Seeing Action Research Process in a Practice

Parlindungan Pardede

Universitas Kristen Indonesia


AR has long been well-known as one of the best teacher professional development tool. It can be effectively used by teachers to observe, collect, and analyze information about their teachings so that they can minimize their weaknesses and increase their strengths. However, most educators, including EFL teachers, are reluctant to conduct AR because of, among others, its cyclical nature and recurring steps that often emerge uncertainty and disorientation. This article attempts to show that AR process is not as complicated as it seems by presenting the concepts establishing the general process and 14 specific steps of AR and shows how each step is implemented in an AR study.  

Keywordsaction research, four stages cycle, EFL

Full Text


Action Research (AR) has been known as an impressive toolfor teachers to advance their skills and knowledge for improving their students’ achievement through their teaching practice refinement, including in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learning and teaching. Mills (2011) stated that AR is a systematic procedure conducted by educators to collect information about, and subsequently improve, the ways their particular educational setting operates, their teaching, and their student learning. Using AR, teachers can collaboratively explore solutions to real problems they encounter in their classroom or attempt to develop classroom practices for improving their students’ achievement. Besides, AR offers an authentic and meaningful experience to the teachers-researchers because the object inquired in AR is the researchers’ classroom.

Various AR projects carried out in many EFL programs around the world (e.g. Huang, 2016; Mehmood, 2011; Rengifo, 2009)proved that AR can be effectively used to solve problems related to cognitive, motoric, and attitude domains. Cohen, et al (as cited in Pardede, 2016) claimed AR can be implemented in almost any setting where a problem involving people, tasks, and procedures needs to be solved, or where some changes should be made to get a more desirable outcome. Thus, in EFL contexts, AR can be a powerful tool for increasing students’ language skills, vocabulary, and grammar; promoting analytical, critical and creative thinking skills; and increasing the learners’ motivation. However, only limited numbers of EFL teachers have implemented AR. Rainey (2000) reported that among the 229 EFL teachers from 10 countries he surveyed, 75.5% have never heard of AR, and only 75.9% of those who have heard of AR practiced it. What is more, among the 41 respondents who had practiced AR, only 6 (14.6%) who did it regularly; 13 (30.9%) did it quite often; and the rests 54.5% seldom did it. Most respondents did not conduct AR due to their work overload or the absence of their skills to conduct AR.

These findings are in line with the results of the author’s informal observation indicating that the majority of EFL in-service and pre-service teachers’ are not sure how to conduct AR due to its complex process. Its reiterative nature makes AR seems complicated, especially to those who haven’t experienced doing it.  Some researchers (Cook, 1998; Goodnough, 2008; Whitehead, 2016) even called it messy due to its cyclical nature and recurring steps which may emerge a sense of uncertainty, frustration, and disorientation to the researcher.

Despite these, the AR process is not as complicated as it seems. Those who are conducting or will undertake AR can understand it well by perceiving its nature and seeing how it is implemented in real examples. This article was written to respond to some questions concerning the AR process in the EED Collegiate Forum when my article “Action Research in EFL Learning and Teaching” (2016) was presented and the questions akin to them addressed in some teachers’ seminars in which I shared ideas about action research. This article presents the concepts, establishing AR process and shows how each step of the process is taken in an AR study.


Action Research Process

In a general term, AR is a principled way of observing and reflecting upon one’s teaching to reduce its weaknesses and increase its strengths. Burns (2010) stated that AR is an inquiry in which a teacher investigates or explores his or her teaching context where he or she is one of the participants. Using AR as a tool, educators can improve their educational practice by identifying issues or problems they face, implementing actions (changes or interventions) to solve the problems, collecting, analyzing, and reflecting about the data to see the changes impact to the intended improvement.

Different from an experimental study which implements different treatments to two or more groups isolated from the regular class, AR is integrated into the regular learning and teaching process. It does not interfere with the class learning schedule because the actions or interventions of an AR are “added” into the regular learning process. The actions can be new learning or teaching strategy, media, activities, materials, innovation, or any other changes intended to bring about improvement to the learning and teaching process. While the actions are implemented, data are collected and analyzed to evaluate whether the changes caused by the implementation of the actions result in the intended improvement.

