A language teaching workshop will take place during the AFLS 2016 conference on Tuesday 21 June. Delegates who are registering for the whole conference DO NOT NEED TO REGISTER SEPARATELY FOR THIS. Colleagues wishing to attend the workshop ONLY (including lunch) should use the ‘Workshop and lunch only’ link in the registration payment system (see ‘REGISTRATION’ link in bar above.)

Details are as follows:

AFLS Workshop 2016: Exploratory Practice as in Continuous Professional Development

Participants: Assia Rolls, Regent’s University London (AR)

Michelle Rawson, Regent’s University London (MR)

Christopher Banister, Regent’s University London (CB)

Anna Costantino, Greenwich University (AC)

Aims of the workshop

  • introduce Exploratory Practice: its aims, principles and how it sees teachers and learners as active participants in the search for their understanding;
  • demonstrate the practitioner research processes that two language teachers of French and Italian have used, in collaboration with the learners, to elucidate their own teaching puzzles to better understand their practice;
  • enable the delegates to identify their own teaching puzzles and have the opportunity to discuss their potential elucidation; and report on their understanding and/or potential challenges;
  • debate the issues about teachers researching their own environment, lack of time and resources; choices of investigative methods, challenges about involving learners etc. which are likely to emerge. They will be dealt with and mediated by the presenters on the basis of their research and experience of EP.


Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is a topic of considerable importance within the Higher Education sector as we see reflected in the many current institutional demands for teacher education. Enabling teachers to engage with research is generally acknowledged as making a potentially powerful contribution to their professional development. This is especially important at a time when, in view of the longstanding decline in foreign language learning in the UK various institutional and governmental bodies are rethinking language policy for the 21st century.

This workshop introduces ‘Exploratory Practice’ (EP), a form of practitioner research developed in second language teacher education and professional development. One of EP’s goals is to bring together teaching and research in order to empower language teachers (and learners) to develop a better understanding of their classroom practice. It is often argued that “… it is not enough to know that ideas do work; we need also to know why and how they work”. The privileged familiarity of teachers with the classroom environment and their close contact with the learners are seen to be ultimate providers of opportunities for teachers to contribute to their own professional development.

This workshop will use practical examples to illustrate how EP can be integrated into the language classroom curriculum.