on,” the researchers are the primary beneficiaries of the research they publish, whilst those who provided the data, the researched—in this case, the teachers and the students—typically do not benefit from the research published. However, when research is done with the data-providers, such as teachers and/or students, all parties can benefit from the research, even if not to the same extent and not in the same ways. In the second part of this opinion piece, the publish-or-perish problem is acknowledged, with a brief consideration of how it has been shaping research and publishing for nearly a century. The third part of this opinion essay draws on “trickle down” economic theory to discuss some of the reasons the findings from published research in our field so rarely seem to feed back into the classrooms from which the data were gathered. In the last part of this opinion piece, I propose some ways of addressing these problems, with specific experiential examples.




How to Cite

Curtis, A. (2023). Three Key Problems in Classroom Language Education Research. BC TEAL Journal, 8(1), 43–55.