I have been teaching English as a foreign language since 2010, and I have been actively involved in TESOL research since 2014 when I started my graduate studies. TESOL’s Research Agenda has made it clear that TESOL practitioners are concerned both with instructional issues and societal problems yet experience challenges in engaging in research as a part of their everyday teaching practices.
As I learned more about action research, I felt like I had found the avenue to answers for the “burning questions” (Burns, 2010, p. 28) in my practice. However, when I started my first action research study, I saw that it produced a new problem—how could I position myself both as a researcher and a teacher? That was my Gordian Knot, an ancient legend coming from my land, Turkey. According to the legend, the Gordian Knot was an impossibly tangled knot, and the one to solve it would rule all knowledge. For me, the notion of practitioners conducting research was just as tangled. However, I encountered an unexpected ally that empowered me as both a practitioner and a scholar in the field. Continue reading