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Introduction to Research in Applied Linguistics
 

Introduction to Research in Applied Linguistics

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Workshop 1, April 28

Workshop 1, April 28

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    Introduction to Research in Applied Linguistics Introduction to Research in Applied Linguistics Presentation Transcript

    • Introduction  to  Research    in  Applied  Linguistics   Robert  Croker   Nanzan  University     Qualitative  Research  Methods  course   NUFS  Graduate  School,  2012  
    • Why  do  research?  •  to  understand  how  foreign  languages  are  actually  learned  and   taught  •  to  evaluate  new  theories,  and  decide  which  ones  are  effective  in   your  classrooms  and  with  your  learners  -­‐  no  single  approach  is   perfect  •  to  bridge  the  gap  between  theories  and  practice  •  so  you  can  investigate  your  own  classrooms  –  the  learning  and   teaching  practices  that  go  on  there.  Your  teaching  practice  will   improve  through  systematic  research  
    • Two  Main  Research  Traditions  Two  main  research  traditions:    quantitative        qualitative    Three  examples:    Why  do  students  study  English?      How  do  students  learn  vocabulary?      How  do  teachers  teach  writing?  
    • Two  Main  Research  Traditions   Quan%ta%ve   Qualita%ve   Research   Research  
    • Two  Main  Research  Traditions  Example  1:  Why  do  students  study  English?  Quantitative:  In  the  sample,  47%  of  students  study  English  because  they  want  to  work  using  English  in  the  future,  33%  of  students  because  they  want  to  watch  American  movies  and  read  English  books,  and  20%  of  students  because  they  want  to  travel  to  an  English-­‐speaking  country.    Qualitative:  Since  she  was  a  child,  Nami  had  had  a  dream:  she  really  wanted  to  be  a  Xluent  English  speaker.  She  would  dream  about  talking  in  perfect  English  to  a  native  speaker,  and  being  able  to  understand  everything  that  he  said.  She  imagined  living  in  another  country,  possibly  England,  and  going  walking  through  the  English  countryside  with  her  English  friends,  chatting  about  their  lives.      
    • Two  Main  Research  Traditions  Example  2:  How  do  students  learn  vocabulary?  Quantitative:  27%  of  students  used  word  cards  every  day,  and  these  students  improved  their  English  vocabulary  scores  by  17  points  in  three  months.  40%  of  students  kept  a  word  list,  and  these  students  improved  their  scores  by  12  points.  …    Qualitative:  Yuki  keeps  a  list  of  the  new  words  that  he  reads  and  hears.  Before  class,  he  reads  over  the  textbook,  and  marks  the  new  words  that  he  sees.  He  then  writes  these  in  his  word  list,  checking  the  meaning  from  the  dictionary.  In  the  Xirst  column,  he  writes  the  new  word,  in  the  second  the  part  of  speech,  in  the  third  the  main  deXinition  in  Japanese,  and  in  the  fourth  an  example  sentence.  
    • Two  Main  Research  Traditions  Example  3:  How  do  teachers  teach  writing?  Quantitative:  There  are  17  teachers  in  the  writing  program.  Of  these,  14  use  a  peer-­‐editing  review  process,  and  3  teachers  check  the  students  writing  themselves.  The  peer-­‐editing  review  process  was  more  effective,  because  students  increased  their  writing  scores  by  20%.    Qualitative:  Tanaka  Sensei  begins  peer-­‐editing  from  the  Xirst  class  –  but  not  directly.  She  asks  her  students  to  write  a  short  language  learning  history,  and  to  share  that  history  with  a  partner.  She  then  asks  the  partner  to  read  over  the  history,    underline  sentences  that  are  interesting,  and  to  write  a  question  in  the  margin  about  that  information.  The  writer  then  answers  these  questions  in  a  different  colour  pen.    
    • Two  Main  Research  Traditions  •  Quantitative  approaches:   •  use  numbers  –  counting  to  quantify     •  focus  on  the  outcomes  of  learning  more  than  the   processes   •  summarize  about  a  group  of  students  or  teachers   •  conXirmatory  research  –  test  an  hypothesis   •  the  claims  tend  to  be  more  abstract   •  use  tests,  questionnaires,  and  observations  
    • Two  Main  Research  Traditions  •  Qualitative  approaches:   •  use  text  –  to  understand  the  qualities  (essential   characteristics)   •  focus  on  the  processes  and  the  outcomes  of  learning   •  look  at  individuals  –  from  the  bottom  up   •  exploratory  research  –  often  used  to  begin  to   understand  something   •  the  results  (‘claims’)  are  more  descriptive  or  concrete   •  collect  data  in  a  variety  of  ways  –  getting  comments   and  reXlections  from  students,  keeping  learning  and   teaching  diaries,  observing  their  class  and  students,   interviewing  some  of  the  students,  doing  ‘think-­‐ alouds’  –  the  most  important  things  is  REFLECTION    
    • A  Continuum  Quan%ta%ve   Mixed   Qualita%ve   Research   Methods   Research  
    • Another  Approach   quantitative  approach  +  qualitative  approach   =      mixed  methods  approach     •  use  numbers  and  text   •  focus  on  the  learning  and  teaching  process  and  outcomes   •  look  at  individuals  and  the  class  as  a  whole   •  action  research  uses  a  mixed  methods  approach     •  three  main  types   •  exploratory  mixed  methods  research   •  explanatory  mixed  methods  research   •  triangulation  mixed  methods  research  
    • Some  important  words  research:  the  organized,  systematic  search  for  answers  to  questions  that  we  have,  by  collecting  and  analyzing  data    data:  information  –  numbers,  text,  audio,  visual    collecting  data:  gathering  or  creating  information,  using  questionnaires,  interviews,  dairies  and  reXlections,  and  so  on    analyzing  data:  thinking  systematically  and  logically  about  that  data,  to  answer  your  research  questions    research  questions:  the  questions  that  you  want  to  Xind  answers  to  in  this  research  project