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ET214-15 Qualitative Research

Department
Applied Linguistics
Level
Undergraduate Level 2
Module leader
Kieran File
Credit value
15
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Have you got an inquisitive mind? Would you like to learn how to design, develop and conduct research in issues related to language, communication and culture? The ability to conduct research is a great skill to have and is one that is highly sought after by employers. In this course you will develop an understanding of qualitative research, including the primary approaches to carrying out qualitative research, some of the important data collection techniques, and how to analyse qualitative data. You will also have an opportunity to hone the crucial skills and attributes you need to be able to conduct research in the future including resilience, intellectual curiosity, personal and project management and critical thinking. This course will give you an opportunity to formulate, design and conduct your own qualitative research project related to a language, culture and communication issue you are interested in, and will provide you with support and feedback along the way to help foster your development as a researcher.

Module web page

Module aims

The module will help you develop a deeper understanding of:

  • How qualitative research can be applied to issues and topics in the discipline of Applied Linguistics (language, culture and communication).
  • The strengths and weaknesses of this research paradigm.
  • A range of qualitative research approaches (QRAs) (i.e. Ethnography, Narrative Inquiry, Discourse Analysis) and what they allow researchers to explore.
  • A range of data collection techniques (DCTs) (primarily interviews and observation).
  • Principles and processes for collecting, preparing and analysing qualitative data.
  • How to design, run and report on qualitative research so students can undertake their own studies in the future.
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The syllabus will cover the following areas, though weighting will vary:

Induction and introduction to the module: the foundations and aims of qualitative research; overview of approaches to carrying out qualitative research; moving from broad topic to study design; ethics in qualitative research; narrative inquiry and interviewing people: patterns in experience; ethnography and observing people and things: patterns in behaviour; discourse analysis and analysing authentic texts: patterns in texts; other approaches and decisions in qualitative research: action research, case study, questionnaires, introspective accounts; preparing (transcribing) and analysing qualitative data: beginning to theorise; drawing on and implementing your reading; writing up a qualitative research project (and your project); using qualitative research in the workplace.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Develop and demonstrate your critical thinking skills with regards to qualitative research and issues at the interface between language, culture and communication. • Conceptualise social issues through a qualitative perspective on the world. • How to design, run and report on qualitative research so you can undertake your own studies in the future.• Identify and distinguish between different qualitative research approaches and their suitability to an identified research issue • Adjust data collection methods to respond to particular settings and circumstances that arise in the course of conducting qualitative research. • Describe and apply relevant procedures for analysing data qualitatively.• Design, carry out and report on an issue while attending to the principles and practices of the qualitative paradigm.
Indicative reading list

Aurini, J. D., Heath, M., & Howells, S. (2016). The How To of Qualitative Research: Strategies for Executing High Quality Projects. London: Sage.
Blommaert, J. and Jie, D. (2010). Ethnographic Fieldwork: A Beginner’s Guide. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Denscombe, M. (2014). The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects (Fifth edition). Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: Open University Press.
Flick, U. (2007). Designing qualitative research. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage.
Sunderland, J. (2010). Research Questions in Linguistics. In L. Litosseliti (Ed.), Research methods in linguistics (pp. 9–28). London: Continuum.
Heigham, J., & Croker, R. A. (Eds.). (2009). Qualitative research in applied linguistics: a practical introduction. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire [England] ; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Litosseliti, L. (Ed.). (2010). Research methods in linguistics. London: Continuum.
Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies. Oxford ; New York, N.Y: Oxford University Press.
Richards, K., Ross, S. and Seedhouse, P. (2012). Research Methods in Applied Language Studies. London: Routledge.
Roulston, K. (2010). Reflective Interviewing: A Guide to Theory and Practice. London: Sage.
Saldaa, J. (2009). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. London: Sage.
Waller, V., Farquharson, K., & Dempsey, D. (2015). Qualitative Social Research: Contemporary Methods for the Digital Age. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Research element

This module foregrounds research and encourages students to use and develop confidence with the conceptual framework and tools of the qualitative paradigm. By the end of the module students should be able design, run and report on social issues through a qualitative lens.