 Although AR is a systematic inquiry, since it is conducted in a spiral of cycles and the researcher should reflect on each stage of the process, its process does not follow a linear path. This is because action researchers face real-life issues that are seldom direct and linear (Whitehead, 2016). In reality, AR can be very recurring and even messy. For instance, after getting and reflecting the results of the first action, the researcher should use those reflection results in planning the next series of actions. The information obtained may lead the researcher to change strategies or media or even refine the question with a different focus. Another example for the “messiness” of AR is that while the researcher is setting the problem he has identified in a theoretical context, the literature review may lead him to the next step—planning actions. However, it may also lead to him to return to problem identification for redefining the issues he should address.

AR is conducted in the same cycle of a medical treatment, which starts by monitoring of symptoms, diagnosing the disease, prescribing the remedy, treating the patient, and monitoring and evaluation of results. If the medicine the patient has taken does not make him getting better, the doctor needs to repeat monitoring of symptoms and diagnosing the disease before prescribing a more appropriate medicine. In an AR, the teacher-researcher starts by identifying the problem, ascertaining its causes, planning a solution, implementing it, and observing and evaluating its effectiveness. However, if in one of the steps he gets information that necessitates him to modify the issue or change the actions, must do it and leave the previous version.

Many AR experts have independently designed their educational AR process without knowing of the other versions. Consequently, the models available in literature use varied terminologies. Pardede (2016) summed up some of the commonly practiced stages of AR in Table 1.

Despite the different terminology used in each version, all models listed in Table 1 have the same purpose i.e. to conduct a systematic study to solve the classroom problems or to present change and improvement in teaching and learning processby following a dynamic process of planning, acting, observing, and reflecting (See Figure 1). These four-wide stages are “in a cycle of research which may become a continuing, or iterative, spiral of cycles which recur until the action researcher has achieved a satisfactory outcome and feels it is time to stop” (Burns, 2010, p. 7). By going through that four-stage cyclical process, the teachers-researchers learn more about both the practice and action inquiry and employ them to put the intended improving change in the learning and teaching practice into reality.

The four-stage cyclical process above pinpoints the general process of AR. Winter and Munn-Giddings (2001)briefly described it as follow. AR commences with teachers (and possibly students) determining the inquiry focus, deciding the intended improvement, and devising a plan to observe and record their classroom activities (Plan). The classroom activities are then applied (Action) and relevant observations are recorded (Observe) which are then critically reflected upon individually and collaboratively (Reflect) leading to revising classroom activities based on the results or what has been learned (Revised Plan). If the intended improvement is not yet achieved, the revised plan is used to conduct the second cycle consisting of the same four stages. If at the end of the second cycle the intended improvement is also not yet achieved, the revised plan made based on the knowledge obtained in cycle two is used to conduct the third cycle, and so on (see Figure 2). Thus, an AR stops only when the intended improvement has been achieved.

As stated earlier, the four stage cycle (Plan, Do, Act, and Reflect) is just the general process of AR. In practice, each of these stages consists of various specific steps. Some of the steps are still divided into some more specific steps. Overall the specific steps include:

  1. Identifying a problem or research topic
  2. Verifying the problem or research topic
  3. Setting the problem or research topic in a theoretical context
  4. Planning for data collection
  5. Determining the types of data to collect and their sources
  6. Describing the action (intervention) and its procedure
  7. Deciding the method and instruments
  8. Determining when and how often the data will be collected
  9. Deciding who will collect the data
  10. Determining data analysis technique
  11. Setting the intended outcomes (success criteria)
  12. Estimating budget
  13. Conducting the intervention
  14. Collecting the data
  15. Organizing and analyzing the data
  16. Checking whether the interventions have resulted in the intended change or improvement
  17. Determining what factors are attributed to the improvement
  18. Identifying the problems arising during the action implementation.
  19. Deciding what to do to resolve the newly identified problem in the next cycle
  20. Creating a plan for the next cycle
  21. Drawing conclusions and recommendations
  22. Disseminating or writing the report (if the AR is finished)

By comparing the general four-stage process with the 14 specific steps, it is not too hard to see how the two fit each other (see Figure 3). Stage 1 (planning) consists of Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 because they are planning activities conducted before the project implementation. Stage 2 (acting) is composed of Steps 5 and 6 which take place when the plan is implemented and then the data is collected. Stage 3 (observe) is composed only by Step 7. Finally, Stage 4 (reflecting) is composed of Steps 8 through 14.

