English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 28.2
Volume 28 No 2 10 English Australia Journal Design The study is divided into two phases, with the first, conducted in 2012, aimed at exploring the extent to which the existing Thailand program can be imported to the local context. The approach is largely qualitative in nature and follows Allwright’s (2003) principles of exploratory practice, aiming to improve the quality of life in the classroom through a process of developing mutual understandings. The second phase is more evaluative in nature, as adjustments informed by Phase One are made, implemented and evaluated in 2013. Research questions This paper reports findings from the initial, exploratory phase, addressing the questions: 1. To what extent can the ‘Thailand program’ fulfil the needs and address the problems of carrying out PD in a language college in Australia? 2. To what extent can the existing program improve the ‘quality of life’ in the language classroom? Participants All teachers were invited to participate after a briefing session at the college conducted by both researchers. Eleven teachers agreed to participate after reviewing the requirements of the research study and activities documented on the college intranet. Data collection and analysis The challenge of involving full-time (though hourly paid) teachers in additional work as well as involvement in this research activity constrained the amount of time that could be reasonably expected of them. However, within these constraints, data were obtained through semi-structured interviews with a follow-up survey at commencement (see Appendix A), academic manager’s field notes, teachers’ written reflections from activity task sheets, and a survey at completion (see Appendix B). Data were analysed following a data-driven approach, in which themes and ideas emerged through a careful and recursive read of the data (Goetze & LeCompte, 1984). The data were then allocated thematic categories, which informed the subsequent analysis. Triangulation (Nunan & Bailey, 2008) was achieved by comparing and cross- checking one instance of evidence with another, such as the attitudes expressed in the initial survey and participant reflections on the activities.
English Australia Journal 30.1
English Australia Journal 28.1