What role does research play in my daily practice as an educator?

Education has been changing during the last two decades. When I was 25, I got my Ph.D. in education.


Image #2: Elementary classroom in Old Dental Building, The University of Iowa, 1919
IOWA DIGITAL LIBRARY / FLICKR

Image #3: Anglo American School of Moscow , Elementary Classroom, Elementary School, Anglo American School of Moscow 2017  
The Anglo American School of Moscow Facebook 

Back then, I had been working in a team of Russian educators on developing books for the teaching (a teacher book, a student book, a practice book) and assessing (assessment tasks and portfolio) to build and evaluate the communicative competence in World Language.

Image #1: English Assessment Tasks and Questions ,2002
Authors: V. Safonova, E. Grom, L. Kuzmina

The WL standards did not change tremendously but the approach of teaching and getting knowledge had been shifted from the only resource (books and teachers as being the only way to get information) to the multiple resources (learning through inquiring, asking questions, experimenting, finding answers by yourself, making mistakes, using internet and technology along the way).  

My First Step as a Researcher

I got the classical education, and I know how to write an article, research paper, or a speech. I have never learned how to write a blog. So, I searched!  

These are the main steps for beginner, I assume:

Step 1: Plan your blog post by choosing a topic, creating an outline, conducting research, and checking facts.

Step 2: Craft a headline that is both informative and will capture readers’ attention.

Step 3: Write your post, either writing a draft in a single session or gradually word on parts of it.

Step 4: Use images to enhance your post, improve its flow, add humor, and explain complex topics.

Step 5: Edit your blog post. Make sure to avoid repetition, read your post aloud to check its flow, have someone else read it and provide feedback, keep sentences and paragraphs short, don’t be a perfectionist, don’t be afraid to cut out text or adapt your writing last minute.

Do you have specific advice to add? Please help me!

My Second Step as a Researcher 

As a Russian language teacher, I have started to think about genres of participation in the Russian Network. When we are planning topics for our students, we try to imagine what language they might need for everyday life and what questions or problems they would like or need to discuss and solve. Lately, I found that some topics (in the restaurant/ cooking/ describing people and places) are not so interested in the students. Of course, it is the basics when you are learning a new language, but for more advanced students, it would be more beneficial to learn how to do research and how to interact (hanging out) in Network in Russian.

I am working in an English-speaking environment, and all my PLN is connected with it. I have learned a lot, but reading the resources for this week, I have started to think about searching or creating PLN for teachers who teach Russian as a foreign language. We are the WL teachers, and we are responsible for helping our students to process and understand messages online. So far I found FluentU and Learn Russian Online from Top 10 Russian Language Blogs

3 Replies to “What role does research play in my daily practice as an educator?”

  1. Hi Katya,
    The outline you shared on writing a blog is a great way to approach your writing systematically. I would add to that list a grammar check: I recently added Grammarly to my browser (after being brainwashed by their ads over the last couple of years every time I opened a Youtube video). It works great, and it even gives me hints on how the comment or post is sounding (this comment so far is “optimistic”).

    Hemingwayapp.com is another tool that helps with writing concise sentences. It highlights sentences that are too hard to read.

    Personally, I would also add to the list a ‘personal touch’. A story, something that gives the reader a hint about who you are as person (like you told us about your PhD at age 25).

    Best of luck on your (our) journey! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

  2. Hello Katya! Thanks for sharing your thinking about you and your students as researchers. I especially like how your research about blogging is shared in your post and then you apply it too! Writing a blog post is an art form and it takes time and practice. This quote from Kevin O’Keefe sums it up brilliantly “”Blog as you talk. It’s a conversation after all.”
    If you are interested then take a look at this very short article
    http://brianjohnspencer.blogspot.com/2013/06/writing-blog-is-form.html
    I can not wait to read your next one…

  3. I Katya, I was encouraged by your post, and intrigued by your FluentU find. I went over to their site to poke around, and now I’m giving their two week trial a shot! (just don’t pop-quiz me when we see each other next!). I also appreciated your comments on blogging. On the heels of those comments, I found myself poking around on my WordPress and finding some better ways to display my blog posts now that the pressure of finishing course one has started to dissipate. Bring on Course 2!

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