It should be noted that since the problem to solve or the aspect of learning to investigate in every AR belongs to the real practice of the teacher-researcher, each problem is unique. As the investigation of different problems requires different steps, it can be concluded that the universal order of AR steps does not exist. Therefore, the four-stage process with the 14 specific steps should be accepted as a general guideline. In AR implementation the teachers-researchers might find themselves skipping steps, reorganizing their order, or repeating some steps. Every teacher-researcher, therefore, should use the steps in Figure 3 as a general guide. The following sections describe each of the 14 steps as briefly, but succinctly as possible. To make the description realistic, it is put into the context of Pardede’s (2018) research article. This article reports a three-cycled AR aimed at enhancing the pronunciation of 21 EFL students majoring in English Education at Universitas Kristen Indonesia by using the explicit teaching approach. The participants attended the Integrated Skills IV were provided with special practices on pronunciation, including watching videos, listening to English expressions, drilling the elements of English pronunciation difficult to them, recording and transcribing their utterances, and comparing the transcriptions with those of native speakers’. Data were collected through tests and questionnaires. The results revealed that the explicit teaching approach enhanced the participants’ English pronunciation skills, as shown by the increase in their average scores in the four tests administered during the implementation of the actions. The data obtained from the survey showed that the approach was interesting, helpful in pronunciation development, and increased self-confidence in English speaking.  

1. Identifying a problem or research topic

In this first step, the teacher-researcher identifies an issue or a problem to study. It could be started by finding something intriguing, something that is worth to examine in depth. To find such an issue or problem, the teacher-researcher could observe his classroom and ask himself, “What am I curious about? What displeases me? Pardede (2018) identified his problem through informal observations conducted in his Integrated Skills IV class revealing that pronunciation is a major obstacle to communicate for many students, including their ignorance of sounds, intonation, pausing, linking and rhythm while speaking.

2. Verifying the problem or research topic

Once identified, the problem should be verified to ascertain that it is related to the teacher-researcher practice by considering the factors involving in the problem and why it happens. Pardede (2018) verified the students’ problem in pronunciation through his observation which revealed the students’ ignorance of certain English sounds, intonation, pausing, linking and rhythm while speaking. He also related it to a previous study showing the prevalent problem among the students in the same department in producing English fricatives. To verify the causes, he discussed with the students and found out that the English Phonology class they had passed did not affect their pronunciation skills. The class did cover the concepts of producing English sounds, but it did not provide a proper opportunity to practice producing the sounds. It was also indicated that pronunciation skills were neglected in previous Integrated Skills classes because it emphasized more on language functions and communicative competencies. In addition to the interview and examination of the available data related to the problem, the researcher also reviewed related literature and consulted experts and colleagues. The procedure the researcher went through in this step is similar to the one a medical doctor applies while diagnosing a disease suffered by a patient.

3 Determining the problem manageability

After being certain of the causes of the problem, the researcher can determine the manageability of the problem by considering what action should be conducted to solve the problem and what skills and resources are required to solve it. A research problem is manageable if it is not beyond the researcher’s capability in terms of research skills, time, and resources. Although this step is usually not included in AR reports, it is very important for it is useless to proceed to prepare an investigation but finally stops due to the researcher inability to finish the study.

4 Setting the problem or research topic in a theoretical context

This step is overlapping with step 2 (problem verification). However, setting the problem in a theoretical context academically covers a broader area. In this step, the researcher links his study topic to current theories to achieve two main goals: (1) to get a more comprehensive understanding of the topic, (2) to heighten the study’s credibility; (3) to provide a theoretical context for his findings.

