Published Research in Language Teaching

This section of my website contains the references to research articles published as a result of my work at the Open University.   There is a sequence of four articles on the way students used dictionaries in the learning stages of acquiring a second language and during their Certificate and Diploma examinations and an article on assessment issues and marking assignments electronically.

The dictionary articles contain guidelines and  advice as to how best to use dictionaries when studying  and  when taking an examination.  

The article on assessment contains a discussion of the issues that have to be addressed when results from course work are combined with results from examinations to produce a final composite grade.  

As a result of my research into the use made of dictionaries by learners I have written a short Training Course in Dictionary Skills and evaluated its effectiveness. [See article Dictionaries 4]

As a result of this work I have devised a motivating and analytical way of assessing learners' progress and a way of encouraging students to work on their own interests to acquire new language. The results of a pilot study, using OU students, of this Personalised Learning method are documented in the 2006 article below.  This method of motivating learners of the language has also been successfully used on fee paying courses I have set up and at Open University Summer Schools.

 Full title index to articles:

Dictionaries 1: Research into the use being made of bilingual dictionaries by language learners.  [This article temporarily in landscape format] [ALL: Language Learning Journal, December 1998, No. 18, 3 - 8]

Dictionaries 2: Dictionaries, Examinations and Stress [ALL: Language Learning Journal, July 2000, No.21, 52 - 65]

Dictionaries 3: Developing learner strategies in the use of dictionaries as a productive language learning tool.  [ALL: Language Learning Journal, December 2000, No.22, 58-62]

Dictionaries 4: Using Quality and Accuracy ratings to quantify the Value Added of a Dictionary Skills Training Course. [ALL: Language Learning Journal, December 2001, No.24, 62 - 69 ]

This research has been incorporated as an 'included study' in the EPPI Systematic Review of Strategy Training in Modern Languages ( the only UK study to be included) to be published in September 2004  and will contribute, in conjunction with the other 24 included studies, to inform government policy on cognitive strategy training.

Dictionary Skills: A short training course in bilingual dictionary skills In-house publication, Department of Languages, Open University 2000

Assessment Issues: Defusing the Time-Bomb [New Academic, Summer 1999, vol.8 No.2]

eMarking:  First steps towards electronic marking of language assignments, ALL: Language Learning Journal, Summer 2004  No. 29   

A second phase of my research has been on Personalised Learning, Assessment and Creative Writing

See: True independent learning - an andragogical approach: giving control to the learner over the choice of material and design of the study session. Association of Language Learners: Language Learning Journal, Summer 2006 No. 33, 40-46

Personalised Learning: Content, Assessment and Language Enrichment. Routledge: Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching (Multilingual Matters) Vol. 2: 1 2008

As a result of this work on methodology and independent learning  Manchester University offered a course to second year students based on my parameters for 2005 and 2006