Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Research Methods in TESOL

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Centre for English Language Proficiency

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will focus on the frameworks and tools which are most relevant for describing languages, and for studying the ways in which English is taught and learnt. Students will be given a core grounding in Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax and Pragmatics. They will also become familiar with a range of methods of research and analysis relevant to the TESOL context. This knowledge and information will also be built upon as students are guided towards developing appropriate research questions and identifying the most useful methods and tools to address those questions. It will also lead to an important exercise in which students choose a specific area of study for their dissertation/project dissertation. By means of this study-unit, students will develop the necessary criticality for them to reflect on the research process and their role as TESOL researchers.

Study-unit Aims:

- To ensure all students are familiar with the relevant frameworks for describing language and the relevant methods and tools for studying how English is learnt and taught;
- To guide students toward developing a research question or hypothesis;
- To provide students with the space to engage critically with their readings;
- To help students make the link between a range of research questions and the tools needed to address those questions;
- To help students understand how to design a range of research instruments;
- To help students to understand how to analyse, organise and discuss data;
- To help students understand how to present and disseminate TESOL research in written and spoken forms;
- To help students critically reflect on the research process and on their role as TESOL researchers;
- To guide students in the preparation and writing of a research proposal.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- identify and use the main linguistic frameworks needed to describe the English language (Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax and Pragmatics);
- critically assess different methods of research in relation to a given question;
- identify and describe the different research methods presented in a range of papers, studies and/or talks, and critically assess them;
- demonstrate how to design a range of research instruments;
- identify the main techniques used to present and disseminate TESOL research in written and spoken forms;
- identify the approaches used to critically reflect on the research process and on their role as TESOL researchers;
- identify an area of focus for their dissertation/project dissertation.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- be conversant with the main linguistic frameworks;
- apply the terminology and linguistic tools to analyse a given language question;
- engage critically with studies related to the area of the discipline in focus;
- design research projects using different approaches, including action research;
- present a rationale for a selected research question or hypothesis;
- evaluate and select the methodology suitable for a given research area;
- design a range of research instruments related to different data collection methods, including classroom observation, surveys and interviews;
- analyse and discuss data collected by means of different research methods;
- present and disseminate TESOL research in written and spoken forms;
- reflect critically on the research process and on their role as TESOL researchers;
- write a research proposal.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Required Reading:

- Brinton, L., & Brinton, D. (2010). The linguistic structure of modern English (2nd ed.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
- Charmanz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage.
- Dawson, C. (2007). Introduction to research methods. Oxford: Howtobooks.
- Silverman, D. (2006). Interpreting qualitative data. London: Sage.
- Paltridge, B. & Phakiti, A. (2015). Research methods in applied linguistics: A practical resource (2nd ed.) London: Bloomsbury Academic.
- Rasinger, S. M. (2008). Quantitative research in linguistics: An Introduction. London: Continuum.
- Wray, A., Trott, K., & Bloomer, A. (2006). Projects in linguistics: A practical guide to researching language (2nd ed.). London: Arnold.

Note: All texts are/will be available through the library or as part of the lecturers' resources. Students will be given a comprehensive study pack at the start of the study-unit.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Seminar and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (20 Minutes) SEM2 Yes 40%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Sarah Grech
Larissa Jonk
Odette Vassallo
Daniel Xerri

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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.