Doing Action Research in English Language Teaching: A Guide for Practitioners, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Doing Action Research in English Language Teaching

A Guide for Practitioners, 1st Edition

By Anne Burns


198 pages

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pub: 2009-11-10
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This hands-on, practical guide for ESL/EFL teachers and teacher educators outlines, for those who are new to doing action research, what it is and how it works. Straightforward and reader friendly, it introduces the concepts and offers a step-by-step guide to going through an action research process, including illustrations drawn widely from international contexts. Specifically, the text addresses:

  • action research and how it differs from other forms of research
  • the steps involved in developing an action research project
  • ways of developing a research focus
  • methods of data collection
  • approaches to data analysis
  • making sense of action research for further classroom action.

Each chapter includes a variety of pedagogical activities:

  • Pre-Reading questions ask readers to consider what they already know about the topic
  • Reflection Points invite readers to think about/discuss what they have read
  • action points ask readers to carry out action-research tasks based on what they have read
  • Classroom Voices illustrate aspects of action research from teachers internationally
  • Summary Points provide a synopsis of the main points in the chapter

Bringing the 'how-to' and the 'what' together, Doing Action Research in English Language Teaching is the perfect text for BATESOL and MATESOL courses in which action research is the focus or a required component.


"I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all teachers who want to know about action research, and would like to undertake projects in their own context– and to those who seek to join and perhaps assist them on their way."--Modern English Teaching

"A superb hands-on practical guide to techniques that help teachers make the most of their lessons."--EL-Gazette

"… Original in approach, engaging in style and persuasive in terms of its content and structure."--Keith Richards, University of Warwick, UK

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: What is action research?

Chapter 2: Plan – planning the action

Chapter 3: Act – putting the plan into action

Chapter 4: Observe – observing the results of the plan

Chapter 5: Reflect – reflecting and planning for further action


Further reading and resources

About the Author

Anne Burns is Professor in the Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Australia, and former Dean of the Division of Linguistics and Psychology.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Research
EDUCATION / Professional Development
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / English as a Second Language