LG213-5-SP-CO:
Research methods for language and linguistics

The details
2020/21
Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Spring
Undergraduate: Level 5
Current
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
15
17 June 2020

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

LG219, LG831

Key module for

BA QX31 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL),
BA QX41 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Foundation Year),
BA QX51 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Placement Year),
BA QXH1 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Year Abroad),
BA QV3C English Language and History (Including Year Abroad),
BA QQ13 English Language and Linguistics,
BA QQ15 English Language and Linguistics (Including Placement Year),
BA QQ16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ3D English Language and Linguistics (Including Year Abroad),
MLINQA15 English Language and Lingistics (Including Placement Year),
MLINQA16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Year Abroad),
MLINQQ14 English Language and Linguistics,
BA QQ23 English Language and Literature,
BA QQ24 English Language and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ32 English Language and Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA QQ35 English Language and Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA QB36 English Language and Language Development (Including Year Abroad),
BA QQ3C English Language and Language Development,
BA QQ3F English Language and Language Development (Including Placement Year),
BA Q100 Linguistics,
BA Q101 Linguistics (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q102 Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q103 Linguistics (Including Placement Year),
BA L390 English Language and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LQ31 English Language and Sociology,
BA RQ93 Modern Languages and English Language,
BA RQ99 Modern Languages and English Language (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RQ91 Modern Languages and Linguistics,
BA RQ98 Modern Languages and Linguistics (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA R8T8 Modern Languages and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RX91 Modern Languages and Teaching English as a Foreign Language,
BA QP10 English Language with Media Communication,
BA QP11 English Language with Media Communication (Including Year Abroad),
BA QP12 English Language with Media Communication (Including Placement Year),
BA Q120 Linguistics with Data Science,
BA Q121 Linguistics with Data Science (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q122 Linguistics with Data Science (Including Placement Year ),
BA Q123 Linguistics with Data Science (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

The module provides an introduction to research methods in language and linguistics. It familiarises students with the steps involved in undertaking a research project in language and linguistics: reviewing the literature, formulating research questions and hypotheses, choosing a suitable research design, data collection methods and analysis techniques, and reporting findings. It builds on the first-year module LG113-4-SP 'Understanding data in linguistics'.

Module aims

The module is aimed at enabling students to develop their own research project, that is, the final-year linguistics project that became compulsory in 2017/18. This aim will be achieved by introducing students to the conventional structure and sections of a research report, including the purposes of each section, by offering practice in identifying and formulating research questions and/or hypotheses, and by offering an overview of research designs and methods, including data collection methods/instruments and data analysis methods and tools.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will have achieved the following:
(1) Awareness of basic concepts in linguistics research, different research designs, methods, data collection and analysis tools;
(2) Ability to write a literature review;
(3) Ability to identify and formulate research questions/hypotheses
(4) Ability to choose a research design, data collection techniques and analysis methods that are suitable and appropriate for addressing specific research questions/hypotheses;
(5) Awareness of how to structure and write a research report.

Module information

Syllabus


1. Research in language and linguistics: Basic concepts (LL – Week 16)
Theory and data; research questions and hypotheses; reviewing literature; how to arrive at research questions and/or hypothesis based on the literature.

2. Writing a literature review (LL – Week 17)
Summarising and critical evaluation; how to prepare a literature review; what (not) to do when drafting a literature review.

3. Introduction to research methods (AGG – Week 18)
General characteristics of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research; types of research design: longitudinal vs. cross-sectional; advantages and disadvantages of each; research quality: validity and reliability; research ethics; piloting.

4. Data collection instruments: Language data (KRB – Week 19)
Naturalistic vs. elicited data; common data sources: (a) acceptability judgements, (b) response times, (c) elicited production, (d) corpora; examples of tasks (for a-c) and resulting data associated with each instrument/data source.

5. Data collection instruments: Participant data (KRB – Week 20)
Collecting background information for descriptive purposes: demographic questionnaires; participant data as research variables: behavioural and attitudinal questionnaires, oral interviews.

Quiz – week 21

6. Quantitative research methods: Software and tools for data analysis (KRB – Week 21)
Introduction to basic concepts (variables, statistical significance, null hypothesis, errors and confounds, parametric and non-parametric statistics) and analytical software and tools for quantitative analysis (e.g., SPSS to perform T-test, ANOVA, Pearson correlation).

7. Data analysis with Excel (2-hour lab session; CDL – Week 22)
Using Excel: Basic descriptive and inferential statistics; tables and graphs; the notion of statistical significance.

8. Qualitative research methods: Data management and analysis (AGG – Week 23)
Introduction to basic concepts in qualitative research (e.g., reflexivity, context, thick description, transcription, coding). Introduction to analytical software and tools for qualitative data management and analysis (e.g., NVivo, Elan, CMaps, CLAN).

9. Research design: Answering research questions (AGG – Week 24)
Looking at the overall strategy for answering research questions: How the different components of the study relate to each other and contribute to addressing the research topic and issues.

10. Writing a research report (LL – Week 25)
Overall presentation and organisation of a research paper, typical sections and their purposes, referencing.

11. Preparing for your final-year project (CG – Week 30)
One-hour lecture only

Quiz – week 31

12. Applying for ethical approval for your final-year project CG (wk 31)
One-hour lecture only

Learning and teaching methods

There will be 10 X two-hour classes per week comprising a mixture of lecture-style and seminar-style teaching and learning activities. Session 7 consists of a two-hour lab session taught in three smaller groups. There will be two X one-hour classes during the Summer term (weeks 30 and 31).

Bibliography*

  • Wray, Alison; Bloomer, Aileen. (2013) Projects in linguistics and language studies: a practical guide to researching language, London: Hodder Education.
  • Experimental Linguistics in the Field, https://experimentalfieldlinguistics.wordpress.com/
  • Sharma, Devyani. (2013) Research methods in linguistics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Quiz 1    15% 
Coursework   Quiz 2    15% 
Coursework   Extended project proposal Part 1     35% 
Coursework   Extended project proposal Part 2     35% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Adela Ganem Gutierrez, email: aganem@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez; Dr Laurie Lawyer; Dr Karen Roehr-Brackin ; Dr Claire Delle Luche; Dr Christina Gkonou.
Dr Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez; room 3.308; ext 2207; aganem Dr Laurie Lawyer; room 4.340; ext 2082; l.lawyer Dr Karen Roehr-Brackin ; room 3.306; ext 2189; kroehr Dr Claire Delle Luche; room 4.342; ext 2113; c.delleluche Dr Christina Gkonou ; room 4.119 ; ext 2633 ; cgkono

 

Availability
Yes
No
No

External examiner

Dr Christopher Lucas
University of London
Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics
Ms Irena Kuzborska
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 44 hours, 38 (86.4%) hours available to students:
6 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Linguistics

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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