Kevin is currently the Director of the Centre for Language and Linguistics. He has been working at Canterbury Christ Church University since 2002 and before that taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Spain and Russia. During his time at Christ Church, he has been involved in several international projects and short course programmes training and developing EFL teachers, as well as contributing to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including the MA TESOL and BA English Language. Alongside managing the Centre, his research is based around English language teacher education and English language teaching methodology, and he currently supervises ten doctoral students.
Research and knowledge exchange
Kevin’s research interests are in English language teacher education, English language teaching methodology and the incorporation of technology into English language classes.
Working with Carol Wild, he has been publishing research into the integration of technology into English language classes in Malaysian secondary schools since 2015. This has focused on the role of communities of practice and of the context itself as key factors affecting the development of technology use in particular settings.
Over a number of years, he has also been a regular visitor to southern India as part of an ongoing partnership with the University of Kerala, with his doctorate was based around English language teaching methodology in Kerala. Most recently, in November 2019, he was invited as a plenary speaker at the ‘International Conference on Teaching English in the Post Method Era: Challenges, Possibilities and Solutions’ at the University of Kerala.
He supervises PhD students on topics relating to English language teacher education and English language teaching methodology. Current final year PhD students are carrying out studies into teacher collaboration, teacher reflection among language teachers, silence in the language classroom, the connection between technology use in language classes and individual learner differences, and language learning beyond the classroom.
In terms of knowledge exchange, he led a materials and teacher development project in collaboration with the British Council Bangladesh between 2013 and 2015, and led a project working with Migrant Help in Dover, aimed at developing English language provision to migrants, also between 2013 and 2015.
Teaching and subject expertise
Kevin has taught on the MA TESOL programme including the Language Systems and Appropriate Pedagogy, Materials and Task Design and Evaluation, and Teaching Practice/Practical Project modules, as well as supervising MA dissertations. He has also worked on and been Programme Director for both the BA English Language programme and the CELTA programme. Between 2009 and 2014, he was involved with the B.Ed. TESL programme for Malaysian secondary school teachers. He also taught on and a number of intensive teacher development programmes for overseas teachers of English.
February 2020 - Invited Speaker, 2nd Symposium on Technology Enhanced Language Learning, UKM, Selangor, Malaysia: The balance between pedagogical and technological knowledge in ELT
Nov 2019 – Plenary Speaker, International Conference on Teaching English in the Post Method Era: Challenges, Possibilities and Solutions, University of Kerala, India: (Are we really in) the post method era? (plenary speaker)
July 2019 – Invited Speaker, 1st Symposium on Technology Enhanced Language Learning, UKM, Selangor, Malaysia: Developing technology use in English language teaching
June 2018 – Cutting Edges, Canterbury, UK: What’s the point of asking student teachers to reflect?
May 2018 – Language in Focus Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece: Developing technology use in language classrooms through communities of practice.
May 2017 – Invited Speaker, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur: The role of communities of practice in integrating technology into ELT classrooms.
June 2015 – MELTA, Kuala Lumpur: Broadening the scope of teacher reflection
August 2014 – 2nd International Conference on The 21st Century Classroom: directions, Issues and Changes, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB): Teacher development – 21st century perspectives.
March 2014 – TESOL Spain, Madrid – How learners learn, how teachers teach.
May 2013 – MELTA, Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Three years overseas - The impact of a substantial U.K.-based element in a training programme for English Language teachers.
September 2012 – British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), University of Southampton, UK: Where do we go from here? Practitioners’ views on the state of ELT in Kerala, Southern India.
February 2012 - International Seminar on ELT, University of Kerala, Trivandrum, India: Activity-Based Practice
July 2011 – Cutting Edges, Canterbury, UK: Classroom Strategies for Developing Autonomous Vocabulary Learners
July 2011 – Cutting Edges, Canterbury, UK: The influence of the activity type and of the teacher in promoting autonomous learning in the language classroom
February 2011 - International Seminar on ELT, University of Kerala, Trivandrum, India: Using technology in second language learning: What’s stopping you?
Publications and research outputs
Balchin, K. and Wild, C. (2020) ‘Exploring the role of context and collaboration in normalising technology use in English language teaching in secondary schools in Malaysia’, Computer Assisted Language Learning, DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2020.1803360
Balchin, K. and Wild, C. (2018) "It’s All in the Numbers: Enhancing Technology Use in Urban and Rural Environments". In Tafazoli, D. (ed.), Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Technology-Enhanced Language Learning, IGI Global.
Balchin, K. and Wild, C. (2016) “Exploring the role of recently-qualified English teachers in developing technology use in language classrooms through communities of practice”. British Council ELT Research Papers 16-05. London: British Council. Available at: https://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/research-publications/research-papers
Balchin, K. and Wild, C. (2015) “Expanding the vision: A study of trainee teachers’ beliefs about using technology in the English language classroom.” Asian EFL Journal, 17(4), 37-67. Available at: http://asian-efl-journal.com/9208/quarterly-journal/2015/12/volume-17-issue-4-december-2015-quarterly-journal/
Balchin, K. (2012) "Promoting Learner Autonomy among English Language Learners." English Activities Update Vol 2/1 (January)
Balchin, K. & Lal, C.A. (2011) "Towards a more communicative approach to ELT in India: The missing link between theory and practice." In Jamuna, B.S. & Lal C.A. (eds) New Strides in English Teaching. Kochi, India: Gowli, pp 93-99.
Balchin, K. & Lal C.A. (2011) "Using Technology in the English language classroom in Kerala: What's stopping you?" Proceedings of International Conference on ELT: Pedagogical Strategies in the 21st Century, UGC-SAP, Institute of English and Centre for English Language Teaching, University of Kerala, in collaboration with Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK.