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Professor Richard Smith – Keynote papers & invited lectures, workshops, etc.


  • Keynote paper, '‘“Don’t look back!”? Questioning the imperative to move forward in language teaching’, 3rd APROLINGUAS International Conference, University of Algarve, Portugal (forthcoming, December, online)
  • Featured speaker presentation on 'Unity and diversity in European language education: perspectives from historical research'. Symposium on 'History of Foreign/Second Language Education in Europe since 1945: comparing curricula'. AILA 2021: The 19th World Congress of Applied Linguistics, Groningen, Netherlands (forthcoming, August, online).
  • Invited lecture: ‘Exploratory Action Research: an introduction’, for school leaders and teachers, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Education Department, India (online).
  • Plenary talk on ‘Teacher-research for difficult circumstances’. Teachers for Teachers Network (Nepal) online conference on ‘Lessons from teacher research in difficult circumstances’, (July, online).
  • Invited lecture on ‘Exploratory Action Research’, G.D. Goenka Confluence 2021: ‘Empowering educators’, India (online).
  • Keynote talk on ‘EFL teacher-research: Why and how?’. 5th Dakhla TESOL Conference on ‘Action research as a tool for teachers’ professional growth’, Morocco (online).
  • Keynote paper on ‘Challenging (the) times: roles for research in / for / beyond difficult circumstances’, 15th Annual Education Research Students’ Conference, on ‘Research in challenging times’, University of Leeds (online).
  • Invited talk on ‘Teachers research! Innovative, international sharing and mentoring’ for the International Festival of Teacher-research in ELT 2021 / TESOL International Electronic Village Online on Classroom-based Research for Professional Development 2021 (online).
  • Invited guest talk on ‘Roots and development of Exploratory Action Research’. 1st EMAR-Maharashtra Conference on Exploratory Action Research, India (online).
  • Invited webinar on ‘Teacher development in difficult circumstances’ for Teacher Development Webinars Social Action Project, Pakistan (online).
  • Plenary, ‘Teachers do research! Why, how, and with what results?’. 2nd International Conference on Education and Linguistics (ICEL), Westminster International University, Tashkent, Uzbekistan (May, online). Invited inaugural workshop for TESOL Society of Bangladesh Research Special Group (online).
  • Invited talk on 'Teachers research! Innovative, international sharing and mentoring' for the International Festival of Teacher-research in ELT 2021 / TESOL International Electronic Village Online on Classroom-based Research for Professional Development (online).


  • Keynote paper, on 'Research for super-difficult circumstances: where to start, and how to go on'. 1st TESOL Society of Bangladesh International Virtual Research Conference on 'Contextualizing research in challenging times' (online).
  • 1st Annual Antonieta Celani Distinguished Lecture: 'Historiography in Applied Linguistics'. Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (online).
  • Invited talk on 'Exploratory Action Research as educational innovation'. Comunidad de docentes innovadores en acción, Faculty of Education, Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Peru (online).
  • Invited talk on 'Peer-mentoring in a time of Covid-19'. English Language Teachers Association (ELTA) Telangana, India (online).
  • Invited plenary paper on 'Teaching and learning in difficult circumstances', Scholars' Association of Nepal online conference, April.
  • Guest lecture on 'Learner and teacher autonomy in difficult circumstances', Department of Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Middle Eastern Technical University (METU NCC), Cyprus, April.
  • Keynote paper, on ‘Development goals and difficult circumstances – dreams and realities’, at 9th Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association (BELTA) International Conference, United International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh, March (postponed).
  • Keynote paper, on ‘Decentring ELT in Diversity and Adversity: The Potential of Teacher-research’, at 3rd International Tribhuvan University Conference on ELT & Applied Linguistics, Kathmandu, Nepal, February.
  • Invited three-day workshop for Nepali teacher educators on Exploratory Action Research as a Professional Development Tool (with Amol Padwad), at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, February.


