The Teacher Research Programme was first launched in 2014 with the aim of supporting the development of teachers around the world by encouraging them to investigate aspects of their own teaching and to share their learnings.

The 2015 theme was ‘Improving ELT pedagogy in schools’ and applications were received from 25 countries around the world. Four teachers were selected to receive support and guidance in pursuing their projects, one of whom would go on to receive further support and who presented her research at the annual IATEFL Conference in Birmingham, UK in April 2016.

This teacher, Cindy James, investigated “improving children's writing skills through digital story prompts and feedback”.

Teacher Research Programme 2015: other finalists

"Developing speaking skills in first grade: The impact of puppets on young learners' spoken interactions and motivation"

Flor Toledo & Steven Hoit (Chile: Greenhouse School)

  • Flor and Stephen teach English to first grade students in a non-bilingual private school. These students are learning to read and write in their first language (Spanish) in addition to having English lessons 4 days a week (80 minutes per day). These lessons are informed by the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) as well as the requirements of Cambridge Young Learners' exams.
  • The teacher-researchers in this project had observed that few children in this group feel comfortable when speaking in front of others. This prompted them to find a way to help the students enjoy the process of developing their spoken interaction skills. Though they initially considered role-play, they noticed their students had a particular enthusiasm for puppets and chose to focus on these instead.
  • Download Flor and Steven's research report (pdf).

"Introducing the English Vocabulary Profile (EVP) to students: An attempt at enriching students' written language"

Chonticha Amkham (Netherlands: Farel College)

  • Chonticha is an English teacher and FCE trainer who noticed that most of her students – notwithstanding their high fluency and excellent comprehension of the English language – demonstrated a rudimentary use of vocabulary in productive skills, especially in writing.
  • Recent results of FCE pre-testing and FCE exams had indicated that Chonticha's students were at the lower end of level B2 in their writing ability; and according to the comments her institution had received from the Cambridge Pre-testing Centre, it was particularly the level of the students' vocabulary which needed to be improved.
  • Download Chonticha's research report (pdf).

"Engaging young learners of English in a genre-based digital storytelling project"

Handoyo Puji Widodo (Indonesia)

  • Working with 60 children from 10-12 years of age in two schools in East Java, Handoyo investigated the use of digital storytelling over five months, focusing both on pupils' and teachers' experiences. He acted both as research collaborator and co-teacher during the study.
  • The research focused on a newly emerging genre of storytelling: digital stories. Pupils were introduced to different types of story and technological tools they could use to present and share their own digital stories.
  • Download Handoyo's research report (pdf).


Cambridge University Press