The Research–Practice Dialogue in Second Language Learning and Teaching: Past, Present, and Future

Masatoshi Sato, Shawn Loewen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores ways in which a dialogue between researchers and practitioners can be bidirectional, effective, and beneficial for the two professional communities. We suggest concrete directions for second language (L2) research: (a) a collaborative mindset, (b) the nature of research, (c) venues for dialogue, and (d) institutional support. First, we argue that we, researchers and teachers alike, can develop a collaborative mindset and understand that the dialogue is established by equal contributions and benefits. Second, we discuss that if a researcher's intention is to impact practice, they need to consider the practice relevance of their studies. We propose practice-based research, in which practitioners and researchers work together for development and implementation of research. Third, we explore venues where reciprocal contributions may be explored, including teacher-training programs, professional development workshops, and university–school collaborations. Finally, we share our hopes that institutions (universities and schools) will provide support for researchers and practitioners that would help create and facilitate reciprocal relationships, such as time release and promotive incentives. Overall, we argue that researchers shoulder the lion's share of responsibility in paving a path for a productive research–practice dialogue in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-527
Number of pages19
JournalModern Language Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • collaborative research partnerships
  • design-based research
  • evidence-based policy
  • evidence-based practices
  • knowledge mobilization
  • practice-based research
  • research–practice partnership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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