The present narrative study examined the purposes that language teachers pursue in their research studies. The study also explored the opportunities and challenges that teachers experience while doing action research. Data were collected through a survey of narrative frames among 68 teachers, reflective essays written by 9 teachers and individual interviews with 12 other teachers. Analyzing the content of the data and sorting out the main themes showed that teachers are mainly concerned with practical aspects of their profession such as developing their teaching skills and improving students’ knowledge in particular language areas. In addition, teachers believe that action research broadens their understanding of language education, provides them with a framework for reflecting on their practice, empowers them to play more important roles in educational systems and heightens their awareness of students’ needs. The findings also point to teachers’ consensus that their time limitations, their lack of specialized knowledge of research, administrative restrictions and lack of collaboration are among the main challenges they experience when undertaking action research. The study concludes with the discussion of the broader implications of the study for promoting action research in language teaching profession.