Richard Ingold, Navitas
Bridging the Divide between Academic Research and Classroom Practice

Bridging the divide between academic research and classroom practice is one the biggest challenges for those endeavouring to provide leadership in ELT. While researchers have for many years been elucidating the social and linguistic ‘rules of the game’ which lead to successful educational outcomes (Bernstein, 2000; Hasan, 2009, for example), translating these findings into effective teaching practice has often appeared to be an overwhelming task. It is by no means impossible, however. This interactive session will demonstrate how the insights of Legitimation Code Theory (Maton, 2014) and Systemic Functional Linguistics (Martin, 2001) have informed an EAP curriculum development project. It will focus on the concept of ‘semantic waves’ – salient changes in the context dependence, and complexity of language and ideas as spoken and written texts unfold (Maton, 2013) – which have been shown to be essential in both successful student assignments and effective pedagogy (Maton, Hood & Shay, 2016). The session will present some of the ways in which the new EAP course – currently being rolled out across Australia – demonstrates leadership through cutting edge, research-informed course design. It will also show how an understanding of semantic waves can improve students’ chances of academic success and show how engagement with academic research can empower teachers as they create classroom materials and take a leading role in their own professional development.

Richard Ingold teaches Academic English and develops academic courses at Navitas Sydney. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Sydney and was the winner of the M.A.K. Halliday medal for his master’s work. Richard writes about language, linguistics and teaching, and has published articles on religious discourse, the Australian accent and the pedagogy of collaborative writing. He’s also the editor of reviews for English Australia Journal.