EL7038 - Research Methods

What will I learn on this module?

This 20-credit module aims to provide students, whether they regard themselves as predominantly practitioners or researchers, with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to conduct informed and responsible enquiry in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, including language education. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of a range of research methods in these related fields. You will extend your ability to critically evaluate empirical research articles, including the suitability of different research approaches, instruments and methods of analysis to address the research questions/hypotheses developed.

On successful completion, you will be able to: reflect critically on the research methods used in existing Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and language education research; construct an appropriate research design for any given research question and/or hypothesis; select and undertake appropriate methods of data collection and analysis (including introductory descriptive and inferential statistical analysis); and accurately report research outcomes.

You will thus explore and undertake both quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis (through SPSS and NVivo), focusing on: developing clear and addressable research questions/hypotheses; research ethics; experimental design; and researching with language/textual data, including with corpora. The module will also investigate the use of specific research instruments such as questionnaires and other survey scales, focus groups and interviews as well as observation, self-report and introspection measures.

On completion, students will be ready to conduct informed research at postgraduate level in the fields of Linguistics and/or Applied Linguistics and, as such, the module will help you prepare for your subsequent Masters’ dissertation.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through weekly interactive lectures. Sessions will mainly be delivered face to face, with some blended learning where appropriate (where learning and teaching involves the interaction of online and face-to-face activities). Key themes and concepts will be introduced in lectures, supported by in-class group working, tasks, and discussion. All topics and tasks within the module will be supported by reference to relevant literature, which you will read outside of 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 generally will take the form of preparation for interactive seminars where you will be expected to contribute to group work tasks and full class discussion. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation, the consolidation of lecture 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 on your ideas and understandings throughout the module. The module’s final, summative assessment will also provide an opportunity for learning, the feedback from the assessment providing you with comment and ideas as you prepare for your dissertation studies.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Interactive lectures will develop both your academic knowledge of key issues and principles in the design of appropriate research methodologies in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, including language education, and your practical ability to plan and undertake informed research. Your academic development is also facilitated through engagement with the weekly readings and tasks, and also discussing theoretical and practical concerns with your tutor and peers.

The module handbook provides details of weekly topics, reading lists and assessment criteria; lecture materials are available on the eLP (see above). Module tutors will be available in lectures in ‘Feedback and consultation hours’ (i.e., ‘office hours’) and by appointment, and on email, to discuss any queries or concerns you have regarding any aspect of the module. Formative feedback will be given in an on-going basis throughout in-class tasks and activities.

In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your studies. 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, and directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. the Library’s Skills Plus). You are advised to see your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress. Additional language support is also available from the ESAP programme offered by the university’s Language Centre.

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. Demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of methods for carrying out research in Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, and language education

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. Demonstrate the ability to construct an appropriate research design for any given research question; select suitable methods of data collection and analysis; and accurately and critically report research outcomes.
3. Demonstrate the ability to critically read research reports and articles in terms of the suitability of their methods and the implications these methods have on the claims these papers make.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. Demonstrate the ability to critically apply, interpret and present module knowledge, and critical reflections upon this knowledge, both orally and in writing.

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 will enable you to assess and form your own understanding of key issues and debates in sociolinguistics.

2. Research Proposal
You will submit a 750-word research proposal focusing on an area of your own choice/interest, which may form the basis for your subsequent dissertation study. The Proposal will contain a project: topic and statement of how the proposed project extends prior research; RQs and/or hypotheses; proposed methodology; and abridged bibliography.

Formative feedback will be provided in writing on the script. Formative assessments address MLOs in ‘Knowledge and Understanding’, ‘Intellectual/Professional skills & abilities’, and ‘Personal Values Attributes’.

Summative (graded) assessment

1. 4000-word Qualitative OR Quantitative Dataset Analysis (100% of total module mark)
You will be provided with 2 data sets, and a description of each by the module tutor; a) one suitable for qualitative data analysis and b) the other suitable for quantitative data analysis.
In relation to your chosen dataset, you will first formulate appropriate research questions and/or hypotheses. Subsequently, you will either:
a) Conduct qualitative data analysis through NVivo
or
b) Conduct descriptive/inferential analysis though SPSS
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.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

This module provides you with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to conduct informed and responsible enquiry in Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and language education. You will be able to critically evaluate research articles, including the suitability of selected research approach to address the research questions/hypotheses developed.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to: reflect critically upon research methods employed in Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and language education studies; construct appropriate research designs for research questions/hypotheses; select and undertake informed data collection and analysis; and accurately and critically report research outcomes.

During this module, you will undertake both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and data analysis (through SPSS and NVivo), focusing on: developing clear and addressable research questions/hypotheses; research ethics; experimental design; researching language/textual data; ethnography; classroom-centred research

On completion, you will be ready to conduct informed research at postgraduate level, including your subsequent Masters dissertation.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

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 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

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