By Ekua Mensimah Thompson Kwaffo
Partaking in SoTL-related research grants me the privilege to contribute to the collective
knowledge of humanity. In this blog, I reflect on my journey into the world of Scholarship of
Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and what this journey means to me as a budding researcher.
I first heard about SoTL during an interactive research and teaching session organized by the
provost of my affiliate institution in 2019. During this session, I was pleasantly surprised to
discover that SoTL research focused on everyday observations and problems in the classroom
across disciplines. This sparked my interest even more, and I went back into the classroom with a
new pair of detective goggles.
This means a lot to me as a French as a foreign language teacher in a higher education
institution, an academic, and a researcher. Every classroom encounter contains research
problems and questions that spark my interest for further probing. SoTL allows me the
opportunity to conduct all these classroom-related, student-centered investigations without
worrying about limitations of sample size, but still maintaining the same rigor of academic
My present study on code-switching, which is simply the alternation between one language to
the other during speech and writing, sought to reveal students’ perceptions about this common
phenomenon. Some schools of thought believe that foreign language lessons should be taught
only in the target language, which is French in this case. Foreign language students, however,
revealed that a careful blend of both the source language, which is English, and the target
language, was a better approach to ensuring effective comprehension of concepts and higher
levels of classroom engagement.
I am grateful to my institution, Ashesi University, for introducing the concept of SoTL and
giving us the necessary tools to ensure that we bud as emerging researchers.