Introducing Action Research into the Education of Postsecondary Foreign Language Teachers


  • Graham Crookes,

    1. University of Hawai'i
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 3

      Graham Crookes, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Second Language Studies and Acting Director, Hawai'i English Language Program, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • Paul Michael Chandler

    1. University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 4

      Paul Michael Chandler (PhD, Indiana University, Bloomington) is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii.


Abstract:This article reports on the introduction of an action research component into an existing graduate foreign language teaching methodology course for beginning foreign language teachers (graduate teaching assistants and graduate students) at the college level. The authors discuss the implementation, benefits, and caveats of such a project, illustrated with samples of feedback from the graduate teaching assistants' journals, evaluations, and follow-up interviews. Graduate teaching assistants reported positive attitudes about the project overall, at the same time expressing concerns about time constraints and risk taking (e.g., doing action research as beginning teachers). Limitations concerning the depth of graduate teaching assistants' understanding of action research were noted. Four possible options for change are listed, and some conclusions are drawn about the importance of a cyclical and exploratory approach to change in foreign language teacher education programs in general.