Interdisciplinary

This module is interdisciplinary in nature in that it provides students with a great deal of flexibility in their choice of issue to explore. For example, students have in the past focused on sociological issues, on the issue of culture, on the (psychological) perceptions of groups of people or language learning and language education issues. The module helps students to collect and analyse language data for the express purpose of studying a wider social issue of their interest.

International

Students are encouraged focus their project work on cross-cultural issues, particularly if these interest them. The material used in the module also comes from a range of cross-cultural student work and qualitative research studies.

Subject specific skills
  • Develop and demonstrate your critical thinking skills with regards to qualitative research and issues at the interface between language, culture and communication.
  • Conceptualise social issues through a qualitative perspective on the world.
  • Design, carry out and report on an issue while attending to the principles and practices of the qualitative paradigm.
  • Identify and distinguish between different qualitative research approaches and their suitability to an identified research issue
  • Adjust data collection methods to respond to particular settings and circumstances that arise in the course of conducting qualitative research.
  • Describe and apply relevant procedures for analysing data qualitatively.
Transferable skills
  • Recognise cultural and organisational patterns and signals in different social and cultural settings.
  • Identify and respond to a professional/intercultural issue or situation requiring further investigation.
  • Conduct a research interview and/or observe social and cultural settings and produce fieldnotes based on these.
  • Categorise information in order to complete relevant analytical procedures.
  • Develop project management and time-management skills as you design, carry out and write up a qualitative research project.
  • Develop and demonstrate your resilience and problem-solving abilities.
  • Practice communicating complex ideas and presenting your work in clear and engaging ways.
  • Participate in group tasks and discussions and develop your ability to communicate effectively in English in mixed cultural groups.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 9 sessions of 2 hours (12%)
Seminars 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Private study 123 hours (82%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Reading subject materials
Homework tasks
Assignment

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A
Weighting Study time
3000 word assignment 100%

Original Research Project

Feedback on assessment

Written feedback on the assignment will be provided on the Department's standard feedback sheets, which conform to Faculty regulations. This will include both summary and detailed feedback. Where appropriate, additional feedback may be provided via personal meetings with the tutor.

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • Year 2 of UETA-X3Q5 Undergraduate Language, Culture and Communication
  • Year 2 of UETA-X3Q8 Undergraduate Language, Culture and Communication (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 2 of UETA-X3Q6 Undergraduate Language, Culture and Communication (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q310 in English Language and Linguistics
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q311 in English Language and Linguistics (with Intercalated year)

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 2 of UETA-Q2T6 Undergraduate Linguistics with Arabic (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q1A1 Undergraduate Linguistics with French (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q1R2 Undergraduate Linguistics with German
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q1A8 Undergraduate Linguistics with Japanese (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q2T2 Undergraduate Linguistics with Japanese (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q1A4 Undergraduate Linguistics with Spanish (with Intercalated Year)

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 2 of UETA-Q1A7 Undergraduate Linguistics with Chinese (with Intercalated Year)
  • UETA-Q1R1 Undergraduate Linguistics with French
    • Year 2 of Q1R1 Linguistics with French
    • Year 3 of Q1R1 Linguistics with French
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q1A2 Undergraduate Linguistics with German (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 3 of UETA-Q1T2 Undergraduate Linguistics with Japanese
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q2R5 Undergraduate Linguistics with Portuguese (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 2 of UETA-Q1A6 Undergraduate Linguistics with Russian (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 3 of UETA-Q1R4 Undergraduate Linguistics with Spanish

This module is Core option list C for:

  • Year 2 of ULNA-R3Q3 Undergraduate Italian and Linguistics

This module is Core option list D for:

  • Year 2 of ULNA-R1Q3 Undergraduate French and Linguistics

This module is Core option list F for:

  • Year 2 of ULNA-R2Q3 Undergraduate German and Linguistics
  • Year 2 of ULNA-R4Q1 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies and Linguistics
  • Year 2 of ULNA-R9Q1 Undergraduate Modern Languages and Linguistics