To set the problem in a theoretical context could be done in one of the following three approaches. First, doing the review of the literature before collecting the data. This approach helps the researcher set his study in theoretical context formulate the research questions, develop ideas for collecting data, and refine a pedagogical method to be studied. The second approach is doing the literature review as he reports the data and draws conclusions. In this approach, the researcher just reviews the literature related to his concluding point. The third approach is by not doing a literature review at all. The majority of short AR projects do not include these elements. They just describe the what, why, how and the results of the project without relating them to any previous studies or theories.

Pardede (2018) took the first approach in his AR. He reviewed some current literature related to pronunciation instruction role in language teaching, approaches, and techniques of pronunciation teaching, and the nature of pronunciation explicit instruction approaches. He also reviewed some recent studies investigating pronunciation explicit teaching.

4. Planning for data collection.

In traditional research, this step is known as methodology. It concerns with: (a) the type and sources of data to be collected; (b) the action (intervention) to be implemented and its procedure; (c) the method and instruments to be employed to collect the data; (d) when and how often the data will be collected; (e) who will collect the data; (f) what analysis technique will be administered; (g) what are the success criteria of the intended outcomes) of the AR; and (h) budget estimation. As reported in his method section, Pardede (2018) planned to collect quantitative and quantitative data. The quantitative data would be obtained from the pre-test and post-tests and qualitative data will be gathered from two surveys.

Action or intervention refers to the specific strategies, activities, media, materials, innovation, or any changes implemented to achieve the intended improvement. To make the implementation systematic, it should be appropriately planned and be agreed upon by the whole groups (researchers and students) involved in the action research. The action or intervention plan can be presented as a part of the AR method section. It can also be included in the lesson plan and unit plan designed for the AR, and both of them are attached to the AR proposal. In Pardede’s (2018) AR report, the actions or intervention, i.e. the use of the explicit teaching approach, is described in the method section. The actions were integrated as “additional learning activity in Integrated Skills IV class”. They were implemented in the last 15-20 minutes of the class which was held twice a week in September 2015 to January 2016. In the action procedure section, the features of the interventions (sounds, consonant clusters, stress, pausing, linking, prominence/non-prominence, and intonation) were described, and the details of the features were described in the actions implementation report presented in the finding section.

In Pardede’s (2018) AR, the methods applied to collect the data were test and survey. The data was collected before conducting the intervention (pre-test and pre-action survey), at the end of each cycle (post-tests), and at the end of cycle 3 (post-action survey). The data was collected by the researcher (This is possible because the test and survey were not conducted during the intervention. If the data collection was conducted simultaneously with the intervention, it must have been done by one or more collaborator). In this AR, another type of data, i.e. the data concerning the process of the action in each session was also collected by a collaborating observer using an observation sheet. However, these data were not included to answer the research questions. It was merely used as feedback in the reflection stage for planning better implementation in the next sessions or stage. 

The descriptive statistical technique was employed to analyze the quantitative data obtained from the tests. The data obtained through the questionnaires were analyzed using the descriptive analysis. The success indicator in this AR was that at the end of the study the class achieved a mean score of 75 in the pronunciation test. The researcher did not include budget estimation in the report.

5. Conducting the intervention

As it was previously stated, interventions or actions refer to the specific strategies, activities, media, materials, innovation, or any changes implemented in the learning process to achieve the intended improvement. Pardede (2018) described his intervention in each of the three cycles in the finding section. In cycle 1 consisting of seven sessions, some pronunciation videos were exploited to improve the students’ ability to pronounce English sounds problematic to them. The second cycle consisting of seven sessions was carried out to improve the subjects’ skills to appropriately use eleven consonant clusters /-sps, -kst, -lpt, -mpts, -mpst, -ksts, spr-, spl-, -lpt, sr-,  hj-/ and stress by using the materials in Unit 7-20 of Hewings’ (2007) and their accompanying CD. Two units were practiced in each session. The intervention in Cycle 3 includes practices to correctly use pausing, linking (breaking speech into units), prominence/non-prominence and intonation employing units 26 and 32-41 of Hewings’ (2007) and their accompanying CD.

