Exploring factors impeding English language instructors from research engagement at tertiary level in Türkiye

Main Article Content

Vildan İnci Kavak


Resulting from the emerging demands of higher education, university instructors’ roles are extending beyond their supervisory positions to those that require mediating changing conditions and keeping up with new developments. On a daily basis, they have to identify various problems, look for solutions and address them swiftly and methodically. New demands necessitate practicing teachers and instructors to become more research-engaged and informed about challenges, which, however, has aroused controversy over the blurring boundaries between teaching and researching. This study thus investigates English language instructors’ research engagement at a state university in Turkey. The data were collected using a survey developed by Borg (2009). 50 language instructors at the School of Foreign Languages participated in the study, 10% of whom (N:11) volunteered for an interview. The data have been analysed to have a better understanding of whether instructors read and do research and how they justify their preferences. As a result, this paper underlines the potential advantages of guidance for language instructors about being a teacher-researcher in the field of language education.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
İnci Kavak, V. . (2022). Exploring factors impeding English language instructors from research engagement at tertiary level in Türkiye. Focus on ELT Journal, 4(3), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.14744/felt.2022.4.3.1


Allison, D. & Carey. J. (2007). What do university language teachers say about language teaching research?, TESL Canada Journal, 24(2), 61–81. http://dx.doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v24i2.139

Allwright, R. (2003). Exploratory practice: Rethinking practitioner research in language teaching. Language Teaching Research, 7(2), 113-141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/1362168803lr118oa

Allwright, D. & Bailey K. M. (1991). Focus on the Language Classroom: An Introduction to Classroom Research for Teachers. CUP.

Bailey, K., & Nunan, D. (Eds.). (1996). Voices from the Language Classroom. CUP.

Banegas, D. L., & Consoli, S. (2021). Initial English language teacher education: the effects of a module on teacher research. Cambridge Journal of Education, 51(4), 491-507. https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2021.1876840

Bassey, M. (1999). Case Study Research in Educational Settings. Open University Press.

Bennett, C. K. (1993) Teacher-researchers: All dressed up and no place to go? Educational Leadership, 51(2), 69-70.

Beycioglu, K., Ozer, N., & Ugurlu, C. T. (2010). Teachers' views on educational research. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(4), 1088-1093. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.

Bolitho, R. (1987). Teaching, teacher training and applied linguistics. In V. Bickley (Ed.), Re-exploring CELT: Continuing Education for Language Teachers (pp. 26-32). Education Department.

Borg, S. (2009). English language teachers’ conceptions of research. Applied Linguistics. 30(3), 358–388. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/amp007.

Borg, S., Clifford, I., & Htut, K. P. (2018). Having an Effect: Professional development for teacher educators in Myanmar. Teaching and Teacher Education, 72, 75–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2018.02.010

Capel, Leask & Turner. (1997). Starting to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion for the Newly Qualified Teacher. Routledge.

Carr, W. & Kemmis, S. (1986) Becoming Critical: Education, Knowledge and Action Research. Falmer Press.

Castle, K. (2013). The state of teacher research in early childhood teacher education. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 34(3), 268–286. https://doi.org/10.1080/10901027.2013.816807

Cochran-Smith, M. (2005). Teacher educators as researchers: Multiple perspectives. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(2), 219–225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2004.12.003

Consoli, S., & Dikilitaş, K. (2021). Research Engagement in Language Education. Educational Action Research, 29(3), 347-357. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2021.1933860

Davey, R. (2013). The professional identity of teacher educators: Career on the cusp?Routledge.

Davis, J. R. (1995). Interdisciplinary Courses and Team Teaching: New Arrangements for Learning. American Council of Education. ORYX Press.

Dikilitaş, K., & Wyatt, M. (2018). Learning teacher-research-mentoring: Stories from Turkey. Teacher Development, 22(4), 537-553.

Eisner, E. W. (1988). The primacy of experience and the politics of method, Educational Researcher, 20, 15-20.

Erbilgin, E. (2019). Two mathematics teacher educators’ efforts to improve teaching and learning processes: An action research study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 78, 28–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2018.11.005

Everton, T., Galton M., & Pell, T. (2000). Teachers’ perspectives on educational research: knowledge and context, Journal of Education for Teaching, 26(2), 167–82. https://doi.org/10.1080/02607470050127081

Farsani, M. A. & Babaii, E. (2019) EFL faculty members’ research engagement: Voices from Iran, Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 24(1), 37-59, https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748. 2019.1584437.

Freeman, D. (1996). Redefining the relationship between research and what teachers know. In K. M. Bailey, & D. Nunan (Eds.), Voices from the language classroom (pp. 88-115). CUP.

Gewirtz, S., Shapiro, J., Maguire, M., Mahony, P., & Cribb, A. (2009). Doing teacher research: A qualitative analysis of purposes, processes and experiences. Educational Action Research, 17(4), 567-583. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650790903309433

Gomm, R., & Hammersley, M. (2002). Research and practice: two worlds forever at odds. Educational Research: Policy Making and Practice. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

Good, T. L. (1989). Using classroom and school research to professionalize teaching. Paper presented at the International Congress for Effective Schooling in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Hargreaves, D. H. (1996). Teaching as a Research-Based Profession: Possibilities and Prospects, Teacher Training Agency Annual Lecture. TTA, Portland House, Stag Place, London SW1 STT, United Kingdom.

