This seminar examines the relationship between research and practice in educational research and explores how the relationship itself can be an independent research field. Educational researchers have long been concerned about the limited use of research in the classroom yet the gap between research and practice never seems to cease. In an effort to narrow the gap—albeit without much empirical support—researchers have considered increased ecological validity and different ways of disseminating research (e.g., study summaries). To this end, I will problematize the exclusive focus on practitioners when discussing the gap. I will argue that a fundamental cause of the divide is epistemological rather than logistical, that is, beliefs about each other’s occupations. In this seminar, I will first review obstacles to the research-practice relationship. I will then discuss potential ways of narrowing the research-practice gap, such as: (a) collaborative mindset; (b) the nature of research; (c) venues for a dialogue; and (d) institutional support. I will conclude the seminar by proposing that it is necessary to examine researchers’ (cf. practitioners’) perceptions and efforts in creating and facilitating a bi-directional and mutually-beneficial dialogue with practitioners.
Expone: Masatoshi Sato
Masatoshi Sato (PhD: McGill University) is a Professor at Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile. He has taught English and Japanese in Japan, US, Chile, and Canada. His research agenda is to conduct theoretical and applied research in order to facilitate the dialogue between practitioners and researchers. His research interest includes instructed second language acquisition, peer interaction, metacognition, corrective feedback, learner psychology, teacher beliefs, and the research-practice relationship. In addition to his research publications in international journals, he has co-edited volumes from John Benjamins (2016 with Susan Ballinger: Peer Interaction and Second Language Learning), Routledge (2017 with Shawn Loewen: The Routledge Handbook of Instructed Second Language Acquisition; 2019: Evidence-Based Second Language Pedagogy), Language Teaching Research (2021 with Kata Csizér: Learner Psychology and Instructed Second Language Acquisition), and The Modern Language Journal (2022 with Shawn Loewen: Connecting second language research and pedagogy). He is the recipient of the 2014 ACTFL/MLJ Paul Pimsleur Award. He is currently the Editor of Language Awareness.