EDM102-Research Methods in English Language Education

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Jeanine Treffers-Daller

Email: j.c.treffers-daller@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Students will develop an understanding of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research in English Language Education, of the advantages and disadvantages of different research designs, and of a range of data collection techniques. They will develop an awareness of the importance of research ethics and of how research evidence can be used to inform policy and practice in English Language Education. They will also learn how to report the results in the form of a research report.

The aim of the module is to provide students with an overview of approaches to research in English language education in order to equip them both to understand and evaluate research studies and to carry out a small-scale personal research study for a dissertation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On successful completion of the module students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
•the nature and purpose of research in English Language Education in the broad context of educational research
•the range of approaches to research design and data collection and analysis
•how to critically evaluate research methods and their application in the Chinese educational context
•how to formulate research questions and the skills to design and plan an original inquiry
•ethical and practical issues in research and practitioner inquiry
•the requirements of a masters level dissertation in English Language Education

Additional outcomes:
•project planning
•critical analysis of educational issues
•IT and bibliographic skills (including the use of online educational databases)
•advanced numeracy and essential statistical tools
•awareness of how research can provide the key information needed to develop evidence-based interventions in English Language Education

Outline content:
•Introduction to social and educational enquiry
•Formulating research questions and hypotheses
•Synthesising and evaluating quantitative and qualitative evidence
•Familiarisation with a range of conceptual frameworks for social and educational enquiry
•Key constructs in education (e.g. ability, achievement, discipline, literacy, norms, progress, sustainability) and how these can be investigated, operationalised and, where applicable, measured.
•Types of research design (cross-sectional, longitudinal, case-studies etc.) and advantages and disadvantages of the use of each in relation to particular research questions.
•How research evidence can be used to inform policy and practice in English Language Education

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The central content areas will be covered through lectures and presentations.
Practical workshop sessions will be focused on bibliographic techniques, documentary analysis, SPSS and qualitative data analysis.

Group activities will further collaborative learning and focus on questionnaire design, project planning and dissertation writing.

There will be group tutorials on dissertation planning. Blackboard will be used to provide access to essential readings, online self-study quizzes, and other forms of blended learning.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Seminars 5
Practicals classes and workshops 10
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
There will be one assignment of approximately 5000 words.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will receive regular feedback on weekly tasks.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
Students must achieve 50%

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission within one calendar month of the notification of failure

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: There are no required text books for this module but the following book is recommended reading.
Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (4th ed.) London: Sage.

This text is available in the library at GDUFS or you may be able to source it more cheaply than the publisher’s recommended price (£43.99).There are many free resources such as handouts for this book on the web.

Many items on the reading list are journal articles or e-books that are freely available via the University Library databases.

2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

Things to do now