Data: We’re standing in it!

The heavy teaching loads of Language and Academic Skills (LAS) practitioners are often felt to constrain us in research and publishing. Yet, it is our teaching that generates questions worth researching, and our consultations with students that provide much of the material we need to answer these. We have access to the assignments, instructions, and curriculum materials distributed by lecturers; to the students’ written texts; and to the comments tutors write on these. We are well placed to examine these and to ask the students questions about how they interpret particular writing tasks, and how they make particular decisions about purpose, content, use of sources, mechanics of language, discursive voice, and so forth. What we lack, often, is the time to take advantage of this position, and to pursue our questions in ways that academic colleagues recognise as research. This paper looks at the potential and the problems for LAS research, and argues that LAS practitioners should have confidence in our ability to produce publishable work. Our universities need to realize our potential to contribute to their research quantum, and hence must recognize the importance of LAS advisers controlling the way our work is structured, and allowing us to build time for recording and reflecting into the teaching day.

Publication Source Information
Kate Chanock
Iris Vardi
Year of publication: 
Place of publication; Publisher: 
Perth; Murdoch University
Title of Journal, Edited book or Conference and Page numbers: 
The Reflective Practitioner. Proceedings of the 14th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 3-4 February 2005
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