6. Collecting the data

As it was previously indicated, data in AR are collected for two purposes. First, to evaluate whether the changes caused by the implementation of the actions have resulted in the intended improvement or not. In other words, the data are used as the parameter of the intended improvement achievement. The second use of the data is to provide a basis for evaluating whether the planned actions were properly carried out or not along with the implementation of the interventions. In Pardede’s (2018) AR, as planned in the method section and presented and discussed in the result section, the data collected to evaluate whether the changes have resulted in the intended improvement or not were the pre-test and post-test results and the qualitative data obtained from the pre-action and post-action questionnaires. The pretest was administered two weeks before the action research began. The post-tests were conducted at the end of each cycle. The pre-action survey was administered after the pre-test, while the post-action survey was conducted as soon as the post-test of cycle 3 was finished.

Also, the activities in each session were observed by a colleague of the researcher, and the collected information of a session was reflected soon after the session ended to evaluate the appropriateness of the intervention implementation. The reflection on the observation results of the early session of cycle 1, for instance, suggested the researcher provide the students with the materials used in the project so that they could practice alone or in a group outside of the class. Realizing that, as a skill, pronunciation mastery depends on the frequency of practice, the researcher decided to distribute the whole materials of cycle 2 and 3 to every participant at the beginning of each cycle.

Since AR is a dynamic, ever-changing process, to change one or more aspect like the distribution of the materials in Pardede (2018) is allowed. Since AR is essentially an inquiry for refining learning and teaching practices through a cyclical process in which the teachers-researchers learn more about both the practice and the intervention and use them to make changes for improvement, it is principally common to change a particular teaching strategy, learning media, access to the learning content, or even the focus of the study as data is collected. It is very important, however, let the reader know what change is made and why it was made.

7. Organizing and analyzing the data

In AR, organizing and analyzing data are conducted along with the implementation of the actions. Pardede (2018), for instance, organized and analyzed the data of the pre-test and pre-action survey right away because he needed the analysis results to identify the problematic pronunciation elements to the students and to understand students’ perception of pronunciation. Based on these, he then adapted the intervention plan to suit the students’ condition and need for pronunciation improvement. The information obtained from the colleague’s observation was also immediately reflected so that any change, if necessary, could be made in the following intervention. Thus, although data analysis was presented at the end of a report, i.e. in the result section, it does not mean that the whole data was accumulated first to be analyzed at the end stage of the research. Data analysis and reflection took place during the AR process. It was placed at the end of a research report just because the structure of the report requires it to be placed there.

As it was planned and as the finding section reports, Pardede (2018) organized and analyzed the quantitative data obtained from the tests using descriptive statistical operation in the form of table and graphs. While the data obtained through the questionnaires were analyzed using the descriptive analysis.

8. Checking whether the interventions have resulted in the intended change or improvement

Checking whether the interventions have resulted the intended change or improvement is one of the steps of reflection, which Schon (as cited in Leitch & Day, 2000) defined as “teachers’ thoughtful consideration and retrospective analysis of their performance in order to gain knowledge from experience.” Mertler (2009) defined it as “the act of critically exploring what you are doing, why you decided to do it, and what its effect has been” (p. 12). Thus, in AR, reflection refers to the critical examination teachers-researchers do to the aspect of their teaching practices studied in the AR to improve or develop them so that they are empowered to make informed decisions about what to modify and what not to change. Pardede (2018) did this by comparing the pre-test results to the post-test results of cycle 1 at the end of cycle 1; comparing the results of post-test1 to those of cycle 2 when cycle 2 ended, and so on. He also compared the results of the pre-action survey to those of the post – action survey.

9. Determining what factors are attributed to the improvement

Based on the comparison of the pre-test mean (54.4) to the cycle 1 post-test mean (62.8), Pardede (2018) realized that the interventions in cycle 1, i.e. the practices of problematic English sounds employing videos managed to improve the participant’s pronunciation. However, the improvement had not yet met the success criteria, i.e. the mean score of 75.0. That’s why more interventions were needed, and cycle 2 was planned. The explicit teaching practices of the selected consonant cluster in cycle 2 and practices of pausing, linking, prominence/non-prominence and intonation in cycle 3 also contributed to the students’ pronunciation improvement. At the end of cycle 3, the post-test mean (77.3) has exceeded the success criteria (75.0). Therefore, the AR was stopped.

