What is research Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind Marston Bates, American writer

Research is what I am doing when I don’t know what I am doing Von Braun, American engineer If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many, it’s research. Wilson Mizner, American dramatist

Lecture 1

Lecture 1 Compulsory Readings
Nunan. D. 1992. Research Methods in Language Learning. Cambridge: CUP (P. 1 - 23) Brown, J.D. & Rodgers, T.S., 2002, Doing Second Language Research, Oxford: OUP (P 3-18) Wisker, G. 2001, The Postgraduate Handbook, New York: Palgrave (P. 113 - 126) McDonough, J. & S. McDonough, 1997, Research Methods for English Language Teachers, London: Arnold (P. 37 - 55)

What is research?

A question, a problem or a hypothesis Data Analysis and interpretation of data (Nunan 1992)

Research is a systematic process of inquiry consisting of three elements or components:

Research process A process of formulating questions, problems, or hypothesis, collecting data or evidence relevant to these questions, problems or hypothesis and analyzing or interpreting data (Nunan 1992). The basic process of research
problem / experience / observation hypothesis investigation and experimentation to test the hypothesis

data gathering data analysis and interpretation confirmation or disapproval of the hypothesis (Wisker 2001)

1.Truth and research
Two views: External truths independent of the researcher/observer Truths are questionable, subjective

Two main approaches:
Deductivism and Inductivism Deductivism Begin with a hypothesis/theory Search for evidence to - support the hypothesis/theory - refute the hypothesis/theory Inductivism Seek to derive general principles/theories/ ‘truths’ from an investigation and documentation of single instances

Research traditions
Psychometric Interaction analysis Discourse analysis Ethnography Interventionalist Seclectivity

Vanlier: two parameters

Brown: Primary vs secondary

Primary: basing on primary sources of information

Secondary: basing on the secondary sources of information Questions for Tutorial 1
What is research? What is a research carried out for? Find a research report in an applied linguistics journal (such as TESOL Quarterly, Language Learning) and point out the objectives and how these objectives are achieved. Present briefly some traditions in applied linguistics research with illustrations from real research reports from applied linguistics journals. What are Deductivism and Inductivism in applied linguistics research? Give some examples from real research studies in applied linguistics. Explain briefly some of the following terms with illustrations from applied linguistics research: Deductivism Inductivism Reliability Systematic Validity Logical Construct Tangible Variable Replicable Longitudinal Reductive Qualitative Quantitative Quantifiable Psychometric Primary data Secondary data

Types of research papers in Applied Linguistics
Term paper MA thesis Prelim (qualifying paper) Dissertation proposal Grant proposal Dissertation Review of literature Conference abstract Conference paper Squib Book review Journal article Monograph, book

Textbooks Qualitative research (Non-numeral research)
All knowledge is relative Subjective element to knowledge Procedures: - observation - interview - field work - open response questionnaires

Quantitative research (Numeral research)
Obtrusive Controlled Objective Generalisable Outcome-oriented Procedures: - tests - interview & self-reports - closed response questionnaires - numbers, figures

- transcripts

Reliability

The consistency of the results obtained from a piece of research Internal reliability: consistency of data collection, analysis and interpretation External reliability: similar results can be reproduced by independent researcher

Validity

The extent to which piece of research actually investigates what the researcher purports to investigate Internal validity: the interpretability of a research External validity: the extent to which the results can be generalised from samples to population Construct

A psychological quality that cannot be observed but can only be assumed to exit and can be explained through observable behaviours (intelligence, proficiency, motivation, aptitude etc.) Construct validity: the construct under investigation must be defined accessible to the outside observer, the construct characteristics must be identifiable to reader

Variable Something that may vary, differ over time

Some variables differ over time and among individuals (language proficiency, motivation, selfesteem etc.)

Variable vs construct

Variables represent the underlying constructs Variable: what can be observed or quantified of the human characteristics or abilities involved Construct: the actual characteristic or ability that it represents in human being Systematic Clear structure with definite procedural rules Easy to read, interpret and evaluate Logical Step-by-step progression Straightforward, logical pattern with underlying rule and procedures Tangible Based on the collection and manipulation of data from the real world Data are well-defined quantity, rank or category Replicable The possibility of doing the research again under the same conditions by an independent researcher Replicating the research may yield similar results or information to evaluate it

Reductive

The possibility of establishing patterns and relationships among individual variables, facts, and observable phenomena in a research

Questions for Tutorial 1 What is research? What is a research carried out for? Find a research report in an applied linguistics journal (such as TESOL Quarterly, Language Learning) and point out the objectives and how these objectives are achieved.

