The University of Reading’s Institute of Education has a vibrant and inclusive research community and we regularly invite members of our community (both staff and doctoral students) to share their research as part of our lunchtime research seminar series. On Thursday 24 October 2019, we were pleased to hear research updates from some of our doctoral students.

Barbara King (a fifth-year part-time PhD student) talked about her exploratory three-case study into spoken interaction in second language classrooms. Two stimuli for this study are the rapid increase globally in teaching through another language (CLIL [Content Language Integrated Learning] and EMI [English Medium Instruction]), and the search for motivational approaches for modern language teaching in UK schools. Her framework for analysis is based on Long’s Interaction Hypothesis. Through analysis of lesson transcripts, and interviews with teachers and student monologues, she aims to identify the contexts and teacher choices that provide opportunities for effective interaction. Findings indicate that choice of activity influences type of interaction and that students can be taught strategies for spontaneous speech and expression of ideas with limited language. Barbara’s supervisors are Prof. Suzanne Graham and Dr. Anna Tsakalaki.

Latife Eda Kuzuca (a second-year full-time PhD student) shared her on-going research on teachers’ understanding of historical thinking, what it is and how they try to promote it. The purpose of the research is to work with history teachers from the south of England to be able to understand and analyse what might affect their perspectives and approaches towards teaching historical thinking. Her primary research questions are: what do history teachers understand by historical thinking?; what types of knowledge inform teachers’ approaches to teaching historical thinking?; and what influences the decisions teachers make in terms of teaching historical thinking? To address these questions, Eda will conduct exploratory case studies using mind maps and semi-structured interviews. Additionally, she will be analysing the scheme of works of participating teachers. She believes that by answering her research questions, it will help to make an important contribution to her research field of history education. Eda’s supervisors are Prof. Rebecca Harris and Prof. Elizabeth McCrum.

The event was very well attended by both research staff and doctoral students at the Institute. Details of the Institute’s future lunchtime research seminars can be found here.