I have been teaching English as a foreign language for nearly 40 years, the last thirty-one years at universities in Japan. I have researched and published on a range of topics that include "the communicative approach," "content-based learning," "autonomy," "the lexical approach," "Computer-Aided Language Learning (CALL)," "learner corpora" and "global education in language learning." In some of these I have taught Masters courses.
In all of these areas I sense that there is a huge gap between the sophistication of ideas and quality of research on the part of academics and what we actually see in classroom praxis and the textbook publishing world.
Obviously teachers are busy, and it takes time for them to follow research, let alone figure out ways to apply it to their own situations. So time constraints are one reason for the gap.
Speaking in very general terms, I am wondering if the field of academic research in language teaching is itself responsible to a significant extent for creating and perpetuating this gap. Is the academic teaching/research world — the focus of research and the ways in which research is conducted — not serving our needs as well as it could? Indeed, am I right to feel that the notion of "paradigm shift" is relevant to this discussion? How can English language teaching research be more relevant to teachers?