His reflection of the data obtained from the surveys revealed that using interesting media and activities helped keep the students’ interest and motivation to practice. To young the participants, the combined use of videos or audios (in MP3 files), phonetics transcription and texts was interesting. The videos and MP3 audio files were interesting to them because these media provide them with authentic English pronunciation elements and the ways they are produced. The participants favored the phonetic transcription because they had been familiar with it (it had been previously studied in the Phonology class).

10. Identifying the problems arising during the action implementation.

Based on his reflection, Pardede (2018) did not detect any problems in the AR. This might be due to the fact that the participants were highly motivated to participate as a result of their willingness to improve their pronunciation and the use of interesting media in the implementation of the interventions.

The only mentioned problem in this AR concerns with the media and materials distribution. To let the participants focused on practicing the particular elements in each session, during the implementation of cycle 1 the researcher just distribute the material and media right before the session began. However, when the observation results of the early session of cycle 1 were reflected, the researcher was suggested to provide the students with the whole materials used in the project so that they could practice them alone or in a group outside of the class. Considering that pronunciation is a skill whose mastery largely depends on regular practices, the researcher changed his mind and distributed the whole media and materials allotted for a cycle in its first session. Distributing the whole materials used in one cycle at the beginning of the cycle was positive. It encouraged many of the participants to practice outside of the classroom. Those who had not done the same were motivated to do so during the implementation of cycle 2 and 3.

11. Deciding what to do to resolve the newly identified problem in the next cycle

As it was described in step 10 above, the only mentioned problem in this AR is the media and materials distribution. Based on the reflection of data obtained from the observation in cycle 1, the researcher was suggested to provide the students with the whole materials used in the project so that they could practice them alone or in a group outside of the class. Realizing the importance of regular and intensive practices for developing pronunciation, the researcher resolved this problem by distributing the whole media and materials allotted for a cycle in its first session. In every session of cycle 2 and 3, the whole participants were motivated to practice regularly alone or in a group outside of the class.

11. Creating a plan of action for the next cycle.

As described in step 4 above, action or intervention refers to the specific strategies, activities, media, materials, innovation, or any changes implemented to achieve the intended improvement. To make the action implementation systematic, it should be appropriately planned and be agreed upon by the whole groups (researchers and students) involved in the action research. In practice, this step is carried out before a cycle implementation. Some action researchers put the plan into lesson plans. Some others just include it in the AR method section.  

A good action or intervention plan should be based on the real condition the needs of the learning and teaching environment to which the interventions will be implemented. That’s why the problem to be resolved should be identified and verified particularly in the researcher practice. After that, the problem and the actions to be implemented to resolve it should be set into context by reviewing literature. Based on these, the action plan for the first cycle is ready to create.

The creation of an action or intervention plan for the second cycle, however, needs to consider the information collected during the first cycle, in addition to the information obtained through the observation, interview, and literature review conducted before the first cycle. In Pardede’s (2018) study, the action plan of cycle 2 was improved by adding the distribution of the whole media and materials at the beginning of the cycle. As previously explained, the decision to distribute the whole materials and media since the beginning of the cycle was based on the reflection of the information obtained through the observation of actions implementation in cycle 1. 

12. Drawing Conclusions

A complete conclusions drawn in a research generally covers five points: summary of the main points made in the introduction and literature review sections; (2) A brief review of the method section; (3) a summary the findings; (4) a brief discussion of the broader implications of those findings; (5) a short description of the limitations of the study (due to its scope or its weaknesses); and (6) suggestions offered for related future studies.

