Collaborating equals: Engaging faculties through teaching-led research

  • Lalitha Velautham University of Adelaide
  • Michelle Yvette Picard The University of Adelaide
Keywords: research communication, teaching/ research synergy/ engaging faculties


Academic Language and Learning (ALL) academics often occupy an uncertain position within the academy. On the one hand, their expertise is actively sought after when students are in crises, on the other hand, they are sometimes falsely perceived as remedial skills teachers divorced from actual academic endeavour and content. In this paper we argue that a potential meeting point of ALL and other academics lies in recognition of each other’s roles as researchers as well as teachers. We argue that ALL academics engage in research on teaching issues (context), rather than disseminating the content of research to their learners. While the teaching-research relationship for many academics might move from theory to research to teaching, the ALL research route potentially moves from teaching to theory to research to praxis. This “action research” route has been documented as a legitimate strategy of enquiry in diverse fields and provides a common research focus for ALL and other academics. In this paper, we give three practical examples of how teaching issues in a bridging program for postgraduate international students informed the development of theory which in turn led to research that informed pedagogy. We describe how these “action research spirals” resulted in an active engagement of ALL academics with Higher Degrees by Research supervisors in various faculties.

Author Biographies

Lalitha Velautham, University of Adelaide
Lecturer Researcher Education and Development Adelaide Graduate Centre
Michelle Yvette Picard, The University of Adelaide
Director, Researcher Education Researcher Education and Development Adelaide Graduate Centre
How to Cite
VelauthamL., & PicardM. Y. (2009). Collaborating equals: Engaging faculties through teaching-led research. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 3(2), A130-A141. Retrieved from