This paper critically studies and explores the objectives and methods of action research. It mainly aims to present action research as one of the effective approaches to investigate and improve teaching of English as second language (ESL) in general and in the Pakistani higher education in specific. For this study, firstly, the works of advocates of action research are reviewed closely and the relevant ideas and the texts have been studied critically with specific focus on why traditional research has not been so effective in the fields of education and social sciences and, how the ineffectiveness of traditional research has given rise to action research. Secondly, the empirical research studies have been reviewed in order to justify the argument that why and how action research is useful in the context of Pakistan or other developing countries. Overall, findings of the empirical action research projects and the authorís argument suggests that the greater use action research by of ESL teachers in Pakistan is likely to help them to develop their professionalism. Additionally, action research offers the researcher and teacher to be the same person, and permits teacher-researchers to investigate their own practice through reflection. Thus, this paper is an attempt to promote action research as an insider research model through which the university teachers, who want to bring change in their ESL teaching methods, may improve their own teaching practices.
Action research, ESL, traditional research, education, teacher-researcher
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