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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Durham Centre for Academic Development

LANG43415: Research Methods

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22

Prerequisites

  • None

Corequisites

  • NoneNone

Excluded Combination of Modules

Aims

  • To support students in developing an understanding of key research approaches and methods in the fields of TESOL and Applied Linguistics.
  • To enable students to apply these approaches and methods in their own research.
  • To develop students’ capacity to critically evaluate research.

Content

  • The module provides a thorough understanding of the research approaches and methods which underpin teaching and learning in the language classroom, and which support our understanding of language and of language teaching and learning in the fields of TESOL and Applied Linguistics. We cover methods associated with interpretive and positivist research paradigms, as well as tools and techniques such as survey research, interview research, classroom observation, experimental and quasi-experimental approaches, and ethnographic research.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge and understanding of the principles underlying research design and implementation in the fields of TESOL and Applied Linguistics.
  • Knowledge of, and understanding of qualitative and quantitative approaches and methods used in research in the fields of TESOL and Applied Linguistics.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the skills and abilities required for successful research.
  • Knowledge of and understanding of key statistical methods and approaches to data analysis used in research in the fields of TESOL and Applied Linguistics.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to critically evaluate research designs and research data in published research papers and other research texts in TESOL and Applied Linguistics.
  • Ability to design and implement a research study based in TESOL and Applied Linguistics and reflect on that study, identifying its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ability to produce a research report with an appropriate structure and format suitable for the fields of TESOL and Applied Linguistics.
Key Skills:
  • Ability to design an empirical research project.
  • Ability to implement an empirical research project.
  • Ability to analyse qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Ability to communicate analysis and arguments clearly and in an appropriate style.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures will be used to deliver key knowledge and develop understanding of central concepts in relation to research approaches and relevant research methods. They will also support active learning and incorporate pair and groupwork as necessary to support discussion, debate, understanding and enable practice in implementing design of research tools and practice of methods. Seminars will also present relevant research methods knowledge but to a lesser degree than lectures, with a greater focus on practical implementation of research methods, practical design of research tools as well supporting the development of student capacities for critical evaluation of research through practical analytical tasks. The assessment will comprise two elements, one focusing on evaluating the critical research evaluation skills of the module participants and the second focusing on evaluating student’s understanding of research methods and their capacity to design research tools.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 Weekly 2 hours 18
Seminars 9 Weekly 2 hours 18
Preparation and reading 114
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Critical Analysis Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Critical analysis of research article 1,000 words 100% Yes
Component: Design and implementation of a mini-research project Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Design and implementation of a mini-research project 2,000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Peer review of research tools designed (e.g. questionnaires and interview protocols). Peer review of research article evaluations based on provided framework. Peer review of research designs based on provided framework


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University