Gironzetti, E., & Muñoz-Basols, J. (2022). Research engagement and research culture in Spanish Language Teaching (SLT): Empowering the profession. Applied Linguistics.
Teacher training programs and models recognize research engagement as a key competency of qualified professionals. However, despite current calls from scholars to bridge the divide between research and practice in second language teaching, little is known about how teaching professionals engage with existing research or carry out their own research. This study is the first to address this issue with regards to Spanish Language Teaching (SLT) professionals, aiming to understand if and how they engage with and in research, and identify what they would need to increase their engagement. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of online survey responses from 1,675 SLT professionals from 84 countries show that research engagement is dependent on the job description. Coding of free-text responses into eight themes (motivation, prestige, support, training, professionalization, resources, community, and research areas) reveals that the main barrier to greater research engagement is lack of support. Our results contribute to the understanding of the concepts of research engagement and research culture within the context of SLT and inform future initiatives to strengthen the research-practice nexus.