  • ‘Plenary webinar’, on ‘Problems -> Questions -> Solutions: Addressing Classroom Challenges’ for 35th SPELT (Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers) International Conference 2019, Karachi, Pakistan, October.
  • Invited webinars, on ‘Developing research questions’ and ‘Practical tools for exploration’ for Africa TESOL / IATEFL Research SIG and Global Issues SIG teacher-research initiative, September–October.
  • Invited webinars on exploratory action research for participants in the British Council’s Action Research & Mentoring Scheme, Nepal, August-September
  • Invited plenary presentation (online) on 'Mentoring teachers to research their classrooms' at EFL-University, Hyderabad (British Council symposium on Mentoring teacher-resarchers), India, August.
  • Keynote paper on ‘Historical fact, fallacy and fiction: The elusive Direct Method’ at joint international conference of APHELLE, CIRSIL, Henry Sweet Society, SEHEL and SIHFLES on The Direct Method in Language Teaching, supported by HoLLTnet, University of Granada, May.
  • Invited webinar on ‘Introducing Exploratory Action Research’ for APIBA (Buenos Aires Association of Teachers of English) Teacher Research SIG: inaugural online meeting, May.
  • Invited plenary on ‘What can academics learn from teacher-research?’, IATEFL Research SIG Pre-conference Event in Liverpool, April.
  • Invited workshop on ‘Motivating and Mentoring Research’, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, April.
  • Invited keynote paper on ‘A critical approach to innovation: Why, what, how – and who?’ and workshop on ‘Innovating with Exploratory Action Research’ at 19th International ELT Conference, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, April.
  • Invited keynote paper on ‘Teaching in low-resource classrooms: an enhancement approach’ at CLIL@India international conference, University of Milan, Italy, March.


  • ‘From optimism to despair – and now what? 50 years of language education in Britain’. Invited paper at symposium on Foreign Language Didactics and Foreign Language Education since 1945: A Comparative Diachronic Discourse Analysis, University of Augsburg, December 2018.
  • Keynote paper on ‘Principles of Exploratory Action Research’ and lead facilitator of associated workshop, British Council 2nd Exploratory Action Research International Seminar / Champion Teachers Pacific Alliance Summit in Lima, Peru, 23–24 November 2018
  • ‘Languages Britain – The Leathes Report (1918) in its time, and in ours'. Invited paper at the Languages Memory conference (AHRC Open World Research Initiative, Language Acts and Worldmaking project), King's College London, June 2018.
  • Invited workshops ('Basics of teacher-research' and 'Finding a focus and developing research questions') for introductory seminar of British Council Aptis Action Research and Mentoring Scheme (Nepal), 2nd cohort, Kathmandu, May 2018.
  • Invited workshop (with Amol Padwad) ('Getting started: What do you need to start your own exploratory classroom-based research project?'), British Council Classroom-based Research Mela, Delhi, March 2018.
  • Keynote paper on 'The role of historiography in decentring ELT', Centre for English Language Studies, University of Hyderabad / ELTAI National Seminar on 'English Language Education: Theory and Practice' (also presented as an invited lecture at Ambedkar University, Delhi), March 2018.
  • Invited workshops on exploratory action research at British Council Kathmandu and at Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) annual international conference, Kathmandu, February 2018.
  • Keynote paper on 'Principles of Exploratory Action Research', further plenary talk titled 'In celebration of teacher associations: their value and potential' and workshop on 'Exploratory Action Research: from questions to methods' at Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) Silver Jubilee annual international conference, Kathmandu, February 2018
  • Keynote speech on 'Principles of Exploratory Action Research' (with P. Rebolledo), British Council Champion Teachers Exploratory Action Research International Seminar, Santiago de Chile, January 2018.


  • Invited webinar for International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) on 'Research is for teachers? You must be joking!', December. 2017.
  • Invited lecture on 'How can English teachers develop appropriate methodology? How can they have autonomy?', University of Bremen, December 2017.
  • Invited workshop (with Claudia Moraga Bustos) on 'Exploratory action research for professional development' and opening talk on recent developments in ELT teacher-research at 'Teachers Research! Istanbul 2017', June 2017.
  • Invited public lectures on 'Beyond myths and methods: historiography in language teaching' and 'Teaching English in difficult circumstances: autonomy and practitioner research', National University of Cordoba, Argentina, May 2017.
  • Invited two-day workshop on 'Exploratory action research in initial ELT teacher education', British Council, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 2017.
  • Invited workshops on exploratory action research (with Paula Rebolledo) at British Council Remote Teaching Centre, Buenos Aires, and Instituto no. 97, La Plata, Argentina, May 2017.
  • Invited one-day workshop (with Prof. Friederike Klippel): 'Researching ELT history: A hands-on workshop'. IATEFL Research SIG Pre-conference event, IATEFL International Conference, Glasgow, April 2017.
  • Invited two day workshop via skype (with Amol Padwad in situ) on 'Mentoring teacher-research', to launch the British Council India Aptis Action Research Award Scheme (AARMS), British Council, Delhi, March 2017.
  • Keynote paper on 'Teacher-as-researcher: a challenging new identity?', Queen Mary University of London Language Centre 4th Professional Development Conference on 'Emic and etic perspectives on professional practice: a crisis of identity?', February 2017.
  • Invited paper 'Alan Waters' continuing influence', Symposium in Honour of Alan Waters, Department of Linguistics and English Language Lancaster University, February 2017.
  • Keynote paper titled 'Key concepts for Konya: collaboration, creativity, criticality and ... autonomy'. @ELTalks International Classroom Practitioner Perspectives Conference, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey, November 2016.


