South Eastern Europe
IATEFL Research SIG is supporting the SEETA Small-Scale Research Project (details below). SEETA (http://www.seeta.eu) stands for 'South Eastern Europe Teachers Associations'. SEETA is an umbrella organisation for nine different TAs -- in Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Slovenia and Israel.
SEETA Small-Scale Research Project Description
The project involves teachers engaging in small-scale rather than large-scale research. In other words, research aims will be very specific, will relate to designated groups of learners or teaching colleagues and will be completed within weeks or months rather than years. Many of the research projects could also be considered as action research if they are focused on particular classroom-related problems and potential solutions.
The project is planned in two stages as follows:
1. Collaborative Stage: This involves EFL teachers in the state and private sector in schools in Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Slovenia and Israel. The aim is to choose a common small-scale research focus to be carried out by individuals in collaboration with counterparts in other institutions. The results will be published by SEETA in 2015 and will provide inspiration and ideas for Stage 2.
2. Individual Stage: EFL teachers will choose and develop their own research projects to be carried out in their institutions with the support of SEETA.
At both stages, we aim to find similarities and differences in EFL classes in the region. We also aim to find out our students’ opinion of current classroom approaches, methods, activities and practices.
A list of possible topic areas was suggested by EFL teachers in a preliminary survey .
The chosen topic area for Stage 1 is: The changing uses of technology in the EFL classroom
This project is not just about the variety of uses of technology in different countries and in different teaching contexts, but it also focuses on ways in which changes in technology affect classroom practice – and the ways in which we respond as teachers to technological innovation.
Project Procedures for Stage 1
1. Stage 1 was launched in September 2014 at a TESOL M-Th N.Greece event and on SEETA in the form of a webinar on 21.10.14
2. A series of 6 training webinars decide the design of data collection instruments and the procedures to be followed. Each webinar leads on to a series of practical tasks, including the piloting of data collection instruments.
3. Data analysis takes place in conjunction with the final webinar in 2015.
4. Stage 1 ends in May 2015. The principal findings of the collaborative research project are presented at a plenary presentation at the BETA Bulgaria International conference June 2015 and published on-line .
Training Webinars on SEETA
1: Designing a Research Project – Why? What? Where? When? How?
2: Collecting Data through Interviews and Questionnaires Part 1
3: Collecting Data through Interviews and Questionnaires Part 2
4: Classroom Observation
5: Materials Evaluation
6: Analysing and Reporting Research Data
- Webinars are accompanied by on-line materials that can be downloaded from the SEETA website and printed.
- You can watch the recorded training webinars here
- All the training webinars will run again 15-22 June 2015 .
Project Procedures for Stage 2
In Stage 2 of the project (2015-16) teachers will carry out research within their institutions on a topic of their choice. As the EFL/ESOL classroom is a complex environment and as the focus of research will be small-scale rather than large-scale, it is envisaged that much of the data collected by teachers will be qualitative rather than quantitative. There will be no requirement to conduct any form of statistical analysis or demonstrate that the data is representative of a wider population of teachers and learners. The validity of the data will be internal rather than external. In other words, teachers will collect data from a small group because of the inherent interest of what these people say and do.
Teachers then collect their data and publish their analysis on the SEETA website for open discussion and reference. There will be a support discussion forum on the SEETA website from the outset of the project so that teachers can share their concerns and so that they don’t feel isolated. This discussion forum will run until completion of the project in 2016.
Dissemination of Findings
Collections of research papers will be published on-line and in hard copy. At the same time, conference presentations on specific projects will also take place.
The SEETA website address for the project
- Open an account on SEETA and follow the project link on the home page
Project approved by the Greek Ministry of Education, Culture and Religious Affairs – approval number : 39984/Δ2, 10.03.2015
Project supported by the IATEFL Research SIG and by the IRIS database
Anna Parisi, SEETA Community Co-ordinator
Desmond Thomas, University of Essex, UK.
Zarina Markova, South-West University, Bulgaria