Beginnings In Chapter I we looked at some typical teachers 'in action' in theit working situations, noting particularly the ways in which factors of context and role affect, constrain or facilitate their room for professional manoeuvre. A key point there was the assertion that all these teaching situations, however disparate, have an inherent potential for research to take place. This section is concerned, in fairly concrete terms, with how that potential might

become actual. Let us therefore suppose that the teachers in action in Chapter 1 have, as it were, developed a research consciousness uch that they are now working on specific projects. In other words we will tell a little more of the stories of a few of them, with a couple of new people interspersed to broaden the spectrum: the aim is to give a sense of the variety of ways in which a teacher might be stimulated to do research. There is of course a jump in logic here, because it will not be until the subsequent section that the genesis, sources and development of research ideas are more explicitly discussed. Kenji Matsuda has now been on a six-month language development and teacher training programme in the UK. During his stay he was required (by the Ministry) to write a project directly addressing some aspect of his own situation. He chose to work on the methodology of vocabulary teaching. Now back home, he is linking his project work with everyday reality by analysing the set textbook and tabulating its methods of introducing and reinforcing vocabulary, and by selectively introducing new techniques then testing his class at regular intervals to see which methods encourage greater retention. He plans to persuade colleagues to tryout something similar, and possibly to discover whether different methods, including use of the mother tongue, are suitable at different proficiency levels. Anna Garcia is a Colombian university teacher of English with many years' classroom experience. The main part of her job is to teach reading skills to undergraduates in different subject areas. Although the materials used are relatively up-to-date in the sense of incorporating current views on the nature of comprehension, this teacher feels that her students' reading skills in English remain at a rudimentary level. She suspects that this may be related to, though not necessarily caused by, inefficient reading skills in Spanish, and in turn to the fact that language is typically taught in the schools as a grammatical system. She has managed to get a scholarship for a PhD to research this issue in depth. Her plans include an investigation of what other researchers have found, the development of instruments to measure reading efficiency in two languages, and an analysis of pedagogic practice. Ann Barker's school decided to go ahead with its plans for more specialized programmes to run alongside its general English courses, both as whole packages and as part-course options. They have started with 'Business English' and 'Medical English', and AB, in view of her background, has been put in charge of the latter. Existing materials have been useful up to a point in getting started, but she is uncomfortable with them because they either overgeneralize or focus on one professional subgroup in a way that is not obviously relevant to another. She would therefore like to prepare in-house material that is more focused in terms of topics, skills,

discourse and language structure. She has started by contacting her local hospital with a view to collecting (a) typical written data and (b) samples of spoken interaction, in the first instance as it relates to nursing staff Frank Jones works in a British university in the area of teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP) to non-native postgraduate students. Together with a colleague he has completed a questionnaire-based study, involving about 300 students, designed to investigate the attitude changes of new students in relation to both academic and social-personal matters as they adapt to a new culture and progress through the academic year. Initially intended for internal university circulation, the results when reported at a national conference found sufficient resonance that colleagues in other universities are now seeking to replicate the original study and compare results. Carol Turner has become increasingly interested in looking in more depth at the learning patterns of her pupils. She knows that she will have to set aside some time to review and update her earlier training in the teaching of young learners in general. However, she also plans to collect empirical data on her small groups in each school, and on individuals within them, probably by keeping a log over an extended period of time backed up with samples of the children's work. Her access to staff rooms means that she can liaise closely with mainstream teachers, who have agreed to make available the normal class work of CT's pupils and others, and to be interviewed from time to time.