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ALC8020 : Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Steve Walsh
  • Lecturer: Dr Mei Lin, Professor Paul Seedhouse, Dr Elaine Lopez, Dr Christopher Leyland, Dr Müge Satar
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills required to design and carry out independent research in the area of applied linguistics and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). It introduces the key research approaches and a variety of research methods used in investigating language teaching and learning. It will take a step-by-step approach through the process, from getting to know the key concepts involved in applied linguistics research, to the design, carrying out a research project, and interpreting the research findings. It also introduces students to exemplary research articles in this area.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Research in Applied Linguistics
2.       Good academic conduct
3.       Overview: data collection methods
4.       Survey-based research
5.       Interview data
6.       Classroom interaction and observation
7.       Experimental data collection methods
8.       Survey and online data collection
9.       Action research
10.       Mixed methods research
11.       Drop-in session
12.       Overview: data analysis
13.       Introduction to qualitative analysis
14.       Qualitative analysis workshop
15.       Introduction to quantitative analysis
16.       SPSS workshop
17.       Discourse analysis
18.       Conversation analysis
19.       Analysing spoken data
20.       Social semiotics workshop
21.       NVivo workshop
22.       Drop-in session

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion125:0025:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study161:0061:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture videos provide an introduction to the weekly content, establish a basic level of understanding of the topic, and signal areas for individual further study and essential and further reading. Follow-up classes provide students with the opportunity to raise questions related to lecture videos, and to discuss material in more depth. Group activities and discussions also allow students to share and engage personal reflections. Group activities are often linked to weekly reading.

Structured Guided Learning activities provide students with weekly opportunities to consolidate learning through guided tasks linked to the weekly topic.

In some weeks, students will practise their data collection and analysis techniques in seminar workshops.

Independent study will enable wider reading, further personal self-reflection and assignment preparation

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M40Critique of a research method (1500 words)
Research proposal2A602500 word research proposal as preparation for the dissertation, submitted at end of semester 2 teaching
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Ability to critically evaluate link between theory and research, as well as strengths and limitations of research methods, will be assessed in the research method critique. Other knowledge outcomes, and skills outcomes, including ability to identify gaps in the field of research, to identify links between research and practice, and design a research project, will be assessed through a written research proposal.

Reading Lists