Research in Action:
Western Education's Research Report

Volume 2, Issue 1 - Fall 2013


Western University's Faculty of Education would like to extend a warm welcome to two new researchers and faculty members, Dr. Steve Bird and Dr. Mi Song Kim.

Dr. Steve Bird

Photo Courtesy of A. Watson

In September, Western’s Faculty of Education opened its doors to many new international students, largely from China and Angola. These students were welcomed into the new English Language Center in the John G. Althouse building on campus. As director of the English Language Center, Dr. Steve Bird, also new to Western this summer, brings an abundance of knowledge from foreign countries to the faculty.

Dr. Bird has overseen the development of curriculum, materials, and syllabus for the new program. The English Language Center offers students the opportunity to study English with highly experienced teachers using state of the art materials, and also to live on the university campus among the undergraduate population, altogether providing rich immersion in the English language. Among the Centre’s innovations is the introduction of learning coaches, who work with the students outside of normal class hours to ensure that their free time maximizes language learning opportunities on the campus and in the city of London.

On the research side, Dr. Bird’s plan is to create a research program dedicated to all aspects of language learning, from classroom-based research through to brain science, in order to develop evidence-based innovations in language teaching. He is working with a number of research institutes and departments to develop a collaborative community of researchers who are interested in language acquisition and education.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Bird's Research.

Dr. Mi Song Kim

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Mi Song Kim

Welcome to Dr. Mi Song Kim, Assistant Professor in the area of Curriculum Studies and studies in Applied Linguistics. Dr. Kim brings knowledge and expertise with her research on ways to implement a technology-enhanced curriculum with an emphasis on teachers’ creativity and design thinking.

Dr. Kim’s research is based on her belief that teachers need to experience the learning environment from the students perspective, making them better comprehend where students may encounter difficulties in the curriculum. She states that teachers cannot be expected to understand students’ experiences by attending a two-hour workshop. In order to really understand why a student is struggling in their schooling, the teacher needs to try to view and experience the curriculum the way students do.

Dr. Kim uses Design Based Research (DBR) as her method of data collection and analysis. Unlike laboratory-controlled environments, DBR involves implementing changes into environments and gauging the reactions of the participants.

Dr. Kim completed her Masters degree in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies. After successfully graduating from her Masters degree, she went on to study at McGill University where she completed her PhD in Educational Psychology, with a major in Cognitive Science/Learning Sciences, and a minor in Gifted Education. Overall, when conducting research Dr. Kim remembers she is a learner first and a researcher second. Starting a new research project allows Dr. Kim to challenge herself to learn something new and see events from another perspective. Her love of learning came while she was still completing her degree. Finally, Dr. Kim wants others to use her research and further explore the outcomes she has discovered.

In this issue:

We hope you enjoy this edition of Research in Action!
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Volume 1, Issue 3 - Summer 2013
Volume 1, Issue 2 - Winter 2013
Volume 1, Issue 1 - Fall 2012