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Dissertation Pathway 1 plus Research Skills

  • Module code: LG7005
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 60
  • Pre-requisites: Equivalent of the Postgraduate Diploma
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

The dissertation (Pathway 1) integrates the different concepts, theories and skills within  the MA in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching, equips you, in your future careers, with knowledge and understanding of an area within the field by allowing you to explore a particular area of language teaching and/or language learning in depth, and allows you to reflect on the process of research enquiry. In addition, it provides you with an introduction to research methodologies, equips you with the management and theoretical frameworks involved in handling an extended piece of written work, and introduces you to the ethical considerations required in the conducting of language teaching research. The dissertation (Pathway 1) requires students to present a piece of written work of 12,000 to 15,000 words and can explore any topic within Applied Linguistics for language teaching. You are required to attend 10 hours of lectures/seminars on research methods, and to submit a research proposal by the end of Teaching Block 2.

Aims

  • To provide students with an opportunity to integrate the different concepts, theories and skills  within the MA in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching and equip students, in their future careers, with in-depth knowledge of one particular area within the field;
  • To introduce students to the processes of research and to a  range of research methodologies available to language teachers, and via lectures and seminars and the submission of a research proposal;
  • To equip students to manage an extended project  and use theoretical frameworks   to produce an extended piece of written work;
  • To provide students with an understanding of ethical considerations and the level of academic rigour required in the conducting of language teaching research.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an ability to integrate different components of the MA in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching and show in-depth knowledge of a particular area within the field;
  • Demonstrate an ability to select from a range of research methodologies and design research so as to develop knowledge, understanding and professional skills as a language teacher, demonstrating an ability to critically engage with and evaluate theories, concepts and studies from a range of sources; 
  • Demonstrate the project management and academic skills required to produce an extended piece of written work, including: time management, communication skills, cognitive and intellectual skills, practical skills; self reflection skills.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of ethical considerations and academic rigour appropriate to all phases in the process of research.

Curriculum content

  • Ethnography and ethnographic research on language teaching and learning
  • Quantitative and qualitative data analysis
  • Classroom research
  • Action research
  • Observation techniques
  • The experimental method
  • The case study approach
  • Introspective methods
  • Elicitation techniques
  • Statistical tools
  • Interaction analysis

Teaching and learning strategy

Teaching will take the form of lectures, interactive seminars and project supervision/tutorials. Project supervision/tutorials may be face-to-face or remote. In addition, students will participate in class presentations of work in progress and in discussions on Study Space with peers and supervisors in order to share experience and develop their understanding. Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module to enable students to prepare their work, and conduct and report on their research, and students will be encouraged to reflect upon issues as they plan and execute the phases of their research project.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures and interactive seminars: Project Supervision and tutorials: 10 hours 10 hours
Guided independent study Canvas discussion board Class presentations Formative learning tasks Research enquiry 580
Total (number of credits x 10) 600

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed formatively and summatively. Formative development tasks are provided after each session of lecture/interactive seminar, and are also provided by project supervisors throughout the dissertation process, according to students' individual needs. Formative assessment could be peer to peer feedback on work in progress, tasks familiarising students with SPSS software, and critiquing research questions. Students are required to present their work in progress at class presentations held in the second half of Teaching Block 2. Summative assessment is through  coursework (100%) typically consisting of a research proposal (formative) to be submitted at the end of Teaching Block 2 and a 12000 to 15000 word dissertation (summative) to be submitted at the end of September (September cohort) or January (January cohort). The research proposal is 500 – 1000 words and requires demonstration of planning and investigation of literature.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Demonstrate an ability to integrate different components of the MA in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching and show in-depth knowledge of a particular area within the field Formative assessment: peer and tutor feedback on presentation; research proposal, summative: research dissertation
2) Demonstrate an ability to select from a range of research methodologies and design research so as to develop knowledge, understanding and professional skills as a language teacher, demonstrating an ability to critically engage with and evaluate theories, concepts and studies from a range of sources; Formative assessment: peer and tutor feedback on presentation; research proposal, summative: research dissertation
3) Demonstrate the project management and academic skills required to produce an extended piece of written work, including: time management, communication skills, cognitive and intellectual skills, practical skills; self reflection skills. Formative assessment and summative dissertation
4) Demonstrate an awareness of ethical considerations and academic rigour appropriate to all phases in the process of research. Formative assessment,(research proposal) and summative dissertation

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework Dissertation 100
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Nunan, D. (1992) Research Methods in Language Learning. Cambridge; CUP

McDonough, J. and McDonough, S. (1997) Research Methods for English Language Teachers. Cambridge; CUP

Bibliography recommended reading

Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science. 4th edn. Open  University Press.

Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (2006) How to research (3rd ed), Maidenhead: Open University Press

Burns, A. (1999) Collaborative Action Research for English Language Teachers. Cambridge; CUP

Hinkel, E. (2005) Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning. New Jersey; Erlbaum Associates.

Norris, J. M. (2006)  Synthesising Research on Language Learning and Teaching. Amsterdam; John Benjamins Publishing

Seliger, H. W. and Shohamy, E. (1989) Second language research methods, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wallace, M. J. (1998) Action Research for Language Teachers. Cambridge; CUP

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