Present briefly different views of the nature of social sciences and social reality. Give some examples from real research studies in applied linguistics. Present briefly a model of research process in applied linguistics with illustrations from real research reports from applied linguistics journals. 4. Explain briefly some of the following terms with illustrations from applied linguistics research: Deductivism Inductivism Reliability Systematic Validity Logical Construct Tangible Variable Replicable Longitudinal Reductive Qualitative Quantitative Quantifiable Psychometric Primary data Secondary data Social realty

Lecture 2 Compulsory Readings
Nunan. D. 1992. Research Methods in Language Learning. Cambridge: CUP (P. 24 - 50) Selinger, H.W., and E. Shohamy. 1989. Second Language Research Methods. Oxford: OUP (P. 135 - 152) Brown, J.D. 1988. Understanding Research in Second Language Learning : A Teacher’s Guide to Statistics and Research Design. New York: CUP Hatch, E. and A. Lazaraton, 1991. The Research Mannual: Design and Statistics for Applied Linguistics. New York: Newburry House

What is an experimental research?
Experimental research is carried out to explore the strength of relationship between variables

2. Type of scale Nominal scale Ordinal scale Interval scale Ratio scale
Inferential statistics: The statistics which may be inferred from sample to population T-test: the test to compare two means (2 groups) F-test: the test to compare more than two means (more than 2 groups) ANOVA: Analysis Of Variance, a procedure to compare more than two means

Chi-square: calculate the different between the expected frequencies and compare them with the actual frequencies Correlation: a statistical test to estimate the degree (strength) of association between two variables Control group: the group under normal situation experimental group: the group under experimental condition True-experiment: - Randomly assigning the subjects into control and experimental groups - Administering both pre- and post-treatment tests (Highly controlled, highly selective) Quasi-experiment: - No random arrangement of subjects Pre-experiment - Only pre-treatment test

Mean

The Logic of Statistical Inference
X

The average of a set of scores The central tendency of the scores

The Logic of Statistical Inference
Mode: The score that occurs most frequently in a set of scores. Median: the middle point in a distribution, the midway between the two middle scores The central tendency of the scores

Standard Deviation

SD

Important measure of dispersion Estimating: 1) deducting the mean from each individual score 2) Squaring the resulting figures to get rid of minus signs 3) adding these together and dividing by the total scores minus one チ¨ Variance 4) Obtaining the square root of the figure チ¨ SD

Standard Error

SE

The standard deviation of sample means: placing a single sample mean in relation to the population mean Estimating: Dividing SD of a single sample by the square root of the number of observations in the sample (N) SE = SD : チ ã N

Questions for Tutorial 2
Question: Find a report of an experimental study in applied linguistics and give your comments on the following checklist: I. Introduction: Is the framework for the study clear? A. Literature review: can you tell where the study fits in? 1. Is the background or rationale provided? 2. Is the relationship to previous research clear? B. Statement of purpose: can you tell where the study is heading? Are any of the following included? 1. Purpose 2. Research question 3. Research hypothesis II. Method: Is the study replicable? A. Subjects 1. Is the description of participants adequate? 2. Is the method of selection clear? B. Materials 1. Is there a description of tests, questionnaires, rating scales, and so forth? 2. Do the variables represent reasonable operational definitions of the underlying constructs or characteristics involved? 3. Is there a description of any equipment (when applicable)? C. Procedures 1. Is there a description of the preparation of material, administration, scoring and so on? 2. Is there a description of the conditions during study? D. Analyses 1. Is there a description of the arrangement and grouping of the data? 2. Are the statistical tests listed in order of use? III. Results A. Are all the statistical tests previously listed represented as results ? B. Is there a prose explanation (optional)? IV. Discussion/Conclusion A. Is the original research question, or questions, answered ? B. Is there an explanation of why the results were as they were? 1. If the conclusion is based on previous research, is it well supported and reasoned? 2. If the conclusion is speculative, is it qualified as such and well reasoned? C. Are suggestions for further research provided? V. References, Notes, or Footnotes A. Are all the references cited in the text included ? B. Are nay pertinent references missing? VI. Appendixes A. Are they necessary? B. Are they complete?

Lecture 3
ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH Compulsory Readings Nunan. D. 1992. Research Methods in Language Learning. Cambridge: CUP (P. 52 - 73) Brown, J.D& Rodgers T.S. Doing Second Language Research. OUP. 2002 (P.53-112)

Coffey, A. & Atkinson, P. 1996, Making Sense of Qualitative Data, Complementary Research Strategies, CA: SAGE Publications. May, T. (ed) 2002, Qualitative Research in Action, London: Sage Publications. McMillan, j. & S.Schumacher, Research in Education, A Conceptual Introduction, Harper Collins College Publishers. Wajnryb, R. 1992, Classroom Observation Tasks, Cambridge: CUP. Newman, P. & Ratliff, M. 2001, Linguistics Fieldwork, Cambridge: CUP What is ethnography? Ethnography, which seeks to understand and represent the points of view of the members of a particular culture, is a primary approach to data collection and analysis in anthropology and sociology.

