Workshops with Prof. Phil Benson

When:10 Nov 2016, 10am - 3pm
Venue:Central Lecture Block 3 (Map Ref E19)
Who:Professor Phil Benson (Macquarie University)

The School of Humanities and Languages invites you to workshops presented by Professor Phil Benson from Macquarie University. The event is sponsored by the Languages Learning Research Cluster. All welcome.

Workshop 1, 10:00am - 12:00pm, CLB 3

Ways of seeing: The individual and the social in language learning and teaching research

There is now a long-standing opposition between so-called ‘individual’ and ‘social’ approaches to a range of issues in language learning research. This opposition is often viewed as an ideological or epistemological matter. There is also some consensus that the opposition might be resolved through concepts such as the ‘social individual’ or ‘person-in-context’. In this paper I will take a different perspective by asking how changing trends in Applied Linguistics research methodologies may have influenced our thinking on these issues. The title of the paper alludes to art critic John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (London: Penguin, 1972) and its opening comment: ‘Seeing comes before words…. It is seeing that establishes our place in the surrounding world’. Like works of art and their reproductions, research methodologies involve particular ways of seeing the subjects of or participants in research that exclude others. In this workshop, we will reflect collectively on our preferences in research methodologies, how they are positioned on a continuum from the social to the individual. We will also think about how these preferences are connected to the ways in which we ‘see’ language learners and teachers through the lens of research methodology

Workshop 2, 1:00-3:00pm, CLB 3

Narrative approaches to language learning teaching and research

Narrative inquiry is increasingly acknowledged as an alternative approach to research on language learning and teaching research within the qualitative tradition. In recent years there have also been a number of innovations in data collection (including the use of mixed and longitudinal methods and the use of narrative frames and multimodal data) and data analysis (including a focus on the discourse of narrative and the use of narrative writing. In this workshop we will examine some basic principles and approaches to narrative research, and explore the current trend toward methodological diversity. We will also think about how narrative methods could be used in our own areas of research, both as a ‘standalone’ approach or to complement other qualitative and quantitative approaches.

About Phil Benson

Phil Benson is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University. He is well known for his work on learner autonomy in language learning and is the author of Teaching and Researching Autonomy in Language Learning (Pearson 2011). More recently he has worked on informal language learning beyond the classroom and co-authored Narrative Inquiry in Language Teaching and Learning Research (Routledge 2013). The list of his recent publications can be seen

Lunch and afternoon tea will be served at this event, please register by clicking the link below.

Register Here 

Professor Benson will be available for one on one consultation on Friday 11 November, please contact Chihiro Thomson if you wish to arrange a consultation. Places are limited. 

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