Research foundations in language teaching


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Research foundations in language teaching

  1. 1. BACHELOR IN TEACHING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE RESEARCH FOUNDATIONS IN LANGUAGE TEACHING Sandra Milena Rodríguez [email_address] English Teacher February 19th 2011
  2. 2. COURSE CONTENTS <ul><li>Chapter 1: An introduction to research methods. </li></ul><ul><li>Chapter 2: The experimental method </li></ul><ul><li>Chapter 3: Ethnography </li></ul>
  3. 3. GENERAL OBJECTIVE <ul><li>To provide trainees with solid foundations on language teaching research in order for them to make research an important tool to improve their teaching and solve language teaching and learning problems. </li></ul>
  4. 4. RESEARCH FOUNDATIONS IN LANGUAGE TEACHING <ul><li>THEORETICAL BACKGROUND ANALYSIS </li></ul><ul><li>Objective: To identify key questions and concepts about this course. </li></ul><ul><li>TASK 1: Answer the following questions </li></ul><ul><li>Student 1 or (Group 1): What is research?-Establish an author’s definition. </li></ul><ul><li>Student 2 or (Group 2): What is the purpose of research? </li></ul><ul><li>Student 3 or (Group 3 ): What is applied linguistics? </li></ul><ul><li>Student 4 or (Group 4): What are the four traditions of applied linguistics? </li></ul><ul><li>Student 5 or (Group 5): What does the status of knowledge refer to, taking into account Nunan’s presentation? </li></ul>
  5. 5. WHAT IS RESEARCH? <ul><li>Research is a systematic process of inquiry consisting in elements or components such as: </li></ul><ul><li>A question, problem, or hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Data </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis and interpretation of data </li></ul><ul><li>Nunan (1999) </li></ul>
  6. 6. RESEARCH FOUNDATIONS IN LANGUAGE TEACHING <ul><li>TASK 2 </li></ul><ul><li>What are the main characteristics for both qualitative and quantitative research traditions? How would you distinguish them? </li></ul><ul><li>Chaudron (1998) states four traditions for applied linguistics as an attempt to distinguish qualitative and quantitative research. </li></ul><ul><li>Which are those traditions?-pg-3 </li></ul>
  7. 7. TYPES OF RESEARCH QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVE It concerns with understanding human behaviour from the actor’s own frame of reference It seeks facts or causes of social phenomena without regard the subjectivity states of the individuals Characteristics Characteristics Naturals-tic, uncontrolled observa-tion Grounded oriented Out-come oriented Ungrounded verification oriented Objective Obstrusive and controlled measurement Process oriented Subjective Close to the data
  8. 8. RESEARCH FOUNDATIONS IN LANGUAGE TEACHING <ul><li>TASK 3 </li></ul><ul><li>ANALYZE THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH APPROACHES: </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze Grotjhan’s proposal? (1987) -Pg-4-7 </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze Van Lier’s research design-1988-pg 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze Brown’s approach-1988-pg 9. </li></ul>
  9. 9. TYPES OF RESEARCH The investigation of the way a single instance or phenomenon functions in context. In applied linguistics it usually involves the investigation of the language behavior of a single individual or limited number of individuals over a period of time. CASE STUDY PRIMARY RESEARCH STATISTICAL STUDIES They are used to describe the state of the whole population with respect to the subject matter under examination. They are experimental and generally use surveys to collect data.
