EL7008 - Research Methods in Linguistics

What will I learn on this module?

This option module is intended for Applied Linguistics for TESOL students who intend to undertake extensive primary quantitative and/or qualitative research projects in Applied Linguistics and English Language at postgraduate level, at MA level and beyond.

Through lecture input, seminars and statistical workshops you will be provided with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to conduct informed, responsible enquiry in language and linguistics, whether you regard yourself as predominately a researcher or as a practitioner.

On completion of the course, you will be ready to conduct in-depth study at postgraduate level and be able to act as an informed researcher in the fields of Applied Linguistics and English language.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a combination of interactive lectures, seminars and statistical workshops. Key research themes and concepts will be introduced in lectures, supported by seminars that allow further group working, discussion and debates. All empirical topics and debates within the module will be supported by reference to relevant literature, which you will read outwith class to further develop your knowledge and understanding of the field.

In addition to learning during taught hours with the module tutor, you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning will generally take the form of suggested weekly readings, relevant to that week’s research topic, and preparation for seminars where you will be expected to contribute to group work and full class discussion. Seminars will also contribute to the development of intellectual, transferable and practical skills. Independent learning will generally take the form of further reading and investigation, the consolidation of lecture and seminar notes, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module.

All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLP (e-learning portal) to facilitate full participation in the module. Additionally, you will receive formative feedback, from both students and tutors, by means of a group presentation on a key area of research in Applied Linguistics. The module’s final, summative assessment will also provide an opportunity for learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module aims to expand your critical understanding of different, and often competing empirical perspectives within Applied Linguistics enquiry. Lectures, seminars and tasks will develop your academic knowledge and skills, to help you attain the module learning outcomes. Your academic development will also be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with your peers and the module tutor about your understanding of this literature (i.e. reading around the topic, and discussing and reflecting upon what you have read).

The module handbook provides details of lectures, seminars, statistical workshops, reading lists and assessment criteria; lecture materials are made available on the eLP (see above). The module tutor will be available in lectures and seminars, as well as in ‘Feedback and consultation hours’ (i.e. ‘office hours’) and on email, to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Formative feedback will be provided both throughout seminar/workshop activities. Written feedback will also be provided on a formative individual presentation, delivered towards the end of the semester, synthesising the methodology, results and implications of an important empirical study in the field of Applied Linguistics (chosen by the student), prior to completion of the module’s summative assessment (analyses of a prescribed data set).

In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes: monitoring your ongoing academic progress; helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development; directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus). You are advised to meet with your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. A thorough working knowledge of research methods and data analysis techniques in Applied Linguistics

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. The skills necessary to apply appropriate methods of applied linguistic enquiry in relation to your own research design
3. The research skills for individual project management in applied language enquiry

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Demonstrate intellectual openness to different research strategies and methods of analysis

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

1. You will present your ideas during seminars and will receive formative feedback from the module tutor and peers on any perspectives you share. Such formative feedback will enable you to assess and form your own understanding of key issues and debates within Applied Linguistic enquiry.
2. Group presentation
You will deliver a small presentation in a specified seminar, towards the end of the module sessions, providing a critical overview of the research questions, research instruments and data analysis in a key area of (Applied) Linguistics related to the summative assessment (see below). You will receive formative feedback on this talk, from both peers and the module tutor. Formative assessments address MLOs in ‘Knowledge and Understanding’, ‘Intellectual/Professional skills & abilities’, and ‘Personal Values Attributes’.

Summative (graded) Assessments
1. 5000-word data set analysis
You will formulate appropriate research questions/hypotheses and conduct five types of descriptive/inferential statistical analysis upon In relation to a large linguistic data set provided by the module tutor. You will be expected to demonstrate a clear narrative in relation to the specific questions/hypotheses chosen and precise techniques employed and to report the findings according to established academic conventions
The essay assessment will be part of the learning process, and addresses all five MLOS.

Feedback will be provided using the Programme template and comments on the script





Module abstract

The Research Methods in Linguistics option module is specifically aimed to help you to undertake extensive, high-quality research projects in Applied Linguistics and English language. You will gain the practical skills necessary to apply appropriate methods of applied linguistic enquiry to your own research and to critically evaluate the research of others. You will learn to record, analyse and interpret qualitative and qualitative data. You will also gain practical experience of employing appropriate data analysis techniques, including statistical analysis, to different data sets. The skills you gain during this wholly research-orientated module will prepare you for future independent research project management, and allow you to act as an informed researcher in the field, whether you regard yourself as predominately a practitioner or a researcher.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 16 months full-time
1 other options available

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints