Summaries of research

Teachers and researchers form a productive partnership to improve language teaching and learning.  Of course, teachers know best what is going on in their own classrooms and they have the expert practical knowledge that can - and should - inform research. On the other hand, researchers have looked into the background and theory behind the practice, and their conclusions can help inform teacher practice.

Here we post one-page, reader-friendly summaries of published research articles and book chapters to make research findings more accessible to everyone interested in primary-school language teaching. They are organised by theme, but you can also browse alphabetically by title or first author.

However, many articles and book chapters cover more than one of our Key Themes, or fall under themes that do not yet have their own RiPL page. Summaries of those research articles appear below. Much of this research was carried out by practising teachers.

Teachers informing research and research informing practice


How children view their language learning just before and after moving to secondary school
Chambers, G. N. (2016)
PDF Document

ages 10 to 12

children's attitudes


ages 5 to 7
gesture & storytelling
retention & recall

Using gesture to help young children learn and remember vocabulary
Porter, A. (2016)
PDF download

Using storytelling to teach vocabulary in language lessons
Kirsch, C. (2016)
PDF download

ages 10 to 11

retention & recall

If our summaries inspire you and you have an idea for a project that you would like investigated or evaluated, contact us, or write to the email address of one of the theme leaders; the addresses appear at the bottom of the theme pages - they will be more than happy to help!

And if you are already implementing a novel idea in the classroom - maybe one that you've thought up yourself, or with teacher colleagues - and are wondering if there is research to back it, or whether there is a researcher also keen on the idea who might be prepared to scientifically evaluate your work for you, then this is the page for you, too. Have an idea? - please let us know!

Keen to read about some of the research presented in recent conferences?