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A discussion of a particular problem in an individual teacher's second language classroom leads to a definition of action research, examines the issues to be addressed before undertaking it, and results in suggestions for designing and implementing the study. Action research is defined as a process designed to improve teaching and facilitate learning by identifying a specific classroom problem, targeting causes through systematic data collection (surveys, observation, interviews, etc.), and applying an effective solution to the problem as a result of the data being collected and interpreted. Barriers to effective research are identified, including vague research ideas, professional isolation, lack of resources, and lack of time; possible resolutions for each are examined. Seven steps in conducting an action research process are outlined, and each is discussed. These include initiation (noticing a problem), preliminary investigation, hypothesis development, intervention, evaluation of results, dissemination of findings, and follow-up. An action research project undertaken by the author, to address the problem of an unresponsive class, is used throughout as illustration of the process and considerations in conducting such studies. (Contains 13 references. The survey instrument is appended.) (MSE)

Descriptors: Action Research, Classroom Research, Classroom Techniques, Data Collection, Data Interpretation, Foreign Countries, Instructional Improvement, Problem Solving, Research Methodology, Second Language Instruction, Second Languages

Autor: Hadley, Gregory S.


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