Ethnographic research Ethnographic research is one form of qualitative research which concerns with studying human behavior within the context in which that behavior would occur naturally and in which the role of the researcher would not affect the normal behavior of the subjects. Ethnographic research Ethnography research requires: - much training, skill and dedication - a great store on the collection and - question and hypothesis emerge during rather than beforehand What is ethnography research

interpretation of data the course of investigation,

Ethnographic research uses naturalistic observation to record systematically the behaviour of the subject under study in its own settings. Its root is in ethnography: anthropology and sociology and the focus is on cultural aspects of behaviour

Characteristics of ethnographic research • Contextual: carried out in the context in which the subjects normally live and work • Unobtrusive: the researcher does not try to control or handle the phenomenon

• •

Longitudinal: the research takes a relative long time Collaborative: the research involves the interaction between participants

• •

Interpretative: interpretative analysis of data

Organic: ethnographers may obtain data which do not support their original questions or hypothesis but are suggestive of others. Procedures for conducting ethnographic research:

Define the phenomenon to be described.

• • • •

Use qualitative methods to gather data. Look for patterns in the data. Validate initial conclusions by returning to the data or collecting more data. Recycle through the process or the data.

Principles of ethnography Two sets of hypotheses about human behaviours:

• •

naturalistic-ecological qualitative – phynomenological

Naturalistic-ecological

• •
• • •

Context has significant influence on behaviour Investigating natural contexts: field research, real life situation, real world

Qualitative-phenomenological Belief: there is no objective reality independent of subjective perceptions

Human behaviour must be investigated with subjective perception and belief systems of researcher • No objective observer Cultural meanings are revealed by the behaviours of the subject under study

Principles of ethnography • The use of participant and non-participant observation

• •
process

A focus on natural settings Use of subjective views and belief systems of the participant in the research Not to manipulate the study variables Holism and thick explanation

• •

Low Inference Descriptors Vs High Inference Descriptors • Low Inference Descriptors (LID): Behaviours easily observed and agreed

High Inference Descriptors (HID): Behaviours requires much inference

External reliability • To what extent can the findings from a study carried out in a particular site be generalized to other sites? • Threat: Based on detailed description of a particular context/ situation → difficult for outsiders to conduct another research

To overcome this: Explicit about 5 key aspects

• • • • •

Status of researcher Choice of informants Social situation & conditions Constructs & premises

Method of data collection & analysis Questions to be asked: • Is the status of the researcher made explicit? • Does the researcher provide a detailed description of subjects? • Does the research provide a detailed description of the context and conditions under which the research was carried out? • Are constructs and premises explicitly defined? • Are data collection and analysis methods presented in detail? Internal reliability • Can an independent researcher come to the same conclusion as the original investigators when he/ she analyzes the same primary data?

Threat Ethnographer rarely uses standardized instruments → difficult for independent researcher to reanalyze data themselves To overcome this: • Use low inference descriptors

• • •

Multiple researchers/ participant researchers Peer examination Use mechanically recorded data

Questions to be asked: • Does the research use low inference descriptors? • Does it employ more than one researcher/ collaborator? • Does the researcher invite peer examination or cross-site corroboration? • Are data mechanically recorded? Internal validity To what extent the research is measuring what it purports to measure? To overcome this: Employ data collection and analysis techniques: + ethnographer as a participant + informants interviewing + participant observation + ethnographic analysis Questions to be asked:

Is it likely that maturational changes occurring during the course of the research will affect outcomes? • Is there bias in the selection of informants? • Is the growth or attrition of informants over time likely to affect outcomes? • Have alternative explanations for the phenomena been rigorously examined and excluded? External validity To what extent can research outcomes be extended to other groups? To overcome this: Describe phenomena explicitly so that they can be compared with other studies/ carry out multiple-site investigation Questions to be asked: • Are some phenomena unique to a particular group or site and therefore noncomparable? • Are outcomes due in part to the presence of the research? • Are cross-group comparisons invalidated by unique historical experiences of particular groups? • To what extent are abstract terms and constructs shared across different groups and research sites? Criteria for assessing ethnographic reports • What are the goals of ethnography? What is the research problem? • In what contexts was the research conducted? • What is the group or case under study? • What conceptual and theoretical frame works inform the study? • What field techniques are used? For how much time? In what contexts? What was the role of the ethnographer? 6. What analysis strategies were developed and used? What levels and types of context attended to in interpretation? 7. What recurrent patterns are described? 8. What cultural interpretation is provided? 9. What is the contribution of the study to our knowledge of socio-cultural factors involved in schooling in second language and culture? 10. What are the stated implications for teaching? Questions for Tutorial 3 • What is ethnographic research? ( State the difference between an ethnographic research and a psychometric research and give example from applied linguistic studies. 2. Find a report of an ethnographic research in applied linguistics and give your comments on the following points: - The research question - The contexts the research was conducted - What is group or case under study? - What conceptual and theoretical frame works inform the study? - What field techniques were used? For how much time? In what contexts? What were the roles of the ethnographer?

• Find a report of a ethnographic research in applied linguistics and give your comments on: - What field techniques were used? For how much time? In what contexts? What were the roles of the ethnographer? - What analysis strategies were developed and used? what levels and types of context were attended to in interpretation? - What recurrent patterns are described? - What cultural interpretation is provided? - What are the stated implications for teaching?

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