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India

1) English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad and the British Council India

Research collaboration centring on The Survey of ELT Research in India (funded by British Council India), led by Prof. Paul Gunashekar (EFL-U) and Dr Richard Smith (Applied Linguistics)

As part of its research and publications strand in English Partnerships in India, the British Council in India has facilitated construction of the Survey of ELT Research in India website, a searchable, freely available online database of research carried out in the field of ELT in India since 2005. The project is a collaboration between CAL, University of Warwick, and EFL University of India and involved consultations with 23 Indian institutions. As of June 2015 the database contains over 800 separate research entries from almost 30 institutions across India. The database is a dynamic one, allowing researchers and research institutes to submit their own research summaries.

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Dr Richard Smith at EFL-University during initial consultations relating to the Survey

Improving the quality and quantity of research in higher education and enhancing collaboration are major areas of strategic importance for the governments of India and the UK. The benefits of the Survey website are:

  • It is a dynamic repository of information on research conducted in ELT across India and also features research by foreign researchers working in Indian institutions.
  • The Survey will contribute greatly to peer debate and discussions on lacunae, needs and priorities for ELT research in India.
  • It will contribute to capacity-building in this area, nationally as well as internationally.
  • For UK and international researchers, academics and students in ELT, the database will enhance international collaborative opportunities with researchers and academics in India.
  • The Survey will serve as a reference point for international academics, teachers of English language, and potential research and postgraduate students who may be considering projects, attachments, or courses of study in an Indian institution.

Our work with the English and Foreign Languages University and the British Council has led to an increased awareness on the part of colleagues at Warwick and across HE in the UK generally about needs and opportunities in English language education in India. It has also, already, facilitated several further research collaborations, with more in the pipeline. -- Dr Richard Smith, Warwick University.

Professor Paul Gunashekar, Dr Richard Smith and Dr Lina Mukhopadhay gave this presentation about the database and this interview about the project at the TEC15 conference in February 2015.

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Prof. Paul Gunashekar (at the end on the left) with Richard Smith, Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti (British Council India - fourth from right) and members of the core research team of the Survey of ELT Research in India, at EFL-University



2) Faculty of Education, University of Delhi

Research project on 'Teachers and children as co-reseachers in Indian primary schools', funded by the British Council UK, led by Dr Annamaria Pinter (Applied Linguistics)

Staff from Applied Linguistics, Dr Annamaria Pinter and Dr Richard Smith, secured a British Council ELTRP award in collaboration with Professor Rama Mathew at Delhi University for a research project in India in 2014. This project draws on longstanding strengths and research interests in Applied Linguistics at Warwick in relation to English learning in large classes, the use of innovative and inclusive research methodologies and exploring ethical practice in large classes in difficult circumstances. Working with the British Council as a change agent, this project also fits with the Applied Linguistics impact agenda. Upwards of 500 children aged between 7 and 12 years have been invited to work together with their teachers (a group of 25 teachers from across India), participating in small-scale classroom investigations. The children are planning, conducting and evaluating classroom research projects with the help of their teachers, who act as facilitators and collaborators but also as insider-researchers themselves, documenting the children’s perceptions and their own experiences. The aim of our project is to gain a better understanding of children’s own views and priorities when it comes to learning English and, based on the shared experiences of learners and teachers, to work towards methodological solutions which could benefit English language classrooms both inside and beyond India.

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Dr Annamaria Pinter with Prof. Rama Mathew (Delhi University) -- at the end on the right -- and project teachers

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One of the project teachers presenting with pupils about their research, at a project workshop