  10. 10. RESEARCH FOUNDATIONS IN LANGUAGE TEACHING <ul><li>(BROWN-1998)- How does the author state the characteristics and definitions for an experimental research? –pg. 9 </li></ul>
  11. 11. THE EXPERIMENTAL METHOD <ul><li>The experimental method involves manipulating one variable to determine if changes in one variable cause changes in another variable. This method relies on controlled methods, random assignment, and the manipulation of variables to test a hypothesis. </li></ul>
  12. 12. THE EXPERIMENTAL METHOD VARIABLES: A variable is anything that which does not remain constant . <ul><li>TYPES OF VARIABLES: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Independent: </li></ul><ul><li>Label given to the variable that the experiment expects to influence the other. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Dependent: </li></ul><ul><li>The variable upon which the independent variable is acting. </li></ul><ul><li>Variables can also be classified according to the types of scales in which they are measured. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>KEY TERMS FOR RESEARCH </li></ul><ul><li>Deductive research: </li></ul><ul><li>It begins with a hypothesis or theory and then searches for evidences. </li></ul><ul><li>Inductive research </li></ul><ul><li>It Seeks to derive a general principles, theories, or “truths” </li></ul><ul><li>Validity </li></ul><ul><li>It has to do with the extent to which a piece of research actually investigates what the researcher purports to investigate. </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul><ul><li>It refers to the consistency of the results obtained from a piece of research. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>KEY TERMS FOR RESEARCH </li></ul><ul><li>Internal validity: </li></ul><ul><li>It refers to the interpretability of research </li></ul><ul><li>External validity: </li></ul><ul><li>It refers to the extent to the results can be generalized from samples to populations. </li></ul><ul><li>Construct validity: </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a psychological quality that we can not directly observe but that we assume to exist in order to explain behavior we can observe </li></ul>
  15. 15. TYPES OF RESEARCH ACTION REASEARCH (Kemmis and McTaggart) <ul><li>A form of self-reflective inquiry carried out by practitioners, aimed at solving problems, improving practice or enhancing understanding. It’s often collaborative. </li></ul>
  16. 16. STEPS TO CARRY OUT ACTION RESEARCH <ul><li>1. Initiation : Stating the problem </li></ul><ul><li>2. Preliminary investigation: Initial data collection </li></ul><ul><li>3. Hypothesis: A formal statement about an expected relationship between 2 or more variables which can be tested through an experiment </li></ul><ul><li>4. Intervention: Stating strategies to confirm hypothesis. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Evaluation: Systematic determination of merit, worth, and significance of the study </li></ul><ul><li>6. Dissemination: Diffusion of the results </li></ul><ul><li>7. Follow-up: Additional investigation of the former investigation. </li></ul>
  17. 17. TYPES OF VARIABLES USED IN LANGUAGE RESEARCH Pg.25 TYPE DEFINITION NOMINAL SCALE It measures mutually exclusive characteristics (e.g. sex, eyes color- female or female, etc) ORDINAL SCALE Variables which can be given a ranking first, second, third but in which the actual score itself is not given. INTERVAL SCALE It provides information of ordinal scale and the distance between the scores. (language tests)
  18. 18. TYPES OF EXPERIMENTS TYPE CHARACTERISTICS Pre-experiment It may have pre- and post treatment tests, but lacks a control group. Quasi-experiment It has both pre- and posttests and experimental and control groups, but no random assignment of subjects True experiment It has pre- and posttests, experimental and control groups, and random assignments of subjects.
  19. 19. ETHNOGRAPHY <ul><li>It is a non-manipulative study of the cultural characteristics of a group in real-world rather than laboratory settings. Insights and generalizations emerge from close contact with the data rather than from a theory of language learning and use. </li></ul>
  20. 20. CHARACTERISTICS OF ETHNOGRAPHY RESEARCH 1. Contextual The research is carried out in the context in which the subjects normally live and work 2. Unobtrusive The researcher avoids manipulating the phenomena under investigation 3. Longitudinal The research is relatively long-term
  21. 21. CHARACTERISTICS OF ETHNOGRAPHY RESEARCH <ul><li>4 . Collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>The research involves de participation of stakeholders other than the researcher </li></ul><ul><li>5. Interpretive </li></ul><ul><li>The researcher carries out interpretive analyses of the data </li></ul><ul><li>6. Organic </li></ul><ul><li>There is interaction between questions/hypotheses and data collection/interpretation </li></ul>