Skip to main content Skip to navigation

'Exploratory Action Research: A personal journey' – Keynote talk for the International Conference for Teacher-research 2022, SSN College of Engineering, Chennai, India

Professor Richard Smith, University of Warwick

(2 December, 2022)



In this talk, I share the story of my own involvement with teacher-research, from its beginnings in my practice as an English teacher in Japan in the 1990s to work with pre-service teachers in England in the 2000s and subsequent leadership of teacher-research mentoring schemes in Latin America and South Asia in the 2010s. The particular form of teacher-research I’ve been developing and favouring – namely ‘exploratory’ action research – will be explained with reference to the contexts in which it’s arisen and been found relevant. Finally, the way it has been taken up and further spread by teachers and mentors in various Global South contexts will be analysed, critiqued and celebrated.

PowerPoint slides here

Links and references

Previous events and conferences

Teachers Research! events - from Harrogate (2014) to Turkey (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) to Latin America (2016, 2017) to Online (2021, forthcoming (2023))

International Festival of Teacher-research in ELT

Teachers Research! Online 2021

Exploratory Action Research / the Champion Teachers programme (Latin America)

Paula Rebolledo, Richard Smith & Deborah Bullock (eds) (2016). Champion Teachers: Stories of Exploratory Action Research London: British Council.

Richard Smith & Paula Rebolledo (2018) A Handbook for Exploratory Action Research London: British Council.

Richard Smith & Paula Rebolledo. (2022). 'Exploratory Action Research for enhanced teaching and learning' London: British Council.

Mentoring teacher-research / the Action Research Mentoring Scheme (ARMS) in India and Nepal

Richard Smith (2020) Mentoring Teachers to Research Their Classrooms: A Practical Handbook. New Delhi: British Council. Associated video interviews with mentors.

R. Smith, S. Eraldemir Tuyan, E.A. Békés & M. Serra (2021). 'Enhancement mentoring for teacher-research: A positive approach in a crisis'. English Language Teacher Education and Development Journal 24: 43–61.

Video and posters from the International Festival of Teacher-research in ELT 2021 event Mentoring teacher-research – in a time of Covid-19

Networks supporting teacher-research

Contact information

Prof. Richard Smith, Department of Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom.



Twitter: @RichardSmithELT