  • Invited workshop and plenary talk at 'Teachers Research! Istanbul 2016' (IATEFL Research SIG 2nd International Conference on teacher-research in ELT), Bahcesehir University, Turkey, June 2016.
  • Keynote paper on 'Teacher-research for difficult circumstances' at 'Making a Difference' (Centre for Education Studies Post-graduate Conference), University of Warwick, May 2016.
  • Keynote paper on 'The history of language teaching in Europe, 1970-2015'. Conference on 'Insegnamento delle lingue straniere in Italia tra passato e presente (1970-2015)', University of Milan, Italy, April 2016.
  • Invited plenary presentations on 'The place of teacher-research in initial teacher education' and 'Exploratory action research for in-service teachers', 15th seminar on Initial Teacher Education in Chile, Chilean Ministry of Education / British Council Chile, Santiago de Chile, March 2016.
  • Plenary talk on 'The concept of Teachers Research!' at 'Teachers Research! Chile 2016', the first annual Latin American conference for teacher-research in ELT, Universidad San Sebastian, Santiago de Chile, March 2016.
  • 'Introduction to Exploratory Action Research (with P. Rebelledo). Invited one-day workshop, Ministry of Education Chile / British Council Chile, Universidad San Sebastian, Santiago de Chile, March 2016.


  • Member of panel for round table discussion on teacher-research, 2nd IATEFL web-conference, October 2015.
  • ‘Teacher education for difficult and “super-difficult” circumstances’ (with A. Padwad and P. Phyak). IATEFL Teacher Trainers and Educators SIG webinar, September 2015.
  • ‘British language-in-education policy and diplomacy in India: from company to colony to Commonwealth’ Invited paper (with D. Graddol). Conference on ‘The Linguistic and Cultural Foreign Policies of European Countries (18th-20th Centuries)’, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics / SIHFLES (International Society for the History of French as a Foreign and Second Language), 25-26 June 2015.
  • ‘Teaching and learning French in England a hundred years ago’. Invited talk (with Nicola McLelland) at centenary conference on ‘The spread of French in English contexts: enthusiasts, challengers and rivals / La diffusion de la langue française dans le context anglais: volontarisme, obstacles, rivalités’. Institut francais du Royaume Uni (London, South Kensington), 21 May 2015.
  • ‘After methods, what then?’. Plenary presentation, IATEFL Teacher Educators SIG International Conference, Gaziantep University, April 2015.
  • Various talks at Teacher Training Colleges in Argentina for the British Council, and plenary paper and workshop at APISE Conference, Santiago del Estero, April 2015.
  • 'Language testing does more harm than good'. Invited contribution to ELT Journal debate, International IATEFL Conference, Manchester, April 2015.
  • 'The Survey of ELT Research in India: How can it help you?'. Invited presentation (with P. Gunashekar and Lina Mukopadhyay) at Teacher Educator Conference (TEC) 15 Hyderabad, India, February 2015.
  • ‘Enhancing quaiity in research for English language teaching’. Invited pre-conference event (one-day workshop) (with P. Gunashekar, R. Mathew and A. Pinter) at Teacher Educator Conference (TEC) 14, Hyderabad, India, February 2015.


