The blood-brain barrier in physiology is a lot like the “barrier” between theory and practice. In language teaching, research and teaching oftentimes are not linked. This book (note the title) sits right at the barrier and attempts to straddle it. But we should all note that one (theory) cannot exist without the other (practice). Another reason I have chosen this book.
As I move into the second reading (next post), I want to acknowledge one of the most basic questions in research. TBLT has been wrestling with this since its inception, and rightly so. It is wonderful to see the contortions of both research design and teaching practice. There is a need to maintain that barrier in some places, to maintain a fealty to design, or to the practicalities of teaching. All the while, attempting to bring the two together, to increase the permeability of the transfer. Not just from research to practice, but to recognize that it goes both ways, something both good teachers and good researchers recognize.
I am delighted to read about Action Research and Exploratory Practice as a way to increase permeability by shortening the feedback cycle. These are just two examples of how design and practice work together.
Today Reading (1:29 Ch. 12) and Blogging (0:2)
Background: I’m preparing an 8-week course about TBLT for iTDi as part of their Great Minds series (not mine, the ones in the book). I am blogging about the process of preparation mostly for the fun of it. I was inspired by Cory Doctorow, an SF writer that does this with all his books. But it also helps me focus. This is even more exciting than teaching a grad school course. I’m looking forward to it and hope this might spark an interest.