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secondary school teachers, and that any work that could be built on these themes, in coming from teachers’ own experience, would at the very least be more contextually relevant than most previous INSETT initiatives in the Chilean context. In collaboration with one another and with the four mentor tutors, teachers started to develop research questions which could help them to investigate these problems. They designed posters that illustrated the problem and wrote their initial research questions, which were then commented upon by other groups, the mentors and workshop leader, who provided relevant feedback based on their own experiences and beliefs. Initial plans were made for data collection, which were to be further refined via Moodle-enabled interaction with mentors assigned to the different groups. Overall, a great deal of enthusiasm was generated at the two-day workshop, and it was evaluated very positively, although some participants felt that two days had not allowed for sufficient preparation. Following a break of one month for summer holidays, teachers and mentors were expected to get back in touch in March 2013, when the teachers would begin their investigations, from the beginning of the new school year. The participating teachers were all enrolled on the British Council Moodle platform specially created for the project. Through the platform it was hoped that they would report what they were investigating, discuss problems with each other and get help from the mentor tutors. They would also be able to download articles related to classroom research that could help them to define their own research better. At a later stage they would be expected to decide if their classroom research projects would remain as Exploratory Research or be transformed into Action Research ‘proper’. Problems arising and improvements made (via a revised plan at the mid-point) A number of quite serious difficulties arose during the first phase following the initial workshop, as follows: ■■

Lack of communication among ‘research partners’ in groups established at the January workshop

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Lack of communication between mentors and some teachers

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Apparent drop-out of many teachers

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Lack of communication among mentors for sharing of experience/good practice.

The occurrence of these problems can probably be attributed, with hindsight, to the following phenomena, some of which could doubtless have been avoided with a longer lead-in time and better forward planning, while others were of an unpredictable nature:

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Some participants in the January workshop appeared to have come just for the workshop, with little intention of continuing; or they may have decided, following the workshop, that action research was not ‘for them’.

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Hiatus and loss of momentum caused by the February summer holiday.

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Several teachers found themselves in a different or more difficult work situation from March onwards.

|  Teacher-research as continuing professional development

Innovations in the CPD of English language teachers  

The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...

Innovations in the CPD of English language teachers  

The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...