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The TESOLgraphics project

What is "secondary research"?

Secondary research in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, which can be broadly categorised into two strands: traditional secondary research (e.g., narrative review) and systematic secondary research (also called research synthesis e.g., meta-analysis, qualitative research synthesis), has been traditionally used by researchers to survey research landscape and identify new research directions.


Nevertheless, there is untapped potential of secondary research in Applied Linguistics and TESOL to inform language teaching and learning practices. Chong (2020) argued that there are three affordances of secondary research which make it potentially more useful to bridge the research-practice chasm in TESOL: accessibility (some secondary research is open-access), time (one secondary research summarises findings from dozens of primary studies), and sustainability (secondary research promotes teacher research).


For more information about secondary research, read Chong and Plonsky (2023) or watch the presentation below. 


Why this project?

Chong, S. W. (2020). The role of research synthesis in facilitating research-pedagogy dialogue. ELT Journal, 74(4), 484-487. 

Watson, E., & Busch, B. (2021). The science of learning: 99 studies that every teacher needs to know (2nd ed.). Routledge.

To make secondary research in Applied Linguistics and TESOL more accessible to frontline teachers, especially during the current pandemic when innovative language teaching and learning practices are called for, this online repository aims to select a collection of secondary research on topics important to ESL/EFL teachers and produce visual summaries for them.

This idea of data visualisation to facilitate research-practice dialogue is inspired by the book “The Science of Learning: 99 Studies that Every Teacher Needs to Know” (2021) by Emma Watson and Bradley Busch.  In the book, Watson and Busch presented one-page infographics of 99 prominent studies in educational research together with classroom tips for teachers. Focusing on TESOL, this repository attempts to replicate this design but intends to make the secondary research summaries more accessible to ESL/EFL teachers internationally by hosting the resource online.


In this special issue published by the Modern Language Journal, L2 researchers share their projects designed to bridge the gap between research and practice. The introduction paper by Sato and Loewen is FREE of access.


The infographic summaries are based on the original publications and the research team's interpretation of the synthesised findings. The research team is not involved in the research process of the secondary research summarised in this website. There are different types of secondary research - some conducted more systematically than others. Therefore, language teachers need to use the findings according to their own needs and critically, for example, by referring to the methodology of the secondary research (if any) and the publications on which the syntheses are based.  



The infographics are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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