CONTEMPORARY METHODS OF SECOND LANGUAGE RESEARCH IN THE HIGH SCHOOL

Olha Volodymyrivna ZOBENKO

Abstract


Introduction. Nowadays second language learning occurs all over the world for a variety of reasons such as immigration, the demands of commerce and science, and the requirements of education. Learning another language may be the most ubiquitous of human intellectual activities after the acquisition of the mother tongue. It is therefore not surprising that research in this field has become one of the exciting frontiers of cognitive science.

Purpose. The purpose of this study is the investigation of the process of carrying out research in second language acquisition.

Methods. Mixed methodology was applied for the study. We have used the methods of studying and analysis of theoretical literature and practical manuals on the problem; the methods of observation and description; introspective methods, the heuristic approach, the methods of formalization, argumentation and verification.

Results. The findings revealed that for taking an example of the use of group studies in descriptive research, a researcher may be interested in describing the various types of motivation found in a second language learner group in order to see if it is related to achievement. Qualitative methods originally developed from the methodologies of field anthropologists and sociologists concerned with studying human behavior within the context in which that behavior would occur naturally and in which the role of the researcher would not affect the normal behavior of the subjects. These methods attempted to present the data from the perspective of the subjects or observed groups. distinctive feature of ethnographic work is comparison across multiple data sources, commonly known as «triangulation». Although varying by researchers' underlying epistemological stance and training, data analysis tends to be distinguished by an inductive process initiated in the course of data collection. The essential difference between descriptive and experimental research is that descriptive research can be either synthetic or analytic in its approach to the second language phenomena being studied, while experimental research must be analytic.

Originality. Thus, most of the research studies investigating the application of action research, case-study research; ethnographic research methods focus on the advantages of their use. Students’ reaction to this methods and strategies is the important feedback on what they perceive to be more effective for them. Besides, whether or not the contextual boundaries can be easily drawn, case study is contextual study, unfolding over time and in real settings. Often the phenomena of interest become visible as the case study proceeds; surprising facts come to light and demand attention.

Conclusion. The methods employed in second language research necessarily draw on those that had already been designed, established, and refined elsewhere among other data-driven disciplines. The case study approach is used where the investigator is interested in describing some aspect of the second language performance or development of one or more subjects as individuals. Both qualitative and descriptive researches are concerned with providing descriptions of phenomena that occur naturally, without the intervention of an experiment or an artificially contrived treatment. We should consider the prevalent methods in second language research. Although Ethnographic /Qualitative and Case Study research methods and Quantitative research methods draw on the classical and fundamental research paradigms, others, such as Classroom and Action research, represent adaptations of these methods to narrow and specific contexts of second language teaching. Then it is critical to find out the ways to implement innovative research methods of the second language acquisition.


Keywords


contemporary methods of research; ethnographic method; quantitative method; qualitative method; introspective methods of research; the methods of formalization; high school; second language.

References


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Brown, J. D. (1988). Understanding research in second language learning: A teacher’s guide to statistics and research design. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press (in Engl.)

Hinkel, E. (2005). Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (in Engl.)

Howatt, A. P. R., & Widdowson, H. G. (1984). A History of English Language Teaching. Oxford University Press: Language Arts & Disciplines (in Engl.)

Kibrik, A. E. (2003). Constants and Variables of Language. SPb: Alteya (in Russ.)

Kochergan, M. P. (2006). Introduction into Linguistics. Kyiv: Academia (in Ukr.)

Mackey, A., & Susan, M. Gass. (2005). Second Language Research. Methodology and Design. London. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (in Engl.)

Porte, G. K. (2002). Appraising research in second language learning: A practical approach to critical analysis of quantitative research. Amsterdam: Benjamins (in Engl.)

Seliger, H. W., & Shohamy, E. G. (1989). Second language research methods. Oxford University Press – Foreign Language Study (in Engl.)


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