  • ‘ELT research and teacher-research: What, why and how’. Invited presentation for SATEFL, University of Edinburgh, December 2014.
  • 'Learning in the low-resource classroom'. Invited five-day workshop (Hornby regional school) (with J. Ilic and A. Padwad), The British Council, Nepal, October-November 2014. Report.
  • ‘After methods, what then?’ Plenary paper via video-recording at FAAPI (Federación Argentina de Profesores de Inglés) Conference, Argentina, September 2014.
  • ‘Building applied linguistic historiography’. Invited Foundation Day lecture, Department of English Studies, University of Hyderabad, India, September 2014.
  • ‘Applied linguistic historiography’. Paper in invited symposium on Innovative Research Methods and Approaches. 47th BAAL Annual Meeting, University of Warwick, September 2014.
  • ‘Learner autonomy in developing countries’. Invited paper [with H. Kuchah and M. Lamb] in AILA (International Association of Applied Linguistics) Research Network on Learner Autonomy Colloquium -- ‘Learner Autonomy Research Agendas’, 2014 AILA Congress, Brisbane, Australia, August. 2014.
  • ‘Motivating teachers and learners through Exploratory Action Research’. British Council signature presentation (with P. Rebolledo) at IATEFL-Chile 13th International Conference, Universidad San Sebastián, Bellavista, Santiago, July 2014.
  • Position paper on ‘Developing the history of English language teaching’ at ‘Connecting Cultures? An International Conference on the History of Teaching and Learning Second/Foreign Languages, 1500-2000, University of Nottingham, 2-5 July 2014.
  • ‘Practical Principles for Exploratory Action Research’. Plenary paper at IATEFL Research SIG / Gediz University International Conference, ‘Teacher-Researchers in Action’, Izmir, Turkey, June 2014.
  • ‘ELT, Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and ELT Research: History and Autonomy’. Plenary paper ‘ at 1st International Conference on Applied Linguistics and ELT, organized in Antalya by Cukurova University, Turkey, March 2014.
  • ‘Teaching English in large classes: An enhancement approach to research and teacher education’. ‘Teacher Educator Conference (TEC) 14, Hyderabad, India, February 2014. Featured speaker talk. Associated interview.
  • ‘Innovations in research for English language teaching’. Invited pre-conference event (one-day workshop) (with P. Gunashekar and R. Mathew) and invited workshop on 'Writing a research proposal' (with R. Mathew), Teacher Educator Conference (TEC) 14, Hyderabad, India, February 2014.


  • ‘The global [ELT] coursebook in historical perspecitve’. Invited keynote paper at APHELLE – APEF International Conference ‘O livro pedagógico em língua estrangeira Do século XIX ao século XXI’, Escola Superior de Educação e Comunicação, University of Algarve, December 2013
  • 'Teaching in the low-resource classroom'. Invited five-day workshop (Hornby school) (with J. Ilic and A. Padwad), The British Council, Nepal, November 2013.
  • Plenary talk ('Learner development, teacher development, both and beyond') and invited workshop (‘Autonomy-oriented teacher-research’). at JALT Learner Development SIG 20th Anniversary Conference, ‘Exploring Learner Development Practices, Pedagogies, Puzzles and Research’. Gakushuin University, Tokyo, Japan, November 2013 . Associated interview, with Darren Elliott
  • ‘Teaching in difficult circumstances, revisited’. Invited paper and associated workshop at ‘K-12 Teacher Development and Training: A TESOL Symposium in Yaoundé, Cameroon’. Université Catholique d’Afrique Centrale UCCAS—Ekounou Yaoundé, Cameroon, August 2013.
  • Plenary talk and workshop ('Teacher research to overcome challenges') at 13th Annual Conference of CAMELTA, ‘Achieving Excellence in English Language Teaching – Setting the Pace in Tune with the Changing Times’, Yaoundé, Cameroon’. Université Catholique d’Afrique Centrale UCCAS—Ekoumou Yaoundé, Cameroon, August 2013. Associated article, with Harry Kuchah.
  • ‘ELT research’. Workshops for research students and early career researchers. EFL-University, Hyderabad, India. July 2013.
  • ‘ELT research: mentoring and capacity-building’ (with D. Chakrabarti and R. Mathew) Invited talk at Faculty of Education, University of Delhi, July 2013.
  • ‘Action research by teachers, for teachers, not forgetting learners too!’. Plenary paper at 3rd Conference on Action Research, Gediz University, Izmir, Turkey, June 2013.
  • ‘Researching as part of teaching, with autonomy in view’. Invited paper at ‘Teachers Exploring Practice for Professional Learning’, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, June 2013.
  • Keynote paper, plenary and workshops on the conference theme and on teaching English in large classes, NELTA Conference on ‘Transformations in ELT: Contexts, Agents and Opportunities,’ Kathmandu and Janakpur, Nepal, February 2013. Associated article.
  • ‘Action research for professional development’. invited half-day workshop, Paris [with D. Brochier], UPLEGESS, Paris, February 2013.
  • ‘Why EFL action research matters’ (invited public lecture) and ‘Champion teachers – action research project’ (two-day workshop for secondary teachers), British Council Santiago, Chile, January 2013.


