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This Special Issue is dedicated to teachers’ exploratory practice research (Allwright, 2005; Allwright & Hanks, 2009). It showcases nine studies conducted by Tunisian EFL teachers in their own classrooms.
In the publishing world of TESOL and applied linguistics, despite a proliferation of journals and edited volumes in recent decades, there remains hardly any space for practitioner research. Book publishers and journal editors, driven in part by concerns about profit margins, tend to reject this type of research (unabashedly) citing, as pretexts, the lack of geographical reach or lack of name recognition among contributors. Against this backdrop, this Special Issue counters the commercial mindset and helps fill a longstanding void in TESOL and applied linguistics literature. It illustrates how exploratory practice research can be done and illuminates the potential of practitioner research and the largely untapped ingenuity of practitioners.
As an introduction to this Special Issue, we will, briefly, discuss the research-practice divide phenomenon and describe the genre of exploratory practice (EP). After, we present a synopsis of nine EP studies. We conclude by emphasizing the unique role of EP in advancing foreign language instruction and suggesting ways to substantiate it.
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