Pardede (2018) explicitly presented only the third, fourth, fifth and sixth points at the section conclusion and suggestion of his article. Point 1 and 2 are mentioned implicitly. He wrote that the results of AR revealed that the explicit pronunciation instruction managed to improve the participants’ pronunciation skills and changed the negative attitudes toward pronunciation the participants had before the actions implementations to a more positive one. Concerning the limitation of the study, he stated that since it was an AR involving a class of pre-service EFL teachers, the details could not be generalized to other groups of students. Finally, future studies were recommended to modify some aspects of the materials, activities, media, and strategies used in this study to suit the conditions of the target groups.

13. Writing the report (if the AR is finished)

Up to several years ago, the results of AR were just shared in peers forums, faculty meetings, and teacher seminars and conferences. However, more and more teacher researchers have been publishing their AR reports in journals or write them to fulfill one of the requirements in graduate programs. Regardless of which venue the reports will be shared, the researcher needs to follow the format the journals or conference committee have determined.


Despite its effectiveness as a tool teachers can use for observing and collecting information about their teaching to analyze its weaknesses and increase its strengths, the majority EFL in-service and pre-service teachers feel reluctant to conduct AR due to their uncertainty of the process. AR’s cyclical nature and recurring steps may indeed emerge uncertainty and disorientation to a beginner. However, the process is not as complicated as it seems. Any teacher can understand it well through a learning-by-doing process. The best way to master the AR process is by studying the general and specific process concepts, looking at how they are implemented in a real project, and get involved in an AR project. The general four-stage and the specific process of AR should be used merely as a general guideline. Although two ARs conducted in different classrooms are analyzing a similar problem, since each classroom has its unique characteristic, certain differences can emerge in the process of these projects. Therefore, the analysis of the process of AR example in this article should be accepted as an illustration of how the AR steps are conducted. The analysis can hopefully provide teachers who are going to conduct their AR with a better understanding of AR process. 


Burns, A. (2010). Doing action research in English language teaching: A guide for practitioners. New York: Routledge.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. (6th Ed.). Oxon: Routledge.

Cook, T. (1998). The importance of mess in action research, Educational Action Research, 6:1, 93-109.

Goodnough, K. (2008). Dealing with the messiness and uncertainty in practitioner research: The nature of participatory action research, Canadian Journal of Education, 31:2, 431-457.

Hewings, M. (2007).  English pronunciation in use. Advanced. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Leitch, R. and Day, c. (2000). Action research and reflective practice: towards a holistic view, Educational Action Research, 8(1), pp. 179-193, DOI: 10.1080/09650790000200108

Mehmood, T. (2011). Improvement in the EFL Classroom by Teacher-Student Interaction: An Action Research Report. SSRN. Retrieved June 2014 from

Mertler, C.A. (2009). Action research. Teachers as researchers in the classroom. California: Sage Publications, Inc.

Mills, G. E. (2011). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher (with MyEducationLab). (4th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/ Allyn & Bacon

Pardede, P. (2018). Improving EFL Students’ English Pronunciation by Using the Explicit Teaching Approach. Journal of English Teaching, 4 (3), 143-155. DOI:

Pardede, P. (2016). Action Research in EFL Learning and Teaching. Proceeding of UKI’s English Education Department Collegiate Forum 2015-2018, pp. 138-148

Rainey, I. (2000). Action research and the English as a foreign language practitioner: Time to take stoke. Educational Action research, 8(1), 65-91.

Rengifo, A.R. (2009). Improving Pronunciation through the Use of Karaoke in an Adult English Class. Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, No. 11. Retrieved July 2014 from arttext&pid=S1657-07902009000100007

Whitehead, J (2016) Embracing the ‘messiness’ of action research in enhancing your educational influences in learning with the Network Educational Action Research Ireland (NEARI). Notes for a presentation by Jack Whitehead to a meeting of NEARI in Dublin on the 16th January 2016. /jack/jacknearidublin120116.pdf

Winter, R. & Munn-Giddings, C. (2001). A handbook for action research in health and social care. Routledge: London and New York.

Presented in UKI English Education Department Collegiate Forum held on Friday, December 7, 2018; Published in In: PROCEEDING English Education Department Collegiate Forum (EED CF) 2015-2018. UKI Press, Indonesia, Jakarta, pp. 136-146. ISBN 978 623 7256 25 0

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.