  • 'Professional development through action research', invited one-day workshop at Bell Cambridge, December 2012.
  • 'ELT research: what it is, why we need it, and how to do it!'. Guest lecture in British Council Symposium series, Bristol, November 2012.
  • 'Phonetics at the source of ELT'. Guest lecture for University College London Summer Course in English Phonetics, August 2012.
  • ‘Researching-as-Teaching-for-Learning’. Plenary paper at 2nd Annual Conference on Action Research, Gediz University, Izmir, Turkey, July 2012.
  • A short history of ELT’. Guest lecture in British Council Symposium series, Cardiff, June 2012.
  • 'How to combine teaching and researching: Focus on Learners and Classroom Language Learning', Pre-conference Event (One-day workshop) at Annual International IATEFL Conference, Glasgow [co-presenter with S. Mercer and E. Ushioda.] Powerpoints etc.
  • Why should teachers research? How could they research?' Plenary talk, Conference on 'Researching Teachers', Istanbul Aydin Unviersity, Turkey, March 2012.
  • 'Building a picture of ELT research in the UK - and in India'. Invited lecture at British Council Delhi and EFL-University, Hyderabad, India, February 2012.


  • ‘How “natural” are natural methods? Crusoe, Rousseau, “my Man Friday” and Sophie (“ou la femme”)’. Keynote paper at 2nd Conference of the Research Network on the History of Foreign Language Teaching and Learning in Europe (‘Women and Foreign Languages in Modern Europe’), University of Milan / CIRSIL, Italy, June 2011.
  • 'Pedgagogy of autonomy as a rescue strategy'. Invited workshop at Izmir University of Economics 1st International ELT Conference, on 'Squaring the Circle: Matching Competence with Performance', Izmir, Turkey, March 2011. Ppt; references
  • 'Applied linguistics and ELT: Some historical perspectives'. Keynote paper at Centre for Applied Linguistics Research (CALR), Arab Open University – Lebanon conference on 'Multiple perceptual frames on English language teaching and research‘, Beirut, Lebanon, March 2011. Ppt; references
  • 'Critical issues for 21st century ELT: Which English? Whose methods? What culture?'. Invited lecture at Nagaoka National College of Technology, Japan, Communicative Teaching Association of Japan, January 2011. Ppt; references; handout 1; handout 2


  • 'Autonomy and teacher development’. Plenary paper at 1st International Foreign Language Teaching Conference on 'Implementing Autonomy in the 21st Century', Zirve University, Gaziantep, Turkey, June 2010.
  • ‘Traditions in TEFL training’. Invited talk at British Council / Accreditation UK Annual Inspectors’ Conference, April 2010.


  • 'ELT teacher education and research training in UK universities: Of what value, and to whom?'. Keynote paper at QuiTE [The Association for the Promotion of Quality in TESOL Education] Annual Seminar 2009, London, November 2009.
  • ‘Learner autonomy in difficult circumstances: Theory from practice’. Invited plenary paper [with Harry Kuchah] at the 10th Nordic Conference on Learner Autonomy in the Foreign Language Classroom, University of Bergen, Norway, August 2009.
  • ‘Innovation and reform in language teaching: Legacies from the past’. Invited presentation for University of Cambridge Faculty of Education Second Language Education Research Group, June 2009.


  • ‘Histories of ELT’. Invited presentation for University of Reading Applied Linguistics Circle, November 2008.
  • 'Practices of "autonomy"'. Invited plenary paper at 4th Conference of GT-PA, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, July 2008.
  • 'Autonomy: Before and after’. Invited plenary paper at IATEFL Learner Autonomy SIG / SWAN conference (‘Autonomy in Language Learning Learning: Beyond the Bandwagon?’), University of Nottingham, May 2008.


  • 'Learner and teacher autonomy: New perspectives on classroom practice'. Invited plenary paper at 23rd annual SPELT conference, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan, November 2007.
  • 'Developing learner and teacher autonomy in under-resourced classrooms'. Invited workshop at 23rd annual SPELT conference, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan, November 2007.
  • 'Stories of learner and teacher autonomy'. Invited plenary paper at 2nd Encuentro Nacional de Investigación en el Aula en L1 y L2: 'La autonomía: mitos y realidades', Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia, November 2007.
  • 'Action research and pedagogy for autonomy: Exploring the connections'. Invited workshop at 2nd Encuentro Nacional de Investigación en el Aula en L1 y L2: 'La autonomía: mitos y realidades', Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia, November 2007.
  • 'The culture of coursebooks: Stretching or solidifying boundaries?'. Plenary talk at the 11th INGED Conference, 'Stretching Boundaries', Ankara University, Turkey, September 2007.
  • 'Teaching textbooks critically'. Workshop at the 11th INGED Conference, 'Stretching Boundaries', Ankara University, Turkey, September 2007.