Course syllabus




School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics


Conducting Research in Applied Language Studies

Semester 1, 2018

15 points


Course lecturers     Professor Gary Barkhuizen (convenor)


                                 Phone: 3737599 ext. 88197


Course Aim and Outcomes

This course will familiarise students with different theoretical perspectives and research methods that have informed research into second/foreign language learning, teaching, and use. It will enable students to acquire an understanding of selected research methods through an informed critique of published research. This course will provide students with an understanding of criteria to consider when selecting a particular approach to research, the procedures involved in data collection and analysis, the approach to reporting findings, and the contextual and ethical issues relating to research involving human participants. It will prepare students to undertake their own independent research project.

Students will:

  1. have a good understanding of the different types of research in applied language studies;
  2. be familiar with various aspects of the research process and research reporting;
  3. be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of particular research studies;
  4. be able to undertake a small-scale independent research project.



The set textbook for this course is below. It is essential that you have this book. Chapters are assigned to the lectures, and the first assignment is based on a number of the chapters.

Paltridge, B., & Phakiti, A. (2015). Research methods in applied linguistics: A practical resource (2nd Edition). London: Bloomsbury.

There is also a list of Set Readings for each lecture below.



Assignment 1 (Due date: Thursday 29 March)

1 written assignment - 1500 words (informed analysis of research method(s) in published research)   (20%)

Assignment 2 (Due date: Friday 11 May)

1 (multimedia) presentation of analysis of three data sets – (20%)

Assignment 3 (Due date: Friday 8 June)

Reporting data analysis in an appropriate academic format - 3000 words (60%)

Total word count – 6000 words (or equivalent)


Assignment Presentation

You should follow a consistent style for citations and references in your assignment. The recommended APA style can found in summary form on this Library webpage: . See also the references in this handout.


Submission of Assignments

Submit the assignment electronically through Canvas.

NOTE: The School has a strict policy on meeting deadlines for the submission of assignments. Extensions will be given only in special circumstances and there are penalties for submitting work late. The document on Assignment Deadlines, Penalties and Extensions can be found in Canvas.


Plagiarism (official University statement)

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student’s own work, reflecting his or her learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the world-wide web. A student’s assessed work may be reviewed against electronic source material using computerised detection mechanisms. Upon reasonable request, students may be required to provide an electronic version of their work for computerised review.


STUDENTS WITH IMPAIRMENTS are asked to discuss privately with the course convenor (face–to-face and/or by email) any impairment-related requirements regarding delivery of course content or course assessments. Please contact Gary Barkhuizen as soon as possible if you have any impairment-related needs.





Week 1

Beginning 26 Feb: What is research and who does it in applied linguistics?


Rose, H., & McKinley, J. (2017). The prevalence of pedagogy-related research in applied linguistics: Extending the debate, Applied Linguistics, 38(4), 599-604.


Week 2

5 Mar: Approaches and methods in applied linguistics research


Paltridge & Phakiti: Chapter 1


Week 3

12 Mar: Teacher research: Conceptions, engagement, and constraints


Borg, S. (2009). English language teachers' conceptions of research. Applied Linguistics, 30(3), 355-388.


Week 4

19 Mar: Qualitative research and analysis


Paltridge & Phakiti: Chapters 3, 8, 10, 30

Casanave, C.P. (2012). Diary of a dabbler: Ecological influences on an EFL teacher’s efforts to study Japanese informally. TESOL Quarterly, 46(4), 610-641.

Farrell, T.S.C. (2015). Exploring teacher beliefs and classroom practices through reflective practice: A case study. Language Teaching Research, 19(5), 594-610.


Week 5

26 Mar: Quantitative research and analysis


Paltridge & Phakiti: Chapters 2, 5, 6, 23

Zhang, X. (2017). Reading–writing integrated tasks, comprehensive corrective feedback, and EFL writing development. Language Teaching Research, 21(2), 217-240.



                      Mid-semester break



Week 6

16 Apr: Action research and exploratory practice


Paltridge & Phakiti: Chapter 11

Yuan, R., & Burns, A. (2016). Teacher identity development through action research:

A Chinese experience. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 23(6), 729-749.


Week 7

23 Apr: Mixed methods research and analysis


Paltridge & Phakiti: Chapters 4, 7

Hamid, M.O, Sussex, R., & Khan, A. (2009). Private tutoring in English for secondary school students in Bangladesh. TESOL Quarterly, 43(2), 281-308.


Week 8

30 Apr: Critical research in applied linguistics


Paltridge & Phakiti: Chapters 9, 29

Kubota, R. (2016). Neoliberal paradoxes of language learning: Xenophobia and international communication. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 37(5), 467-480,


Week 9

7 May: Developing a research project: Topics and research questions


Paltridge & Phakiti: Chapter 15

Kubanyiova, M., & Crookes, G. (2016). Re-envisioning the roles, tasks, and contributions of language teachers in the multilingual era of language education research and practice. The Modern Language Journal, 100(S), 117-132.


Week 10

14 May: Research presentations


Week 11

21 May: Ethics and applied linguistics research


Paltridge & Phakiti: Chapter 14

Sterling, S., & Gass, S. (2017). Exploring the boundaries of research ethics: Perceptions of ethics and ethical behaviors in applied linguistics research, System, 70, 50-62.


Week 12

28 May: Reporting research findings


Course summary:

Date Details