Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Research Methods in Education and Academic Abilities in English

Research Methods in Education and Academic Abilities in English
4
13771
1
Annual
OB
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, Spanish
If the student is enrolled for the English track then classes for that subject will be taught in the same language.

Teaching staff

Introduction

In the event that the health authorities announce a new period of confinement due to the evolution of the health crisis caused by COVID-19, the teaching staff will promptly communicate how this may effect the teaching methodologies and activities as well as the assessment.


This subject presents an overview of the different research methods used in studies on foreign language acquisition and teaching. Quantitative and qualitative methods will be presented through case studies, experimental studies, ethnographic studies, etc. The various methods and tools for data collection in the field of foreign language acquisition and teaching will also be presented, as will the different sections of a research study (literature review, objectives, research questions and hypotheses, methodology, results, discussion and conclusion). This subject aims to help students understand the readings provided in other subjects from the Master’s Degree andgive them the methodological knowledge needed to perform a study.

Pre-course requirements

To be familiar with studies performed in the field of foreign language acquisition and teaching.

Objectives

-       To become familiar with the different types of research in the field of foreign language acquisition and teaching: quantitative and qualitative methods.

-       To become familiar with the different methods of data collection.

-       To understand the structure of a research study.

-       To become familiar with the different formal aspects of written and oral academic texts in English.

-       To apply the knowledge acquired when preparing different types of academic texts related to the teaching or learning-acquisition of English as a foreign language.

-       To use the English language for academic and professional purposes related to research in the areas of the acquisition, teaching and learning of English as a foreign language.

Competencies

BASIC AND GENERAL COMPETENCES

CB6 - To possess and understand knowledge that provides a basis or opportunity to be original in the development and/or application of ideas, often in a research context.

CB7 - To know how to apply the acquired knowledge and problem-solving abilities in new or little-known environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to one’s area of study.

CB8 - To be able to acquire knowledge and deal with the complexity of formulating judgments based on information that, although incomplete or limited, includes reflections on the social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of one’s knowledge and judgments.

CB9 - To know how to communicate one’s conclusions and the latest knowledge and the supporting arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous way.

CB10 - To possess the learning skills that allow one to continue studying in a way that will be largely individual or autonomous.

CG3 - To manage work time based on learning priorities and objectives, promoting self-learning.

CG4 - To communicate decision-making in the field of teaching English as a foreign language based on solid arguments.

CG6 - To be able to effectively work as a part of a team in multilingual, multicultural and interdisciplinary professional and/or academic environments.

TRANSVERSAL COMPETENCES

CT1 - To apply pedagogically innovative models and educational research on the acquisition, teaching and use of English as a foreign language to specific cases, to a specific school context and/or contexts related to education, so that the theoretical knowledge acquired is suitably connected to the educational practice.

CT2 - To critically analyse one’s own work and use appropriate resources and strategies to achieve professional improvement.

CT3 - To incorporate information and communication technology (ICTs) into teaching and learning activities, teaching management and professional development.

CT4 - To generate innovative and competitive proposals in professional or research activity.

CT5 - To express oneself in public and give presentations with digital support adapted to the different interest groups in the school environment (teachers, families, students, etc.).

SPECIFIC COMPETENCES

CE8 - To know and reflect on, look in-depth into and interpret current educational research models and methodologies.

CE9 - To apply the fundamental aspects of current educational research methodologies to improve processes of teaching and learning English as a foreign language.

CE10 - To use the English language for academic and professional purposes related to research in the areas of acquisition, teaching and learning English as a foreign language.

CE11 - To use academic skills in English, both orally and in writing inside and outside the classroom as well as all the communication techniques typical of teachers of this language.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes will be linked to the selected competences in each case. Among others, the following stand out:

Students should be able to:

-       Analyse different educational research designs.

-       Identify research questions related to the teaching or learning/acquisition of English as a foreign language.

-       Analyse different techniques and instruments for collecting quantitative and qualitative information.

-       Analyse data samples as an example to draw relevant conclusions forthe teaching or learning/ acquisition of English as a foreign language.

-       Apply the knowledge and skills acquired to prepare an educational proposal adapted to a specific context.

-       Identify and analyse the different formal aspects of written and oral academic texts in English.

-       Apply the knowledge for the preparation of different types of academic texts related to the teaching or learning-acquisition of English as a foreign language.

-       Use English language for academic and professional purposes related to research in the areas of acquisition, teaching and learning English as a foreign language.

Syllabus

1. Introduction to research design

1.1. Research types

1.2. Ethics in research

1.3. Performing a research project

- Theoretical background

- Methodology

- Reporting results

2. Quantitative research

2.1. General overview

2.2. Designing a quantitative study (e.g. experimental studies)

2.3. Tools for data collection and analysis (e.g. working memory tests, testing vocabulary, using SPSS, etc.)

3. Descriptive research

3.1. General overview

3.2. Designing a descriptive study (e.g. survey-based studies)

3.3. Tools for data collection and analysis (e.g. descriptive statistics with SPSS, R, etc.)

4. Qualitative research

4.1. General overview

4.2. Designing a qualitative study (e.g. ethnography, case studies)

4.3. Tools for data collection and analysis (e.g. ELLAN, CLAN, etc.)

5. Academic English skills

5.1. Discourse genres and types of educational academic texts in English

5.2. Formal aspects of written and oral academic texts in English

5.3. Academic writing strategies and techniques in English

5.4. Academic paper: Structure, main characteristics and APA citation style

Teaching and learning activities

Online



CML - Online lectures

CPL - Practical online sessions

TI -  Individual autonomous online work

TG – Group autonomous online work

TL-  Individual online classes 

Evaluation systems and criteria

Online



1. Discussion and Analysis of Required Readings– 15%.

2. Conducting a Research Study (quantitative or qualitative) – 35%.

Group Project: The study will consist on:

- Research Question(s) and hypothesis.

- Data collection, data analysis and results.

- Writing the paper, which will include the research methodology section + results.

3. Midterm – 25%.

4. Final Exam– 25%.

Bibliography and resources

Mackey A. and Gass S. 2016. Second Language Research. Methodology and Design (2nd ed.) Lawrence Erlbaum.

Gass S. And Mackey A. 2012. The Routledge handbook of second language acquisition. Routledge.

Mackey A. and Gass S. (eds.) 2012. Research methods in second language acquisition. A practical guide. Wiley-Blackwell.

Norris, J. M., Plonsky, L., Ross, S. J., &Schoonen, R. 2015. Guidelines for reporting quantitative methods and results in primary research. Language Learning65, 470-476.

Wei L. and Moyer M. 2008. The Blackwell Guide to Research Methods in Bilingualism and Multilingualism. Blackwell.

Plonsky L (ed.) 2015. Advancing quantitative methods in second language research. Routledge.

Paltridge B. and Phakiti A. 2015. Research methods in applied linguistics: A practical resource. Bloomsbury.