Mentoring Teachers to Research Their Classrooms: A Practical Handbook

Click on the cover image on the right to download this handbook, written by Richard Smith (University of Warwick, UK) and published by British Council India in May 2020. There is also a series of video-recorded interviews with mentors associated with this publication.

About the Book

Interest in teacher-research for purposes of professional development has been on the increase for several years, and the needs for effective mentoring in this area are widely recognised. However, there has been a lack of guidance and material support regarding how mentors can help teachers engage in research. This book bridges the gap by offering insights, practical ideas and activities based on direct experience within teacher-research mentoring projects and programmes internationally, in particular in Latin America and South Asia. Via down-to-earth advice and engaging activities, the book will help both practising and intending teacher-research mentors to develop their skills in this increasingly important area.

Feedback from practitioners

  • “Having read an advance copy and used it with mentees, I really do recommend it.” – Ana Garcia Stone (Spain)
  • “Excellent and highly practical introduction to mentoring teachers, empowering them to develop skills and confidence to research their own classrooms in  ELT/TESOL. Based on extensive work in the field and with good examples of inclusive practice that respects diversity in approach.” – Clare Lavery (UK)
  • “This is truly an exemplary guide based on [the author’s] experience and expertise for those of us who try mentoring for teacher research. It is a precious road map.” – Seden Eraldemir Tuyan (Turkey)
  • “An easy-to-follow guide without simplifying the message in any way; clarity and a step-by-step approach, exemplary methodology. Seems effortless, but one can imagine how much thinking and practical work went into it.” – Erzsebet Bekes (Ecuador)
  • “Detailed handbook written in a way which is inspirational for potential teacher-research mentors and mentors. A user-friendly resource for all mentors.” – Mariana Serra (Argentina)
  • “The Handbook  is certainly going to be of immense value to teacher research mentors and teacher researchers themselves. It can also be put to good use in teacher education programmes.” – Ravinarayan Chakrakodi (India)

Published Reviews

  • “[T]his free to download handbook could help alter your ELT career trajectory […] an invaluable resource.” – Wayne Trotman (Turkey), in a review in EL Gazette.
  • “We highly recommend this book to teachers, teacher educators, and administrators interested in supporting professional development through teacher research.” – Darío Banegas and Mariana Serra (Argentina), in a review in System.
  • [A] rich source of practical and thoughtful guidance for mentors of teacher-researchers. Smith’s insights are extensive and likely to benefit prospective, novice, and more experienced mentors alike. […] – Chris Banister (UK), in a review in ELT Journal
  • ‘a ground-breaking contribution to exploratory action research, which highlights the pivotal role mentors take’ – Rhian Webb, in a review in ELT Research.
  • ‘This handbook is the first of its kind in that its content is directly aimed at providing practical guidance to teacher-mentors [… . The author’s] commitment to sharing his international experiences of mentoring teachers to carry out classroom-based research is evident in this handbook; the content, the individual activities, the infographics, the graphic organisers, the QR hyperlinks to informative videos and the attractive photos all shout “I am passionate about this!” from every page’ – Rhian Webb, in a review in ELT Research.

About the Author

Professor Richard Smith has worked in teacher education for almost 25 years, the last 20 of them in the UK at the University of Warwick. He is the former coordinator of the IATEFL Research SIG and founder and chair of the International Festival of Teacher-research in ELT. He has published widely on topics ranging from teacher-research to the history of language learning and teaching, and has worked with teachers from many countries, both directly and as academic adviser to teacher-research mentoring schemes in Latin America and South Asia. For links to his other publications and further information see

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