2017 Program

Research Theme

The Action Research in ELICOS Program research theme for 2017 is teaching, learning and assessing listening. 

The 2017 program is interested in identifying effective classroom interaction practices that enhance and integrate listening skills development and take into account the assessment of learner progress and/or achievement. Below are suggestions for possible areas that could lend themselves to action research. Teachers interested in joining the program can also suggest other subtopics within the overall theme of teaching, learning and assessing listening.

We particularly encourage Directors of Studies/academic managers to promote and select issues relevant to their particular teaching context that could become a focus of professional development for their college, based on the action research that participating teachers conduct. Previous action research projects have been shown to be most successfully carried out when they contribute to further curriculum and professional development at the institutional level.

Please note that participants will not finalise their research questions until after the initial program workshop.

Teaching listening


  • Analysing students’ needs, attitudes and experiences in listening
  • Addressing needs for listening in different contexts (e.g. academic, personal, professional)
  • Developing specific listening skills (e.g. recognising connected speech, understanding gist, listening for specific information etc.)
  • Promoting listening strategies (e.g. predicting, planning, contextualising)
  • Exploring the nature of students’ difficulties with listening
  • Introducing self-reflective tasks for listening
  • Exploring listening as it relates to other skills and modalities
  • Redeveloping or enhancing an existing listening course or other course which incorporates listening
  • Teaching top down and bottom up listening skills
  • Designing materials and resources for listening development
  • Using technology in teaching listening

Learning listening

  • Enhancing specific sub-skills of listening (e.g. prediction, global comprehension, listening in detail, inferring attitude etc.)
  • Developing a meta-cognitive awareness of strategies for listening as well as the individual sub-skills of listening
  • Identifying personal goals for monitoring listening progress
  • Using technology to enhance listening skills
  • Self-assessing of listening inside/outside the classroom 

Providing feedback and assessing listening

  • Providing feedback for listening development
  • Developing learning-oriented (formative) listening assessment
  • Introducing peer- and/or self-assessment in listening
  • Preparing students for listening tests/assessments and exploring ways to balance exam preparation with general listening development


Key Dates for the 2017 Action Research Program   
Call for Expressions of Interest 5 December 2016
Expressions of Interest deadline 1 February 2017
Workshop 1 in Sydney 9-10 March 2017
Workshop 2 in Sydney 4 August 2017
Workshop 3 in Adelaide at the English Australia Conference 20 September 2017 
Action Research Colloquium at the English Australia Conference     21 September 2017


Download a flyer for your staffroom about the 2017 Action Research Program.

English Australia is now calling for Expressions of Interest for the 2017 Program. Download this pro forma to submit an application to participate in the 2017 Program. 

English Australia strongly encourages all applicants to read all available information about the Action Research in ELICOS Program at the links below before submitting an Expression of Interest:

Action Research in ELICOS Program

Program Details

2016 Project Summaries

2017 Expression of Interest Form

To find out more, please contact the English Australia PD Manager, Sophie O'Keefe at sophieokeefe@englishaustralia.com.au or phone (02) 9264 4700.