EDM102-Research Methods in English Language Education

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Rowena Kasprowicz
Email: r.kasprowicz@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

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 to the knowledge and skills to understand and evaluate research studies and to carry out a small-scale personal research study for their dissertation.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

  • Explain the nature and purpose of research in English Language Education in the broad context of educational research

  • Describe the range of approaches to research design and data collection and analysis

  • Critically evaluate research methods and their application in research studies in the field of English language education

  • Formulate research questio ns and design and plan an original research study

  • Discuss ethical and practical issues in research and practitioner inquiry

  • Describe the requirements of a masters level dissertation in English Language Education

Additional outcomes:

Students will develop their skills in:

  • Project planning

  • Critical analysis of educational issues

  • IT and bibliographic skills (including the use of online educational databases)

  • Advanced numeracy and essential statistical tools

Outline content:

  • Introduction to 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) and how these can be investigated, operationalised and, where applicable, measured
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  • 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

  • Data collection methods, including experimental design, questionnaires, interviews, and case studies

  • Methods for analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, including an introduction to the statistical software package SPSS

  • 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. Students are encouraged to identify a topic for investigation and to reflect on the content of taught sessions in relation to that topic.

Group activities will further collaborative learning and focus on project planning and research design, development of data collection tools (e.g. questionnaires), and dissertation planning.

Practical workshop sessions will focus on sta tistical analysis using SPSS, qualitative data analysis, and documentary analysis.

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 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There will be one assignment of approximately 4,500 words.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will work together in pairs / small groups to complete a research study design task. Students will receive feedback on their study design from peers and the module convenor.

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmissionPGflexible.pdf
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment 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 books may be useful throughout the module:

  • Bell, J. (2010). Doing your research project (5th ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press ISBN: 978-0335215041.

  • Cohen, L., Manion, L., &Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in Education (7th ed.). Abingdon: Routledge ISBN: 978-0415583367.

  • The above two texts are freely available via Ebook Central with your UoR username and password.

  • 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: 26 October 2021


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