Hoyle, E. (2001). Teaching: Prestige, status and esteem. Educational management & administration, 29(2), 139-152. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263211X010292001

Inci-Kavak, V. (2020). English Language Instructors’ Self-Awareness and Research Perceptions:A Turkish University Context. In Antakyalıoğlu, Z., Asiatidou, K., İpek Gündüz, E., Kavak, E. and Almacıoğlu, G. (Eds.), English Studies in the 21st Century (pp. 288-307). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Johnson, K. E. (1999). Understanding language teaching: Reasoning in action. Heinle and Heinle.

Kincheloe, J. (2003). Teachers as Researchers: Qualitative Inquiry as a Path to Empowerment. Routledge.

Kirkwood, M., & Christie, D. (2006). The role of teacher research in continuing professional development. British Journal of Educational Studies, 54(4), 429-448. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8527.2006.00355.x

Kosnik, C., Menna, L., Dharamshi, P., Miyata, C., Cleovoulou, Y., & Beck, C. (2015). Four spheres of knowledge required: An international study of the professional development of literacy/English teacher educators. Journal of Education for Teaching, 41(1), 52–77. https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2014.992634

Kutlay, N. (2013). A survey of English language teachers’ views of research, Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 70, 188–206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.01.055.

Kyaw, M. T. (2021). Factors Influencing Teacher Educators’ Research Engagement in the Reform Process of Teacher Education Institutions in Myanmar. SAGE Open, 11(4), 21582440211061349.


Larsen-Freeman, D. (2015). Research into Practice: Grammar learning and teaching. Language Teaching 48(2), 263-80. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444814000408

Lewis, I. & Munn, P. (1997). So You Want to Do Research. The Scottish Council for Research in Education.

Maley, A. (2016). More research is needed—a mantra too far? Humanising Language Teaching, 18(3). Available at http://www.hltmag.co.uk/jun16/index.htm (accessed on 4 June 2022).

Marsh, D. D. (1987). Faculty development for pre-service teacher educators: A research utilization perspective. Teaching and Teacher Education, 3(4), 357–363. https://doi.org/10.1016/0742-051X(87)90026-6

McKernan, J. (1988). The countenance of curriculum action research: Traditional, collaborative and critical-emancipatory conceptions. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 3(34), 173-200.

McNiff, J. (1988). Action Research: Principles and practice. Macmillan.

Medgyes, P. (2017). The (ir)relevance of academic research for the language teacher. ELT Journal, 71(4), 1–8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccx034

Mitchell, M. F. (1993). Linking teacher educators, knowledge, and the quality of practice in schools. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 12(4), 399–412. https://doi.org/10.1123/jtpe.12.4.399

Mortimore, P. (2000). Does educational research matter? British Educational Research Journal, 26(1), 5-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/014119200109480

Mujdeci, S. (2020). Student teachers of English as researchers: Beliefs, attitudes, and practices (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Gazi University, Türkiye.

Nunan, D. (1992). Research methods in language learning. CUP.

Nunan, D. (1997). Developing standards for teacher-research in TESOL, TESOL Quarterly 31(2), 365–67. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3588053

Öztabay, C., (2017). Profiling research-capable English teachers throughout Turkey’s national teacher education reform history, Turkish Journal of Education, 6(3), 96-112. http://dx.doi.org/10.19128/turje.296362

Passy, R., Georgeson, J., & Gompertz, B. (2018). Building learning partnerships between schools and universities: an example from south-west England. Journal of Education for Teaching, 44(5), 539-555. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2018.1516346.

Pollard, A. & Tann, S. (1987). Reflective Teaching in the Primary School. Cassell.

Polemeni, A. J. (1976). Research and teacher power. Educational Leadership, 33(7), 493-497.

Rose, R. (2002). Teaching as a research-based profession: Encouraging practitioner research in special education. British Journal of Special Education, 29(31), 144–148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8527.00236

Salter, D. E., & Tett, D. L. (2022). Sustaining teacher engagement in practitioner research. Journal of Education for Teaching, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2021.1959267

Tack, H., & Vanderlinde, R. (2014). Teacher educators’ professional development: Towards a typology of teacher educators’ researcherly disposition. British Journal of Educational Studies, 62(3), 297–315. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2014.957639

Ulvik, M., & Smith, K. (2019). Teaching about teaching: Teacher educators’ and student teachers’ perspectives from Norway. In J. Murray, A. Swennen, & C. Kosnik (Eds.), International research, policy and practice in teacher education (pp. 123–137). Springer.

Uştuk, Ö., & Çomoğlu, I. (2019). Lesson Study for Professional Development of English Language Teachers: Key Takeaways from International Practices. Journal on Efficiency and Responsibility in Education and Science, 12(2), 41-50. http://dx.doi. org/10.7160/eriesj.2019.12020212(2), 41-50.

Watkins, A. (2006). So what exactly do teacher researchers think about doing research? Support for Learning 21(1), 12-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9604.2006.00394.x

Whitehead, J. (1993). The Growth of Educational Knowledge: Creating Your Own Living Educational Theories. Hyde.

Widdowson, H.G. (1984). The Incentive Value of Theory in Teacher Education. English Language Teaching Journal, 38(2), 86-90.

Wyatt, M., & Dikilitaş, K. (2016). English language teachers becoming more efficacious through research engagement at their Turkish university. Educational Action Research, 24(4), 550-570. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2015.1076731