I’m sure most readers would agree that when it comes to teaching (and, in fact, life in general), it pays to know what you are doing!

Knowing what you are doing might involve, as Norbert Schmitt proposes, using the insights gained from research to inform what you do in the classroom. His main feature article heralds the beginning of a new series on vocabulary research and how it can be applied to everyday teaching.

Simon Cox demonstrates that, for academic managers, a structured analysis of any problem that arises can help with deciding what the best or most practical solution might be. He offers a framework to help those new to academic management to make sense of difficult situations.

Gabrielle Lambrick’s framework is designed to help her students analyse the structure and content of model texts, so that they have a better idea of what makes a good piece of writing, and are better able to produce their own well-constructed texts.

Analysis is also key to Ben Dobbs’s article on stakeholders. Identifying who the stakeholders are in any business, and determining where they are on a ‘power and interest’ scale (and, therefore, how much attention needs to be paid to them), is a vital skill for business people – and a good foundation for discussion and practice of a range of business functions.

Kat Robb continues her series on using recordings of her students to encourage them to reflect on their speaking performance. In this issue, she looks at the benefits of getting students to identify the features of good communication and then analyse their own recordings to see how they match up.

Rod Bolitho’s analysis is of the reasons why teachers might reject the idea of creativity in teaching. By confronting the beliefs and attitudes that hold people back from trying something new, he hopes to convince teachers that learning can be made a richer and more rewarding experience for teacher and student alike.